The ex-Ukraine prosecutor fired at Joe Biden’s behest for investigating a Ukrainian gas company that had his son Hunter on its board claims the Bidens accepted bribes in exchange for his firing and that there have been attempts on his life.
Viktor Shokin, 70, said: ‘I have no doubt that there were illegal activities engaged in by Burisma’ – the natural gas firm he had been investigating when he was pulled as prosecutor by Ukraine’s then-president in 2016.
The bombshell claims were made to Brian Kilmeade on Saturday’s ‘One Nation’, in an interview that saw the former chief prosecutor also assert he was twice poisoned by those trying to keep their actions quiet.
The White House, meanwhile, maintains Burisma was corrupt, and that Shokin’s firing – which the then-vice president demanded – stemmed for not addressing such corruption. In a statement, they slammed Fox for giving a ‘platform to lies’ by airing the interview.
Shokin, however, said the corruption lies with Biden and his second son – whom he claimed was brought on to the gas company’s board in 2013 to ‘provide protection’ for its CEO, from his own probes into their alleged bribery.
Speaking to Fox News, Former Ukraine chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin, 70, said he was fired for investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board, and that the then-vice president influenced his ouster in 2016
Republicans have said Hunter’s Burisma entanglement and possible influence in Shokin’s firing is evidence of the Biden family’s influence peddling scheme. Shokin said the father and son accepted bribes, and that he was twice poisoned for his investigation into the oil and gar company
‘As a matter of fact,’ he added, ‘the criminal case had been started before me,’ Shokin said in the interview which was translated from Russian.
Shokin served as the country’s prosecutor general between 2015 and 2016, whereas Hunter was brought onto Burisma’s staff as attorney in 2013 – before becoming a board member the year after and for the next five years.
During that span, Hunter and his business partner Devon Archer, also brought on as a Burisma board member, were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their work with the company.
Days after Archer was brought on, British officials seized $23 million from the London bank accounts of Burisma’s founder and CEO, Mykola Zlochevsky, and days later, Hunter became a board member.
However, Hunter’s position on the board created an immediate conflict of interest that would prove to problematic for both US and Ukrainian officials, Shokin said – with the latter aware that Hunter’s appointment by Zlochevsky was one meant to achieve leverage.
It was around this time, Shokin said, that ‘[his criminal case] continued to expand, and Zlochevsky, who at the time held the post of minister and was the founder and CEO of Burisma, started bringing in people who could provide protection for him.’
‘Hunter Biden was among them,’ he revealed, claiming the company’s corruption network ‘expanded’ as a result.
He told Kilmeade: ‘So, yes, to answer your question, there was no doubt in my mind that Burisma was engaged in illegal activities.’
‘I have no doubt that there were illegal activities engaged in by Burisma,’ the pulled prosecutor general told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, in a translated interview that aired on Saturday’s ‘One Nation’.
Shokin on Saturday said the corruption lies with Biden and his second son – whom he claimed was brought on to the Ukrainian gas company’s board in 2013 to ‘provide protection’ for its CEO from his own probes into alleged bribery
Shokin served as the country’s prosecutor general between 2015 and 2016, whereas Hunter was brought onto Burisma’s staff as attorney in 2013 -before becoming a board member the year after and for the next five years
Hunter’s position on the board created an immediate conflict of interest that would prove to problematic for both US and Ukraine officials, with the latter aware that Hunter’s appointment by Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky (seen here) was one meant to achieve leverage
Burisma was accused of evading one billion Ukrainian Hryvnia (up to $63 million) of taxes during Hunter’s time as a board member, particularly in 2014 and 2015, opening up possible liabilities for those signing off on its accounts.
Shokin said Saturday that if he had been allowed to continue his investigation unhindered by outside influenced, he would have uncovered a scheme involving both of the Bidens and Archer as well.
Last month, Archer – who is free on bail as he appeals his conviction on unrelated fraud charges – testified in a closed-door House Oversight Committee hearing that, amid pressure from Shokin’s office while it was investigating Burisma, company leaders turned to Hunter for help.
That, Shokin claimed, culminated in his firing by then Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 – cutting both his tenure at the General Prosecutor’s Office and his investigation in Bursima’s dealings short.
‘Had I continued to oversee the Burisma investigation,’ Shokin told Kilmeade, ‘we would have found the facts about the corrupt activities that they were engaging in.
‘That included both Hunter Biden and Devon Archer and others.’
