In an interview with Fox News‘ Brian Kilmeade, former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin said his firing was a „case of corruption“ in response to the Burisma investigation – which allegedly implicated US President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Shokin said during the interview that it was his „firm personal belief“ that he was fired because then-Vice President Biden and Hunter were bribed. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ousted Shokin in 2016 over Shokin’s alleged corruption and pressure from the Biden-led US administration.
„In my previous interviews, I repeatedly said that Poroshenko fired me at the insistence of then-Vice President Biden because I was investigating Burisma,“ Shokin said in the interview. „Poroshenko understood, and so did Vice President Biden, that if I continued to oversee the Burisma investigation, we would find out the facts about the corrupt activities they were committing. That included Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and others,“ Shokin said, adding that he believes both Joe and Hunter Biden accepted bribes in connection with the case, although he did not provide evidence for that accusation.
„I don’t want to dwell on unproven facts, but I am firmly convinced that this was the case,“ he added. „They were bribed. And the fact that Joe Biden handed over one billion dollars of American money in exchange for my recusal, my firing – isn’t that in itself a case of corruption?“
„These false allegations have been debunked for years and no matter how much airtime Fox devotes to them, they remain false,“ White House spokesman Ian Sams responded to Fox News. „Fox is giving a platform for these lies to the former Ukrainian attorney general, whose office his own deputies called a ‚hotbed of corruption,‘ prompting demands for reform not only from then-Vice President Biden, but also from U.S. diplomats, international partners and Republican senators like Ron Johnson.“
A year after leaving the White House, Biden bragged how he personally pressured Poroshenko to release Shokin. He explained that he told Ukrainian officials that if Shokin remained in office, the US would withhold up to one billion dollars in aid intended for their country.
During an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018, Biden noted: „I said, ‚I’m telling you, you’re not going to get that billion dollars. I’m leaving here.‘ I looked at them and added, ‚I’m leaving in six hours. Unless the prosecutor is fired, you’re not going to get the money.‘ Well, the son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put somebody in his place who was solid at the time.“
Shokin said that at the time of his ouster he was investigating Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. In February 2016, a month before Shokin’s ouster, his office filed a legal request to seize Zlochevsky’s assets, including four houses, two properties and a Rolls-Royce sports car, the Kyiv Post reported at the time.
The former attorney general told Fox News that Burisma illegally produced, sold and used natural gas supplies.
His investigation took place while Hunter Biden served on Burisma’s board of directors. Hunter joined the company in 2014 and left in 2019 after his term on the board expired.
Hunter’s former business partner, Devon Archer, who also served on Burisma’s board, testified in July at a closed hearing before the House Oversight Committee that under pressure from Shokin’s office and other entities investigating Burisma, the company’s leadership turned to Hunter for help. Archer said Hunter „called Washington“ to help get Shokin fired.