Ukraine is investigating alleged Biden phone call on removal of prosecutor

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.

Wapo Says No Proof?

WAPO after listening to all the audio and videos of Ukrainian prosecutors, says there’s no proof Biden did anything illegal, because he specifically didn’t mention Burisma or Hunter. That’s hilarious do you really think they are discuss their specific plans by phone. Golly these journalists are absolutely stupid

Oh yeah it’s a Trumpian plot!

Ukrainian lawmaker releases leaked phone calls of Biden and Poroshenko

May 19, 2020 at 11:25 p.m. EDT

A Ukrainian lawmaker who met with Rudolph W. Giuliani late last year released recordings of private phone calls several years ago between Vice President Joe Biden and Petro Poroshenko, then Ukraine’s president, in a new broadside against the presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president that has raised questions about foreign interference in the 2020 election.

Andriy Derkach, an independent member of Ukraine’s parliament who previously aligned with a pro-Russian faction, said at a news conference in Kyiv on Tuesday that he had received the tapes — which consist of edited fragments of phone conversations Biden and Poroshenko had while still in office — from “investigative journalists.”

He alleged they were made by Poroshenko.

Derkach has past links to Russian intelligence. He attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow. His father served as a KGB officer for decades before becoming head of independent Ukraine’s intelligence service in the late 1990s. His father was fired from that post amid a scandal over a Ukrainian journalist who was kidnapped and murdered.

The recordings played at the news conference Tuesday shed relatively little new light on Biden’s actions in Ukraine, which were at the center of President Trump’s impeachment last year. They show that Biden, as he has previously said publicly, linked loan guarantees for Ukraine to the ouster of the country’s prosecutor general in 2015. But Derkach used the new clips to make an array of accusations not proven by the tapes.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, posted one of the recordings on Twitter hours later and implied impropriety by Biden. “Yikes!!!! This is not a ‘perfect conversation,’ ” Trump Jr. wrote.

The events have echoes of the 2016 presidential election, when Russian operatives hacked and released emails from the campaign manager of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and officials at the Democratic National Committee, in what U.S. intelligence agencies later concluded was a Moscow-directed operation designed to boost Trump.

Trump’s allies, including Giuliani, have argued that Ukraine intervened in that election on Clinton’s behalf, in part by targeting Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The country’s anti-corruption bureau released entries from a black ledger that allegedly showed $12 million in cash payments from its Russia-leaning political party to Manafort during the years in which he worked as a political consultant in Ukraine. Manafort said the document was falsified, but the revelations prompted him to resign from the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016.

At no point in the clips released Tuesday does Biden mention Burisma or his son

Biden has denied discussing the gas company with his son, and his advisers have emphasized that he was pushing for Shokin’s ouster as a matter of U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine, which called for anti-corruption reforms.