Comer demands State Dept. explain 'sudden' decisions leading to firing of Ukrainian prosecutor probing Burisma


House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is demanding answers from the State Department on the "sudden foreign policy decisions" during the Obama administration that led to the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma Holdings while Hunter Biden sat on the board of the company.

Comer, R-Ky., penned a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday requesting information on those decisions as part of his investigation into whether President Biden was connected to his son Hunter's overseas business activities.

"The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s connections to certain international and domestic business transactions and practices, including his family and associates peddling influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family," Comer wrote to Blinken Tuesday, seeking information from the State Department to provide "context for certain sudden foreign policy changes that occurred while Joe Biden was Vice President, particularly regarding Ukraine while then-Vice President Biden’s son served on the board of directors of a company being investigated for corruption."

Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin led the Office of the Prosecutor General in February 2015 during an ongoing, international investigation focused on alleged corruption surrounding Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky.

In April 2014, while his father was serving as vice president of the United States, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings, which brought him an annual salary of approximately $1 million.

"The Committee seeks to understand the State Department’s sudden change in disposition towards the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General in late 2015," Comer said.

In June 2014, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland wrote to Shokin "applauding his office’s progress in anti-corruption efforts."

In September 2015, then-U. S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly stated "we want to work with Prosecutor General Shokin so the [Prosecutor General Office] is leading the fight against corruption."

Also in September 2015, the Interagency Policy Committee said that Shokin had made sufficient progress in combating corruption to warrant a third guarantee of a $1 billion loan."

But it was in November 2015 that then-Vice President Biden participated in a phone call with then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko. During that call, Comer notes that Biden did not provide any indication that U. S. policy regarding Ukraine "required the dismissal" of Shokin.... (Read more)

Submitted 285 days ago

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