Former Vice President Joe Biden has been under the microscope ever since the resurfacing of a story that Biden bragged about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired. The story picked up steam because the prosecutor was reportedly investigating the largest gas company in the country, and Biden’s son just happened to be on its board.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said Thursday, however, that there is no evidence that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate or his son Hunter Biden broke any Ukrainian laws in relation to the previous prosecutor general’s investigation of Burisma Group.
“I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of U.S. presidential elections,” Yuriy Lutsenko said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws — at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing. A company can pay however much it wants to its board.”
He said if there is a tax problem, it’s not in Ukraine. Per Bloomberg:
Yuriy Lutsenko, the current prosecutor general, said that neither Hunter Biden nor Burisma were now the focus of an investigation. He added, however, that he was planning to offer details to U.S. Attorney General William Barr about Burisma board payments so American authorities could check whether Hunter Biden paid U.S. taxes on the income.
In March 2016, Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that unless then Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired the Obama Administration would rescind $1 billion in U.S loan guarantees. The U.S. and the International Monetary Fund thought that Shokin should have been doing more to fight corruption.
Biden detailed his attempt to have Shokin fired at a Council on Foreign Relations event in January 2018:
I said, “Nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.” They said, “You have no authority. You’re not the president.” The president said—I said, “Call him.” I said, “I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.” I said, “You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours.” I looked at them and said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
In an interview with WMUR in New Hampshire, Biden said that “all the reports indicated that not a single, solitary thing was inappropriate about what my son did. He never talked to me. He never talked to anybody in the administration.”
Biden also responded to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to find dirt on him. Giuliani planned a trip to Ukraine in which he was hoping to find evidence that the former vice president did anything illegal when he pushed the firing of Shokin.
“I can’t remember any lawyer representing the president, conferring with the president, deciding to go overseas, where a government relies on U.S. largesse to try to get them to do something that everybody knows never happened,” Biden said.
[Image via Andy Wong AFP/Getty Images]