Biden Should Be Named in Criminal Probe in Ukraine, Judge Rules

Former U.S. vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden should be named as an alleged perpetrator in a criminal investigation in Ukraine over the firing of the country’s prosecutor general, a judge has ruled, reports Joe Lauria.

Vice President Joe Biden, flanked by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Toria Nuland, sits with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on February 7, 2015, at  Munich Security Conference. (State Department)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Joe Biden should be named as an alleged perpetrator in a criminal investigation in Ukraine over the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, a Ukrainian judge has ruled.

Shokin has alleged that Biden was illegally behind his dismissal in 2016 by threatening to withhold a $1 billion IMF loan to Ukraine if Shokin wasn’t dismissed.

Last month District Court Judge S. V. Vovk in Kiev ruled that police must list Biden as an alleged perpetrator of a crime against Shokin, according to a report on the website Just the News. The possible crime cited is “unlawful interference in Shokin’s work as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor,” the website said, according to an English translation of the investigative judge’s order obtained by the site.

The district court had earlier ruled that there was sufficient evidence in Shokin’s criminal complaint to investigate Biden, but the police had withheld Biden’s name, listing him only as an unnamed American.

Shokin first alleged last year in a deposition that Biden had pressured then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin because he was conducting an investigation into Burisma Holdings, the gas company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter was installed shortly after the fall of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. 

Biden had been appointed the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, according to a recorded conversation between then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffry Pyatt.  Nuland and Pyatt discussed how to “midwife” a new Ukrainian government before the democratically-elected Yanukovych was overthrown. Nuland said Biden would help “glue” it all together.

As booty from the U.S.-backed coup, the sitting vice president’s son, Hunter, within weeks got his seat on Burisma, in what can be seen as a transparently neocolonial maneuver to take over a country and install one’s own people. But Biden’s son wasn’t the only one.

A family friend of then Secretary of State John Kerry also joined Burisma’s board. U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto got a Ukrainian contract soon after the overthrow.  And the first, post-coup Ukrainian finance minister was an American citizen, a former State Department official, who was given Ukrainian citizenship the day before she took up the post. Shokin has alleged, in the same vein, that the U.S. was running the country’s prosecutors’ office. 

Biden’s Public Admission

After Shokin, the prosecutor general at the time, began looking into possible corruption at Burisma, Biden openly admitted at a 2018 conference that as vice president he withheld a $1 billion IMF credit line to Ukraine until the government fired the prosecutor. As Biden says himself, it took only six hours for it to happen. 

Biden says the U.S. sought Shokin’s ouster because he was corrupt. But Shokin is citing a letter from the U.S. State Department in summer 2015 that “praised his anti-corruption plan as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor,” according to  Just the News. Biden’s own words at the Council on Foreign Relations event would indicate Poroshenko’s reluctance to fire Shokin, who told the website he has evidence to show the government was satisfied with his work.

An attempt by President Donald Trump last year to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Biden while implying military aid could be withheld led ultimately to Trump’s impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate acquitted him.

News of Biden being ordered named in the criminal investigation came days after a member of the Ukrainian parliament released new audio recordings of Biden-Poroshenko conversations that show Biden dangling the IMF loan to get Shokin dismissed.  Zelensky said the recordings would be investigated by police as they may be “perceived, qualified as treason.” Poroshenko branded the leaked audio “fabricated” and a spokesman for Biden claimed to The Washington Post the tapes were “heavily edited … and it’s still a nothingburger that landed with a thud.”

 (Biden and Poroshenko in English begins at 6:15)

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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27 comments for “Biden Should Be Named in Criminal Probe in Ukraine, Judge Rules

  1. robert e williamson jr
    May 27, 2020 at 13:12

    All appearances indicate nothing has changed.

    Stormy weather ahead,

    Air filled with virus spawn,

    Police kill unarmed black man,

    2020 presidential election gets closer,

    Democrats fail doing the homework once again,

    Haters gonna hate, voters ain’t gonna vote for more corruption in D.C.,

    And the 74 year old AS%#*@! with a comb over and spray tan is getting crazier than a sh** house rat.

