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Ukraine to revisit investigations into company connected to Biden’s son

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zalensky Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the InterContinental New York Barclay in New York City. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
October 04, 2019

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka will be revisiting investigations into Burisma Holdings, the gas company that employed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

The prosecutor’s office announced in a statement on Friday that the reviews will be conducted into those previously closed by the former prosecutor, including the cases involving Burisma, which was previously probed for alleged corruption, the Associated Press reported.

“We are now reviewing all the cases that were closed or split into several parts or were investigated before, in order to be able to rule to reverse those cases where illegal procedural steps were taken,” Ryaboshapka said.

Hunter Biden was hired in 2014 by Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, while his father Joe Biden headed diplomacy with Ukraine while serving as vice president during the Obama administration.

Burisma Holdings reportedly came under scrutiny over its ownership by Zlochevskiy, who served as an ecology minister under then-President Viktor Yanukovych. The company was investigated for allegations that it profited from illegal gas production licenses under Zlochevskiy’s work as the ecology minister.

Although Ukraine has not yet acknowledged wrongdoing in prior probes of the company, Joe Biden had said on video in 2018 that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to fire their prosecutor.

During his comments at a panel for the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, Biden detailed his conversations with Ukrainian officials regarding the former prosecutor,

“I said we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said ‘you can’t do that, you have no authority, you’re not the president,’” Biden remarked. “I said call [President Obama], I told you you’re not getting a billion dollars.”

Biden said he gave Ukrainian government officials a six-hour window before he would leave Ukraine and said, “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.”

“Well son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden continued. “And they put in place someone who was solid.”

The investigation into Burisma has been at the center of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, as critics accused him of withholding $391 million in military aid to Ukraine and pressuring Zelensky to investigate the Bidens for political gain.

The call transcript released last week revealed no mention of military aid, and included one mention of the Bidens in which Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the matter after initially asking for an investigation into intelligence company Crowdstrike.

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike,” Trump had said during the call.

“I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it,” Trump said. “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that· you. do it if that’s possible.”

After that, Trump mentioned Biden.

“The other thing, There’s a lot of. talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…it sounds horrible to me,” Trump added.

The whistleblower complaint released a day after the call transcript indicated no additional information, and revealed the complaint was based off second-hand information.