Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he appeared to pressure Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, has sparked impeachment proceedings. Trump’s team is now trying to shift focus onto the Bidens and their dealing in Ukraine, as well as a now-unsupported conspiracy theory that Ukraine was involved in hijacking the 2016 U.S. presidential election along with the Democrats.
In the wake of the scandal and the focus on his family’s purported corruption, Biden took to Twitter Sunday evening to suggest that Trump is trying to hijack the 2020 election.
“President Trump is trying to hijack this election,” he tweeted. “We cannot let him get away with it.”
In addition to Trump, his personal lawyer Rudi Giuliani is pushing the conspiracy theory that Democrats were involved in manipulating the 2016 election with the help of Ukraine. He has also been making purportedly misleading comments about the Bidens and their work in Ukraine.
In particular, Trump’s camp is suggesting that Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to save his son Hunter from legal trouble. Hunter sat on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which Shokin was investigating, during his father’s time as vice president.
In response, Biden’s campaign sent out a letter to all major TV networks urging them to stop booking Giuliani.
“By giving him your air time, you are allowing him to introduce increasingly unhinged, unfounded and desperate lies into the national conversation.”
NEW: Team BIDEN just sent letter to every major TV news network, calling for RUDY to be kept off the airwaves. “He will knowingly and willingly lie,” letter says. pic.twitter.com/7oGQ4b3f4X
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) September 29, 2019
BBC News reports that Ukrainian ex-prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko claims that there is no reason for Ukraine to investigate Biden, suggesting that such an investigation would need to start on U.S. soil.
“I don’t know any reason to investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden according to Ukrainian law,” he said, adding that any “possible embezzlement” at Burisma took place before Hunter joined the board.
Lutsenko says he met with Giuliani, who asked him if it was possible to investigate the Bidens.
“I told him the same I told you — it is not my jurisdiction. It is likely to be the jurisdiction of the U.S.,” he said, adding that he would provide all relevant information if he received an official request, but highlighting that it’s not Ukrainian jurisdiction.
Trump continues to deny using military aid to pressure Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Bidens. He claims that attacks on him are part of a “hoax” and “witch-hunt” to remove him from office.