Will there ever be a Congressional investigation into a former U.S. vice-president’s dealings with and in Ukraine?
The Ukrainians hope there will be.
Will the Ukrainian government seek the extradition of the U.S. presidential candidate (and his son Hunter) for what they say are criminal activities?
The Ukrainians aren’t saying.
The scandal has been known for years: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.’s son Hunter sat on the board of a corporation known as Burisma. It is described as a holding company for a group of energy exploration and production companies. While it is officially based in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, it has been registered in Limassol, Cyprus. Reasons for a puzzle like that are many, most of them rather foggy. But then again, tax havens and similar hiding places have been used by many corporations all over the world.
It’s not too shocking, either, that Hunter Biden never had an iota of experience in this kind of business. He was being paid millions of U.S. dollars simply because his presence on Burisma’s board would open a number of previously closed doors. Not thanks to his overwhelming personality. Thanks to his father’s political influence.
All of this may be described as shady, but the scandal is hidden elsewhere.
Admission on live TV
Former president Barack Hussein Obama’s second-in-command has been quite open about his use of the power of his office to steer the matters in Ukraine his way. The video in which Mr. Biden describes how he forced then-president of Ukraine Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko to immediately fire his country’s then-prosecutor Viktor Shokin to make sure his probe into Hunter Biden’s strange financial dealings would be stopped is frank and pretty open. In the video, the former U.S. vice-president describes with glee how he told Ukraine’s president that either he would obey right away or his country would lose more than a billion of U.S. dollars in loan guarantees from the U.S. government.
Biden gave Poroshenko just a few hours, and he succeeded.
Except: times have changed, and today’s president of the Republic of Ukraine, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, is of the view that Mr. Biden’s cynical and open insult to Ukraine’s pride should not go unpunished.
With an eye set firmly on the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, it seems obvious that various leaks about the affair, culminating with an official news conference, could not have been staged without Mr. Zelenskyy’s nod. Yes, obviously, he agreed to do so behind the scenes. And not many would expect anyone to confirm it.
The two main speakers were an independent member of Ukraine’s parliament (officially known as Supreme Council, Верховна Рада Украї́ни) Andrei Leonidovych Derkach, accompanied by an attorney with the General Attorney office, Konstantin Kulik.
The fact that Interfax (Интерфакс) is a privately-held Russian news agency with its head office based in Moscow, adds a certain piquancy to the story. It claims it has always been an independent outlet. That, of course, defies verification.
Still, the other fact, namely that Interfax played more than an hour of audio recordings of telephone conversations between then-president Poroshenko and then-vice-president Biden, supplying the journalists in the room with written transcripts, couldn’t have happened just like that. They had to get the stuff from someone somewhere. Mr. Derkach said he got the recordings from some journalists.
Whence did the journalists get them? From Ukraine’s ex-president Mr. Poroshenko.
An unusually active envoy
They also confirmed the role the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Mary Yovanovitch, played in the entire mess, debunking all kinds of conspiracy theories spread by U.S. mainstream media. According to U.S. mainstream media, Ms. Yovanovitch was a victim of American president Donald J. Trump’s witch hunt. According to documentation provided by Ukrainian officials, she was a real witch.
The only question that remains: will U.S. authorities act upon the information revealed originally quite some time ago?
Ukrainian journalists, in writing about the affair, have pointed out that the Burisma scandal was just the tip of an iceberg. According to their reports, Mr. Biden acted almost as a mafia godfather when it came to some high-profile appointments within Ukraine’s administration. They also wrote that the former U.S. vice-president was involved in pushing laws through Ukraine’s parliament, laws that would help him and his family and friends. And they point out that the recordings reveal Mr. Biden’s role when it came to the privatization of one of Ukraine’s major banks.
The Biden family and their friends’ involvement in what the Ukrainian officials consider one of the worst scandals to ever happen in their country stinks to high heaven, if proven.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. himself made sure the proof was forthcoming in his own boastful pronouncements on live TV. Will they come back to haunt him?
Not if the U.S. mainstream media have anything to say about it.