Talking Points Memo
Discredited Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin demanded in a Tuesday affidavit that Kyiv prosecutors open a criminal investigation into Joe Biden.
Shokin repeated long-debunked allegations in the declaration, accusing Biden of “blackmail” and violating international law in pushing for Shokin to be fired in 2016.
The filing marks the latest attempt to have Ukraine open a criminal investigation into a potential opponent of President Trump’s in the 2020 election. It comes as the Senate holds an impeachment trial of President Trump over allegations that he attempted to have Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 elections.
Shokin has popped up throughout the pressure campaign on Ukraine as a source of debunked information for President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging that Joe Biden fired Shokin to block an investigation he was conducting into a Ukrainian gas firm on whose board Hunter Biden — the Vice President’s son — sat.
But the facts tell a different story.
Shokin left his post as Ukraine’s top prosecutor amid outcry both within Ukraine and abroad over his lack of progress in investigating corruption cases. One case that Shokin failed to investigate that led to particularly acute criticism — even from the then-U.S. ambassador — was that of Burisma, a gas company whose owner was accused of stealing government funds.
The owner fled Ukraine after the country’s 2014 revolution, and Burisma hired a slew of well-connected foreigners to join its board, including former Polish President Aleksandr Kwasniewski and Hunter Biden.
Shokin was criticized for not investigating corruption at Burisma and, under pressure from Ukraine’s international backers including Joe Biden, was fired in March 2016.
But in the Tuesday affidavit, filed with Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations, Shokin describes himself as a “victim.”
He said that he only resigned “as a result of lengthy pressure on me from U.S. Vice President Joe Biden” which included “blackmail through providing financial guarantees” — a reference to a $1 billion loan guarantee that the U.S. partly conditioned on Ukraine intensifying its anti-corruption efforts, including by firing Shokin.
“As a person who puts the interests of his country above his own, I agreed to step down from the post of general prosecutor of Ukraine,” Shokin added.
Giuliani interviewed Shokin in January 2019, and spoke with the former prosecutor general on camera as part of a One America News TV show which told the story that investigations demanded by Giuliani and Trump aimed to support.
Full segment here.
Shokin described his own conduct in the declaration as having a “principled position” towards bringing the Burisma case to a “quick and objective” resolution. Because of that, he claimed, “Joseph Biden began to have persistent, unpleasant relations towards me,” resulting in both private and public statements demanding Shokin’s firing “in exchange for” a $1 billion loan guarantee.
Shokin went on in the declaration to say that “the illicit influence of Joseph Biden” was evidence of “interfering in the activities of a law enforcement officer.”
Shokin demanded that Ukrainian prosecutors open a criminal investigation based off of his declaration.
A Ukrainian-language version of the filing is available here:
The website Les Crises has published a translation of the complaint filed by Shokin against Biden:
Today we present you this exclusive document: the complaint of former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin against Joe Biden for interference in the legal proceedings of Ukraine – which incidentally cites our UkraineGate investigation …
To the interim director of the National Bureau of Investigation
COMPLAINT [against Joe Biden]
On the commission of a criminal offense
(under article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine)
I have read and understood Article 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine and the liability provided for in Article 383 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Slanderous denunciation of an offense”.
Shokin V.M. (signature).
During the period 2014-2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine was conducting a preliminary investigation into a series of serious crimes committed by the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Mykola Zlotchevsky and by the managers of the company “Burisma Holding Limited “(Cyprus), the board of directors of which included, among others, Hunter Biden, son of Joseph Biden, then vice-president of the United States of America.
The investigation into the above-mentioned crimes was carried out in strict accordance with Criminal Law and was under my personal control as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
Owing to my firm position on the above-mentioned cases regarding their prompt and objective investigation, which should have resulted in the arrest and the indictment of the guilty parties, Joseph Biden developed a firmly hostile attitude towards me which led him to express in private conversations with senior Ukrainian officials, as well as in his public speeches, a categorical request for my immediate dismissal from the post of Attorney General of Ukraine in exchange for the sum of US $ 1 billion in as a financial guarantee from the United States for the benefit of Ukraine.
The facts I have described above are confirmed, among other things, by the official interview of Joseph Biden published in the media (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHoXh42BraI), where he declares that Ukraine will not receive money if I remain in my post as Attorney General.
