Memo Shows Obama Officials Wanted To Award Ukraine Aid Before Biden Used It To Oust Top Prosecutor

An Obama administration task force determined in late 2015 that Ukraine merited a $1 billion loan guarantee before then-Vice President Joe Biden leveraged the aid to oust a controversial prosecutor.

A task force made up of officials from the departments of Justice, State, and Treasury said Ukraine had made sufficient progress toward combatting corruption to merit a third $1 billion loan guarantee, according to a memo obtained by Just The News. Weeks later, Biden instead used the offer to force Ukraine to oust its top prosecutor at the time, Viktor Shokin.

“The [Interagency Policy Committee (IPC)] concluded that (1) Ukraine has made sufficient progress on its reform agenda to justify a third guarantee and (2) Ukraine has an economic need for the guarantee and it is in our strategic interest to provide one,” the October 1, 2015, IPC task force memo says. “As such, the IPC recommends moving forward with a third loan guarantee for Ukraine in the near‐term.”

Despite the recommendation, Biden, who was then leading U.S. policy toward Ukraine, insisted on Shokin’s ouster before offering Ukraine the loan guarantee. At the time, diplomats from across the West had raised doubts about Shokin; the Ukrainian prosecutor was widely seen as corrupt.

Shokin was also a threat to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which had recently added Biden’s son, Hunter, to its board and was pursuing energy contracts in the United States, according to Devon Archer, one of Hunter’s former business partners. A court granted Shokin’s office permission to seize assets from a top Burisma executive in February 2016.

“He was a threat. He ended up seizing assets of [Burisma owner] Nikolai [Zlochevsky] — a house, some cars, a couple properties. And Nikolai actually never went back to Ukraine after Shokin seized all of his assets,” Archer told Tucker Carlson in an interview released earlier this month.Ep. 13 Part 2. Devon Archer

— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 4, 2023

Other memos show that some Obama administration officials had sought to work with Shokin, inviting his team for a strategy session and telling him they were “impressed” with his work. Another memo also shows that Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma was a point of contention within the administration that one official said directly undercut the United States’ anti-corruption mission in the country, according to Just The News.

Shokin was believed to be corrupt and had been at the center of many complaints from foreign diplomats. Biden pushed then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to oust Shokin in December 2015. The Ukrainian parliament voted to oust the controversial prosecutor in March 2016.

Biden bragged about his hand in the affair years later in 2018 at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden said at the time. “Well, son of a b****, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Biden’s actions in Ukraine were scrutinized during former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment and Senate trial. Trump was impeached over a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to look into allegations of corruption on the part of Biden. Biden has been suspected of pushing for Shokin’s ouster in order to protect Burisma and Hunter’s role on the board.

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