Ukraine is investigating alleged Biden phone call on removal of prosecutor
Ukraine’s government is reportedly investigating the release of audio recordings that purport to contain a conversation between Ukraine’s former president and former Vice President Joe Biden
The recordings, released by a Ukrainian lawmaker this week, have not yet been verified and reportedly do not contain any references to wrongdoing on Biden’s part. Their release comes amid an investigation targeting allies of the former Ukrainian president, The Associated Press reported.
“They governed the country in such a way that they could face many twists and convictions,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, who is purported to be one of the voices on the tape. Zelensky has repeatedly accused him of corruption.
One analyst told the AP that the recordings did not appear to contain any damaging information or suggestions of wrongdoing.
Allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump taps Brooke Rollins as acting domestic policy chief Trump takes pandemic fight to Michigan Trump to celebrate Memorial Day at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry MORE have long suggested that Biden was involved in efforts to fire a top prosecutor in Ukraine who was investigating Burisma Holdings, a company for which Biden’s son served as a board member. The company is reportedly not mentioned in the recordings.
Instead, the person identified as Poroshenko on the tapes is heard discussing the removal of the prosecutor, which he says in the recording was done to secure financial aid from the U.S.
“There is nothing super sensational in these conversations. Where is the dirt on Biden? Where is the reference to Burisma?” Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Ukrainian-based think tank Penta, told the AP.
“None of it is there. Instead these are conversations between a dependent foreign politician and his boss, which is a sad but natural reality for us here, but is unlikely to impress the Americans,” he added.
Poroshenko said in a statement posted to Facebook that the recordings were falsified and part of a Russian-backed effort to “undermine bipartisan support of Ukraine in the United States.” The former Ukrainian leader called Biden a “friend” and “ally” of Ukraine and criticized Zelensky.
The Biden campaign declined to comment to the AP.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 22, 2020