Throughout the last months of 2015 and the first months of 2016 Joseph Biden, taking advantage of his position, came several times on official visits to Ukraine in order to negotiate with the leaders of the country my eviction and, consequently, the closing of the objective investigation into the offenses committed by persons associated with the company “Burisma Holding Limited” (Cyprus), including the son of the aforementioned US official.
Due to continued pressure from the Vice President of the United States Joseph Biden to oust me from the job by blackmailing the allocation of financial assistance, I, as the man who places the State interests above my personal interests, I agreed to abandon the post of Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
After my resignation caused by illegal pressure, no active investigation into the offenses concerning the company “Burisma Holding Limited” (Cyprus) was carried out and, therefore, the persons implicated in these offenses were not identified, nor arrested or charged.
According to the conclusions of the International Law Association of 18.04.2017, made by the doctor of law, Professor O.O. Merezhko, at the time vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the request of the Vice-President of the United States Joseph Biden concerning my ousting from the post of the Attorney General of Ukraine as a condition for the granting of financial (economic) assistance is qualified as pressure, which represents interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine on the part of a foreign power in violation of one of the principles of international law.
Moreover, the facts of pressure on me as Prosecutor General of Ukraine from Joseph Biden in the circumstances described above are confirmed by an independent journalistic investigation under the name “UkraineGate” conducted and published by the French online media “Les-Crises.fr” available at this link. https://ukrainegate.info/part-2-not-so-dormant-investigations/
Thus, the unlawful influence exerted on me as the head of a judicial structure in the country by Joseph Biden, who abused his power as the Vice-President of the United States in order to prevent me from carrying out my duties as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, thus preventing me from solving serious crimes and arresting the persons who committed those crimes, has the characteristics of the crime stipulated in Article 343 part 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
In accordance with article 214 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine the investigator is obliged without delay but not later than 24 hours from the moment of filing a complaint, reporting a crime, or from the independent discovery of facts testifying to a crime, to bring the information to the Unified Registry of Preliminary Investigations and open the investigation.
I also inform that the agreement on legal assistance No. 00299 was signed on 12.10.2019 between me and the law firm “Leshchenko, Doroshenko and associates” which will represent me, among others, in this case.
The mandate provided for in Article 50 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on behalf of my representatives, lawyers Teleshetsky Oleksandr Yvanovych et Leshchenko Oleksandr Viktorovych, is attached to this complaint.
On the basis of all the above and pursuant to Articles 55, 56, 214 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine,
- To submit to the Unified Registry of Preliminary Investigations, the information on the fact that the citizen of the United States of America Joseph Biden has committed on the territory of Ukraine and beyond its borders a crime against me, including interference in the carrying out of the duties of a representative of a judicial structure, which falls within the scope of article 343 part 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
- To immediately open the preliminary investigation and give written orders to the investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation.
- To be associated, I, V.M. Shokin, with the criminal investigation as a victim, to be delivered a memento on the rights and duties of a victim and to be questioned as a victim.
– mandate for providing legal assistance series KV No. 823666 of 28.01.2020 on 1 sheet,
– certified copy of the right to practise as a lawyer TchTs No. 00173 of 07.28.2017 on 1 sheet,
– mandate for providing legal assistance series KV No. 823665 of 28.01.2020 on 1 sheet,
– certified copy of the right to practise as a lawyer No. 25023 of 01.11.2013 on 1 sheet,
– copy of the conclusions of the International Law Association of 04.18.2017
January 28th, 2020,
Shokin Viktor Mikhailovych
Annexe 1 : Complaint of Viktor Shokin
Annexe 2 : Article 343 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine
Article 343. Interference with activity of a law enforcement officer
1. Any influence on a law enforcement officer for the purpose of interfering with his official duty or obtaining any unlawful decisions, –
shall be punishable by a fine of 50 to 200 tax-free minimum incomes, or correctional labor for a term up to two years, or arrest for a term up to six months.
2. The same actions that precluded the prevention of a criminal offense or apprehension of an offender, or were committed by an official through abuse of office, –
shall be punishable by the deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for a term up to five years, or arrest for a term up to six months, or imprisonment for a term up to four years.
Link to the dispatch of Interfax news agency about this complaint.