Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) is working to verify a document that claims a firm linked to Ukrainian company Burisma apologized for a “misinformation campaign” against the country’s former prosecutor-general, Viktor Shokin, whom Joe Biden bragged about getting fired.
The Washington, DC-based lobbying firm affiliated with Burisma, Blue Star Strategies, has become a target of Sen. Johnson’s investigation into the Ukraine dealings of Joe and his son Hunter, particularly in connection to Burisma.
On Wednesday, Sen. Johnson told Fox News that he is also seeking to answer why the Ukrainian government ousted Shokin, noting:
Why was general prosecutor Shokin fired? I can’t get that from the U.S. government. I know it was a big explanation that everybody wanted him fired, but there is a document and we have to verify it, but there is a document supposedly contemporaneous that said that the contact by Blue Star to the prosecutor general’s office was all about apologizing for the misinformation campaign conducted against Shokin.Kind of raises some eyebrows, some questions that need to be answered.
Johnson pushed back against allegations that he has intensified the Biden-Ukraine probe because Joe is now a front-runner for the Democrat party’s presidential nomination, saying, “The American people deserve to know what happened.”
“It’s not our fault that Joe Biden, Hunter Biden got wrapped up in the whole Ukrainian story,” Johnson told Fox News. “We are not closing our eyes to this.”
Ukrainian investigators have also launched a probe into alleged pressure by Joe that led to the removal of Shokin in 2016.
Hunter, the son of the former vice president and White House hopeful Joe Biden, served on Burisma’s board of directors between 2014 and 2019.
Hunter took the job while his father was in charge of U.S. policy towards Ukraine, prompting corruption and conflict of interest concerns from individuals inside and outside the Obama administration that were ultimately rebuffed by the vice president’s office in 2015.
While working for Burisma, Hunter got paid a lucrative $83,000 per month despite having no experience in energy matters – more money than the average executives who sit on major corporate boards.
The Bidens have denied any wrongdoing, claiming that Shokin’s removal was not the result of unilateral action directed by Joe.
Anti-corruption reforms crafted by the U.S. in coordination with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reportedly prompted Shokin’s removal. Sen. Johnson indicated that Blue Star Strategies’ misinformation campaign may be behind the narrative that everyone wanted Shokin fired.
However, Shokin, echoing President Donald Trump and his supporters, claimed he was fired in March 2016 because he wanted to investigate Hunter’s role on Burisma’s board of directors. Investigators have linked Burisma to corruption.
Sen. Johnson indicated this week that there is no evidence that the Bidens engaged in wrongdoing in Ukraine because no one has looked into the matter.
In 2018, Joe bragged about the fact that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine if the Eastern European country did not fire Shokin.
Hunter has a history of using his father’s political influence for financial gain.
Sen. Johnson recently announced that he is pushing for the first subpoena of the Biden-Ukraine probe.
On Sunday, he sent a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, detailing his intentions to issue a subpoena to former Ukraine diplomatic aide Andrii Telizhenko, who worked for Blue Star Strategies.
Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he is planning to release an interim report on his Biden-Ukraine probe within one to two months.