The Washington Post ran cover for the Biden campaign after the implicating Hunter Biden bombshell was dropped amid the contested presidential race.
In the defence piece, titled "A quick guide to Trump's false claims about Ukraine and the Bidens," the left-wing news outlet falsely claimed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden did not pressure the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin. Shokin was the top Ukrainian prosecutor, who was investigating the country's largest private gas company, Burisma. The energy firm had added Biden’s son, Hunter, to its board in 2014 at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
According to the New York Post's exclusive, Shokin had said at the time of his firing, in March 2016, that he intended "specific plans" to investigate Burisma that "included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden."
However, WaPo alleges that Shokin was not investigating Burisma or Hunter Biden and "Shokin's ouster was considered a diplomatic victory."
"Biden was among the many Western officials who pressed for the removal of Shokin because he actually was not investigating the corruption endemic to the country," WaPo continued. "Indeed, he was not investigating Burisma at the time."
Then the publication claimed that in September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly criticized Shokin’s office for "thwarting a British money-laundering probe into Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky."
And apparently, a leading Ukrainian anti-corruption activist disputed Shokin’s assertion that he was investigating Burisma.
"Shokin was not investigating. He didn't want to investigate Burisma," Daria Kaleniuk of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center reportedly told WaPo in July. "And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation."
This despite the NY Post revelation that Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-the vice president under the Obama administration, to a high-level Burisma executive less than a year before the elder Biden pressured Ukraine government officials to fire Shokin.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, sent in leaked emails obtained by the New York Post.
"Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It's realty [sic] an honor and pleasure," the correspondence reads.
Additionally, while the Biden campaign declared that they had no record of Biden meeting with Burisma businessmen, Politico reported that: "Biden's campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn't appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory. Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment."
An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s tertiary top exec, asking Biden's son for "advice on how you could use your influence" on the company’s behalf.
And less than eight months after Pozharskyi thanked Hunter Biden for the connection to his dad, the Democratic presidential hopeful admittedly pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk into booting Shokin by threatening to withhold a $1 billion American loan guarantee during a December 2015 trip to Kiev.
"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 infamously bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018. "Well, son of a b*tch. He got fired."
Biden pointed to corruption concerns in his retold version of his role in Shokin’s removal, using the financial threat as leverage to force action.
"One can certainly raise questions about Hunter Biden's judgment in joining Burisma's board at a time his father had a high-profile role in working with Ukraine's government," WaPo conceded slightly.
"But by continuing to claim that Biden 'did' something for his son, Trump persists in spreading a false narrative about a diplomatic maneuver hailed at the time as a step toward reducing corruption in Ukraine."
This flies in the face of Biden's claim on Fox News last year that he has "never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings" despite the potentially incriminating evidence contained in a massive trove of data that was recovered from an abandoned laptop. The Apple device—presumably Hunter Biden's bearing a Beau Biden Foundation sticker—was reportedly dropped off at a computer repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware.
It appears that WaPo's "fact-checking analysis" only offers defense for the publication's preferred presidential candidate.
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