Ex-Ukraine prosecutor said he was told to back off probe of Biden-linked firm, files show

The fired prosecutor at the center of the Ukraine controversy said during a private interview with President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani earlier this year that he was told to back off an investigation involving a natural gas firm that was linked to Joe Biden’s son, according to details of that interview that were handed over to Congress by the State Department’s inspector general Wednesday.

Fox News obtained a copy of Giuliani’s notes from his January 2019 interview with fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in which he claimed that his “investigations stopped out of fear of the United States.”

“Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” the notes from the interview stated. The notes also claimed Shokin was told Biden had held up U.S. aid to Ukraine over the investigation.

Shokin was fired in April 2016, and his case was “closed by the current Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko,” according to the notes. Despite his claims, Shokin, on both sides of the Atlantic, had been widely accused of corruption.

But Biden's role is back in the spotlight after Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over Trump's efforts to convince Ukraine to look into Biden's actions.

Biden, who has been seeking to unseat President Trump in 2020, once famously boasted on camera that when he was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin who was the top prosecutor at the time. He had been investigating the founder of Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden had a lucrative role on the board.

Allies of the Democrat, though, maintained that his intervention prompting the firing of Shokin had nothing to do with his son, but rather was tied to the corruption concerns. The Biden campaign has also slammed Giuliani and blasted media outlets for giving him air time. The campaign wrote to NBC News, CBS News, Fox News and CNN to voice “grave concern that you continue to book Rudy Giuliani on your air to spread false, debunked conspiracy theories on behalf of Donald Trump.”

“The substance of President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s claims has been roundly discredited,” Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said last week. “This is not a claim from the campaign or Joe Biden. This is an irrefutable fact.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that by the time of Biden's intervention, the Burisma probe had been dormant.

However, Shokin, at the time, according to the interview, was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, the former minister of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine — also the founder of Burisma. Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of the firm, which Shokin claimed was an appointment made by Zlochevsky “in order to protect himself.”

The interview purportedly conducted by Giuliani took place on Jan. 23, 2019 at an office on Park Avenue in New York City. Shokin was interviewed over the phone, and interpreters were used — one in Ukraine and one in New York, according to the notes obtained by Fox News.

In a statement to Fox News after this report was first published, Giuliani said the details were gathered before Biden announced his presidential run and the allegations were brought to him.

"I explored them as part of my duty as an attorney to show that the crimes committed, were not by my client, but by Democrats. I was not seeking to investigate Joe Biden. I was not investigating Joe Biden," Giuliani said.

He also confirmed that he brought the documents to the State Department, saying that he was disappointed they had not been investigated.

"Maybe they will now," he said.

The new documents were shared with Fox News by sources familiar with the “urgent” briefing held by State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Wednesday.

Read More: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ukraine-prosecutor-biden-burisma-back-off-state-department-files?fbclid=IwAR2O6Pc6Ff7Pc0TdRx2ep4oI_IPM-sY7VLHa3aRr3djhk41L2AnKAugvwTw

My thoughts:

Bought by Biden and paid for by taxpayers.