    And the beat goes on lada dota dee soon no one will be free!

  2. Richard Dubin
    May 26, 2020 at 13:57

    It seems that , if Biden is included in this then the other nations calling for Shokin’s dismissal, and I believe there were three such including Great Britain and France as well as the IMF should be as well.
    All called for the dismissal of this corrupt prosecutor.

    • robert e williamson jr
      May 27, 2020 at 14:39

      I’m hoping Richard, that you are not the Senator from Illinois. Extortion is extortion.

    • Andrew Thomas
      May 27, 2020 at 18:34

      And the UK, France, and the IMF are under, if not complete US control, close to it.

  3. jimmy
    May 26, 2020 at 12:33

    Tulsi Gabbard. She offered everything that could be wished for in a winning candidate. Instead we have another candidate who is under investigation, a rapist, and mentally deteriorating WASP racist who sent poor blacks and Latinos to prison.
    Even now, most “progressive media” support Biden.

  4. Voice from Europe
    May 26, 2020 at 01:55

    Just saw the picture of Joe with his new black corona mask. He is not allowed to take it off until after the elections….
    I get the impression that his candidate for VP (Michelle) will do all the talking…..

  5. Edward
    May 26, 2020 at 01:23

    Ukraine seems to have a less corrupt judicial system then we do. What irony that Trump gets to be “Mr. Clean”, accusing someone else of corruption. Biden certainly put our tax dollars to creative use.

  6. Andrew Thomas
    May 25, 2020 at 17:27

    The video of Biden bragging about getting the prosecutor fired, interspersed with disingenuous videos of Democrats accusing Trump of treason for exactly the kind of behavior Biden is bragging about, is going to be run to death by dark money groups in swing states continuously, and everywhere else that the GOP has a chance to pick up a congressional seat or defend one that is in danger. I have the same fear the estimable John Chuckman has. Despite everything, Trump is going to be re-elected, and the GOP will at least retain the senate. One of the funniest things I ever saw in MAD magazine in my youth was a description of a new athletic event called the 43 man Squamish. At the end of the piece, a variant was suggested for small schools which lacked enough enrollment to field a full Squamish team. It was called 2- man Squamish. Everything was the same, except that the object of the game was to lose. The Dems have opted to play 2-man Squamish. By themselves.

  7. michael888
    May 25, 2020 at 15:42

    Michael Flynn, like Biden, claimed he was also very critical of the Afghan surge. He felt the US was much less safe than before 9/11, by the time he was booted out by Clapper/ Obama in 2014.

  8. AnneR
    May 25, 2020 at 14:16

    I agree with Skip and Bob and Sam F – different aspects of the same farrago (this side of the pond).

    In light of what Skip and Bob raise about Sanders, it is interesting to note that, despite Sanders having ceded the potential for being nominated to Biden, on NPR this morning the results of the Hawaiian primary (mail in, I do believe) were reported AS IF Sanders were still actually running. And there was a distinct gloat in the voice of the newsreader when reporting that Biden had won by a significant margin (!?!). (Do they ever let up with the prop?)

    Frankly – this whole Ukraine heap of utter manure (muck in Brit terms) needs to be fully aired and NOT ignored (which it likely will be, going by previous experience of the MSM, as represented by NPR and the Beeb “World Service” – one could ask, legitimately: service to whom?). Biden is a slick, if dementia inflicted, B****** – therefore little different to the majority of the Dem (Blue Face) establishment: rapacious, avaricious, warmongering MIC supporting, misogynist, racist, doubtless also Orientalist, afflicted with that arrogant US belief that their worldview is *the* righteous perspective….I must have missed something…

    • Andrew Nichols
      May 25, 2020 at 18:17

      Another reason to remove the control of the UMF and World Bank from US political control. Going by this blackmailand the egregious rule breaking allowing a bation at war to access such loans its clearly a US geopliitical tool. Actually it may not be necessary to restructure it. The Chinese led AIB is likely to eliminate any power either of these corrupted institutions have. Whenever the IMF /WB are persuaded to or not to give loans to a nation, the AIB will now step up.