The fallen prosecutor added of the widening allegations against the Bidens – which include that Biden flew to Ukraine to demand prosecutors drop the Shokin’s Burisma Holdings investigation in December 2015 – ‘I do not want to deal in unproven facts, but my firm personal conviction is that, yes, this was the case.
‘They were being bribed.’
Citing a billion-dollar payout in US aid to Ukraine Biden boasted publicly about threatening to withhold until Shokin was fired, Shokin further asserted: ‘And the fact that Joe Biden gave away $1 billion in U.S. money in exchange for my dismissal, my firing isn’t that alone a case of corruption?’
During that span, Hunter and his business partner Devon Archer (pictured), also brought on as a Burisma board member, were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their work with the company, Shokin said
Devon Archer, far left, golfing in the Hamptons with former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, far right, in 2014. He testified in a closed-door House Oversight Committee hearing in July that, amid pressure from Shokin’s office while it was investigating Burisma, company leaders turned to Hunter for help
A top Republican has tore into this ‘damning’ photo of Biden with a Hunter-linked aide Amos Hochstein on Air Force Two while they were flying to Ukraine to demand prosecutors drop the Shokin’s Burisma Holdings investigation in December 2015
That brag surfaced on a recorded 2015 call with then-president Poroshenko pushing for the top prosecutor’s dismissal, which would come just a few months later.
The official then bizarrely claimed there have been attempts on his life because of his probe into the alleged corruption.
‘The damage has been done. Definitely,’ Shokin said in the hightly anticipated interview, his first in years. ‘I have long been concerned about my personal safety and security.
‘I’ve already died technically, twice, as I was poisoned with Mercury,’ he added, not providing evidence for the claim.
The firestorm of controversy surrounding Shokin’s narrative – as well as Joe’s intervention in Ukraine allegedly on his son’s behalf – has been dubbed a ‘debunked conspiracy theory’ by the left, but is now being championed by Republicans as a reason for impeaching the president.
An FBI informant file made public last month gave more substance to that argument, revealing that Zlochevsky claimed in 2016 that he was ‘coerced’ into paying a $10 million bribe to the president and his son in exchange for Shokin’s ouster.
Then, this week, alleged internal Obama-Biden administration emails from 2016 published by Just the News this week showed officials express shock that Biden at the time was pushing for Shokin’s ouster as a condition of US aid.
Shokin, meanwhile, told Kilmeade Saturday that the probe into Burisma was ‘an ordinary case’, but that the firm’s connection to the Biden’s demanded special attention.
Former Ukranian Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin is accusing Joe and Hunter Biden of ‘corruption’
The former Ukranian Prosecutor-General also bizarrely claimed there have been attempts on his life because of his probe into the alleged corruption
He also denied being corrupt himself, citing how the US has yet to produce a concrete example of his misdeeds against him.
‘I would appreciate if any of these highly respectable publications could come up with a single instance or a single example of my personal corruption or any offense whatsoever allegedly committed by me,’ he said, citing reports from outlets such as the New York Times.
‘Since I was fired, nobody, including Joe Biden, has cited or mentioned or provided any examples of my corruption or any offense allegedly committed by me.’
Shokin’s claims that he was directly investigating Hunter – and was shut down as a result – are set to add fuel to the flames of already swirling speculation about the Biden family, after Archer claimed Hunter committed an ‘abuse of soft power’ by putting his dad on speakerphone during business meetings when Joe Biden knew there were associates in the room.
Citing more than 20 instances over a 10 year period, Archer said the maneuver was meant to come off as a ‘signal’ of ‘value,’ and that Hunter regularly used his dad as ‘defensive leverage.’
Hunter and Archer both joined the Burisma board in 2014 with a salary of $1 million per year. Archer took his role just days after meeting with Joe at the White House.
At the time, Burisma owner Zlochevsky was under investigation by Ukrainian, US and UK authorities at the time for corruptly obtaining gas licenses and alleged fraud.
Stories in the New York Times and Washington Post have dismissed the connection between the events, reporting that the investigation of Burisma was ‘dormant’ under Shokin’s 13-month stint as chief prosecutor, and that his firing was pushed by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and US policy due to his lackluster approach to prosecutions.
Records obtained by DailyMail.com show Shokin opened and pursued cases against Zlochevsky, seized his assets, and even prosecuted his own staff for letting the oligarch steal away to Cyprus with $23 million temporarily frozen by a British court.
Documents published this month show top White House and State Department officials were ‘impressed’ with his office’s work as late as January 2016, while bureaucrats deemed the Ukrainian government made ‘sufficient progress’ to warrant a $1 billion loan in October 2015, shortly before Biden threatened to withhold the cash.
