In the wake of the Ukraine scandal and the impeachment proceedings it sparked, Donald Trump and his camp are focusing on turning attention to Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. During Trump’s controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he pressured Zelensky to dig up dirt on Biden. Now, Trump claims that Biden intervened with Ukraine’s legal system to fire Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokinor, who was investigating corruption in the for-profit energy company, Burisma, that employed Hunter.
Yet critics of the theory suggest that it has long been debunked, Newsweek reports. One such critic is Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, who said on Fox & Friends on Tuesday that prosecutors in both Ukraine and the United States dismissed the allegations.
“If you talk to [Trump’s personal lawyer] Rudy Giuliani, he’s got a lot of evidence of inappropriate behavior by the former vice president [Biden] and his son. Yet the prosecutors in Ukraine and even prosecutors here in the United States say there’s no there there,” the former New Jersey Superior Court judge pointed out.”
One such Ukranian ex-prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, was approached by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, about investigating Biden. Lutsenko said that he doesn’t see any reason to investigate Biden and suggests that any potential crimes at Burisma took place before Hunter worked for the company. In addition, Biden was not the only one to push for Shokin’s firing; many others, including the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and Ukranian pro-clean government activists did so as well because Shokinor reportedly wasn’t prosecuting corruption as he was supposed to.
"Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…" Trump told Ukraine's President Zelensky, according to the transcript released by the White House pic.twitter.com/0lzoxBHd1P
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 25, 2019
According to analysts and corruption experts in Ukraine, Shokin was ineffective at prosecuting corruption. He reportedly did little to investigate allegations of corruption against the company, even in the face of a British probe into the allegations. Multiple Western leaders, such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, were opposed to Shokin keeping his job as they did not believe he was doing his job.
Regardless, Biden’s decision to allow Hunter to sit on Burisma’s board during his time as vice president — at the time he was tasked with addressing the country’s corruption — has drawn criticism. Although there is currently no support for Trump’s theory, Biden’s decision is seen as a bad move by many. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, although never mentioning Biden by name, suggested that allowing a direct family member of a president or vice president on the board of a for-profit company “certainly has a bad look to it.”