  9. worldblee
    May 25, 2020 at 12:03

    Joe, here’s a logical question for Biden. Why do Poroshenko and Biden have different, conflicting statements on the leaked audio? Poroshenko says the audio is fabricated and that it’s not him on the tape. Biden says the tapes are heavily edited, which implies a) that it is Biden and Porshenko on the call, and b) that Biden must have a clear recollection or transcript of the call for reference. Biden should be asked to confirm, on the record, what was discussed on the call and where the call has been edited to change its context.

  10. Sam F
    May 25, 2020 at 09:28

    Regarding US, UK, and Ukraine corruption: they also have the same very slow decrease in Covid19 daily new cases,
    while the rest of W Europe did very well in comparison: 90 to 98 percent decreases with whatever controls they used.
    As if US/UK and Ukraine refuse to take measures for fast decrease, but were forced by politics to show some decrease.

    The result is that W Europe could have zero cases in a month if they continued controls; the US/UK/Uk in six months.
    This is very visible on graph 3 (per million) on website 91-divoc dot com/pages/covid-visualization/ using JHU data.
    (select Log chart to see low-rate states clearly; Linear shows high-rate states more clearly; Highlight states of interest).

    Even now, if the US did the same, it would have the epidemic under control in two months instead of six months.
    It would be helpful to know why this is true, in terms of measures taken, even without knowing the political causes.
    Why would the US persist in such a destructive course with no better control measures than weak tracking someday?

    It very much appears that US/UK/Ukraine deliberately refuse to implement effective control measures used by others,
    although the cost of that must be very small compared to the economic cost of having to extend their lockdowns.
    Some may think that US/UK and Ukraine follow oligarchy preferences to eliminate the elderly and steal pension funds.

    • Sam F
      May 25, 2020 at 09:51

      HI and VT also brought cases down 98% by case tracking and free testing, like W Europe. That is not more difficult in small states, but their political unity shows that other states must be compelled to be civilized.

  11. Realist
    May 25, 2020 at 01:28

    I’ll take more notice when it’s an American judge in an American court that rules “Biden should be named in criminal probe” for his monkeyshines in Ukraine. In the American view, American law applies everywhere in the known universe, but what happens in foreign courts is of no consequence in the United States whatsoever.

    Kind of nostalgic, seeing all the perpetrators to creating the New Cold War against Russia per Obama’s directive all socializing with Porky in that photo, is it not?

    • Skip Scott
      May 25, 2020 at 08:57

      Although the Ukrainian court is of no real consequence, it will no doubt be picked up by Fox News, and used by the Trump campaign to fling some mud, just as the charge of Biden’s previous sexual misconduct will become ammunition when the mud-slinging begins. This will substitute for analysis of any of the important issues and provide entertaining distraction for the proles. I am wondering how the DNC intends to prepare their dementia sufferer for the TV “debates.” As much as I despise Biden, I feel sorry for the public humiliation he will suffer in the months ahead. Having cared for three dementia sufferers in the past decade, I have personal experience with the cruelty of the disease. I suspect there will be a theatrical exit and substitution for Biden in Milwaukee. It’s the only reasonable course of action.

      By the time all the mud has been flung around the average citizen will be thoroughly disgusted once more, most will stay home on election day, and the vast majority of the remaining voters will decide who is the “lesser” of evils.

      • Consortiumnews.com
        May 25, 2020 at 11:23

        The Ukrainian court case is significant, and not mere entertainment. First, a nation so much under US dominance has had the fortitude to open a criminal investigation against a former US vice president and someone who could be the next president. This does not happen every day. Second, a judge has ordered that Biden be named. This stands on its own, no matter what Fox and Republicans may do with this information. What no established media, including Fox, will do is report the US and Biden’s role in the Ukraine coup.