Shokin was promoted from his deputy role to chief prosecutor in February 2015.
His predecessor had botched an investigation into Burisma the previous year, failing to provide a UK court with enough evidence to uphold a freeze on Zlochevsky’s assets.
Archer’s testimony included details that point to shady dealing or possible criminality by the President’s son, and potentially corrupt links with Joe
In June 2015 Shokin launched a probe into gas licenses issued while Zlochevsky was environment minister, and another to root out alleged accomplices in the prosecutor’s office.
He met with US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt the next month, and his office published a press release on the Zlochevsky ‘investigation’s progress… in particular the intensification of cooperation with the British in this direction’.
In public statements Pyatt slammed the endemic corruption in the prosecutor’s office, but did not call him out by name.
Ukrainian news sites reported ‘two cottages, two land plots, a household of 922 sq.m., a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a trailer’ belonging to Zlochevsky were seized at Shokin’s behest in February 2015.
Shokin also publicly complained in October that year about the UK court unfreezing Zlochevsky’s assets, and launched a joint probe with British and European authorities, according to a report in the Kyiv Post.
On June 11 2015, top State Department official Victoria Nuland replied to a letter from Shokin on then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s behalf, saying the department had ‘been impressed with the ambitious reform and anti-corruption agenda of your government.’
‘The ongoing reform of your office, law enforcement, and the judiciary will enable you to investigate and prosecute corruption and other crimes in an effective, fair, and transparent manner,’ Nuland wrote.
A task force of State, Justice and Treasury officials reviewing the proposed $1 billion loan to Ukraine concluded in October 2015 that ‘Ukraine has made sufficient progress on its reform agenda to justify a third guarantee’, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by website Just the News.
The review did not tie the loan to the dismissal of Shokin, despite Joe’s later push for his firing.
Despite the murky dealings of the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, testimony from insiders makes it clear that Zlochevsky was concerned about the probe
President Joe Biden addresses the Ukraine Parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2015
And National Security Council staffer Eric Ciaramella wrote in a January 21 2016 email his team were ‘super impressed’ with staff from Shokin’s office after a two-hour meeting with them.
But even if Shokin’s Burisma probe was vigorous, his other corruption investigations were seen to be lacking.
The justice chief’s public support in Ukraine was ailing over his failure to prosecute criminals from the corrupt previous administration, and protestors were calling for his and others’ resignation in street demonstrations in the capital.
His image took a serious hit in July 2015 when his dogged deputy David Sakvarelidze found two of Shokin’s allies and employees had an apartment with bags of $400,000 cash, 65 diamonds, copies of Shokin’s passports and a Kalashnikov rifle.
Sakvarelidze’s probe was shelved and he was pushed out of his job, according to a 2019 report by the Independent.
From late 2015, Biden ramped up his own efforts to take down Shokin. In the eight days before his eventual sacking in March 2016, Biden phoned Poroshenko four times to hammer home the threat that aid would not be forthcoming without his resignation, his former aides told the LA Times.
In a January 2018 talk for the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden boasted that he told Poroshenko at the time: ‘We’re not going to give you the billion dollars… If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’ adding: ‘Well, son of a b***h, he got fired.’
Despite the murky dealings of the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, testimony from insiders makes it clear that Zlochevsky was concerned about the probe.
In testimony to Congress earlier this month, Hunter’s fellow Burisma board member Archer said the Burisma owner and his executive Vadym Pozharskyi ‘placed constant pressure’ on Hunter to get help from ‘Washington DC’ to deal with Shokin’s probe.
Archer claimed he witnessed Hunter and the Burisma owner ‘called DC’ to discuss the matter in December 2015.
‘Shokin was considered a threat to the business,’ Archer said during a subsequent interview with Tucker Carlson.
‘Shokin was taking a close look at Burisma,’ he said. ‘He was a threat. He ended up seizing assets of [Zlochevsky].’
The White House, meanwhile, said this week that Fox News, by airing the Shokin interview, of providing a ‘platform to lies’.
‘For years, these false claims have been debunked, and no matter how much air time Fox gives them, they will remain false,’ White House spokesperson Ian Sams said.
‘Fox is giving a platform for these lies to a former Ukrainian prosecutor general whose office his own deputy called ‘a hotbed of corruption’, drawing demands for reform not only from then-Vice President Biden but also from U.S. diplomats, international partners, and Republican Senators like Ron Johnson.’