    • Skip Scott
      May 26, 2020 at 09:20

      I understand that it may appear to be fortitude that has Ukraine acting against a former US VP. However, they could just as well be kowtowing to the current US administration, instead of acting with “fortitude.” Maybe they are hoping for some kind of gratitude and payment from Trump. I admit it is a bit risky. They are banking on a Trump victory in 2020, and they probably have noticed Biden’s cognitive decline and see it as making him unelectable. The risk is that the DNC may substitute Biden, win in 2020, and act with vengeance against the Ukrainian administration once in power.

      Also, what I meant by “no real consequence” is that I see zero chance of Biden being forced to face any justice from a foreign court.

  12. Michael Meo
    May 25, 2020 at 01:19

    I await with impatience the investigation within a legal framework of the facts and documents adduced in the three-part series aired on Consortium News, “UkraineGate — Inconvenient Facts”.

  13. JOHN CHUCKMAN
    May 25, 2020 at 00:43

    Agreed, definitely.

    It’s just one instance of Biden’s sleazy past, but it is a well documented one.

    But I sure hope the Democrats have an alternate plan for the election.

    The world cannot take much more of Trump.

    • TimN
      May 26, 2020 at 07:35

      Their “alternate plan” is VP Klobuchar.

  14. Nathan Mulcahy
    May 24, 2020 at 19:30

    Did DNC select Biden (after booting out Sanders) so that they can be sure that Trump wins (instead of Sanders)? Just asking.

    • Skip Scott
      May 25, 2020 at 08:37

      There is no doubt that the DNC folks prefer Trump to Sanders. A Sanders victory would chase off all the big money donors, to whom all the DNC clique are beholding. If Trump wins they have four more years of McResistance, with phony propaganda “..Gates” substituting for any consideration of the important issues on the MSM’s airwaves. A Sanders win would put them out of a job.

    • May 25, 2020 at 10:40

      I think it is quite possible. The DNC mission – make sure Sanders doesn’t win. At 68 years old I can’t remember a meeker presidential candidate than Biden. It’s like he is from a different country.

    • David F., N.A.
      May 25, 2020 at 16:01

      If you look through the smoke, Sanders is as much a part of Washington as Biden and the rest of all those career politicians (corporate legislatures). He knows if he doesn’t behave, the corporations will replace him with someone who will.

      This election sort of reminds me of the ’04 Bush/Kerry election where Kerry went through all the motions as a presidential candidate, but to me he seemed to be holding back. Like he wasn’t really trying.

      So now with Ukraine, groping and senility, the corporations have their perfect losing candidate.

      “It’s all over, but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting.” ~ Peter King, NY Congressman

    • May 25, 2020 at 22:02

      This is speculative. The leadership position are to a large degree occupied by seniority, and lucidity and flexibility of thinking may be lowered. My guess is that there was a genuine effort to find a young attractive candidate that would ably carry the torch for their favorite policies. But the best candidates according to last names being easy to pronounce and remember, O’Rourke and Harris, made very poor showing. Then there were two who impressed northern voters to some extend, but as the campaign moved south, they were seriously hindered (I am still shaky on the mayor from Indiana, while last week I read an article praising certain Klobachar, repeating the name many times, as vice-presidential candidate.)

      But calculations were showing that with diversity of opponents, Sanders could get a majority of delegates. Thus pressing the long-named candidates was the only way to stop him.

      And there were many reasons to eliminate Sanders, one stinking more than another, but this is genuine thinking in those quarters. Perhaps they indeed prefer Trump over Sanders. One can list many advantages:

      1. Not hated in Israel.
      2. Not destroying, or threatening to destroy, our cherished health care system, pluralistic and mostly private.
      3. Not promoting “soak the rich” tax plans.
      4. You got the gist.

  15. Sam F
    May 24, 2020 at 18:05

    The Biden threats against Ukraine for insider gain show the abject corruption of the whole US oligarchy. Outrageous that those socialists oppose a DemRep Democracy™ of One nation under Gold, with liberty and justice for gangsters.
    Yet Biden was the only Obama admin person who demanded a viable plan for an Afghan “surge” and was ostracized.

Comments are closed.