The roaring controversy over President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and their respective actions toward Ukraine sorely lacks some key language: the word “extortion” and the phrase “obstruction of justice.”
In March 2016, then-Vice President Biden told Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko that the Eastern European nation would not get a $1 billion U.S. government loan guarantee unless it fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma Holdings — a natural gas extraction company whose board of directors included Hunter Biden, the veep’s son.
Shokin told The Hill’s John Solomon that plans for his probe “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
Hunter Biden reportedly earned some $50,000 per month for his services, although he had no expertise in gas production and didn’t know Ukraine from Utah. He was experienced, however, in being the son of the vice president of the United States who, as luck would have it, “was serving as the Obama administration’s point man on relations with Ukraine and rooting out bureaucratic corruption,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Joe Biden must have been aware of Hunter’s term on Burisma’s board. Indeed, major news organizations raised serious questions about this arrangement.
“Hunter Biden’s new job at Ukrainian gas company is a problem for U.S. soft power,” read a May 14, 2014, Washington Post headline. And a June 8, 2014 Fox News story was headlined: “Ukraine energy firm hiring Biden’s son raises ethical concerns”
Joe Biden discussed his March 2016 showdown with Poroshenko in remarks before the Council on Foreign Relations, of which I am a member, on January 23, 2018.
“I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee,” the former vice president explained about his mission to Kiev, per the CFR’s transcript. “And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from [then-Prime Minister Arseniy] Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.”
“I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars,’” Biden continued. “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.’ Well, son of a b----. (Laughter.) He got fired.”
Biden’s actions reek of extortion and obstruction of justice.
And President Trump is the bad guy?
Also, the allegation that Trump pressured Ukraine’s current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Biden’s behavior supposedly is based on the complaint of a mysterious whistleblower.
However, it now transpires that this supposed whistleblower is not an eyewitness or even an earwitness to the Trump-Zelensky conversation. So, rather than a whistleblower, or perhaps a dog whistle, this entire fandango — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s just-announced impeachment inquiry — is fueled by merely an echo of a whistle. In other words, hearsay.
Conversely, Biden’s incriminating words were neither overheard nor just transcribed. In fact, he said this on camera at an on-the-record CFR meeting. Video tape exists of Biden boasting about securing the dismissal of the man who was probing his son’s possible graft.
So, apparently it’s a potentially impeachable offense for President Trump to raise Biden’s possible obstruction of justice in a conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky, which Kiev’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko called “long, friendly” and “no pressure.”
Meanwhile, it’s perfectly OK that the former vice president, as he personally crowed, blackmailed then-President Poroshenko into firing the top prosecutor who was investigating Hunter Biden’s possible graft.
Successfully sacking one’s son’s prosecutor via extortion: This is the textbook definition of obstruction of justice.
If Democrats did not have double standards, they would have no standards at all.
And, like a guy with a red-rubber nose and giant, floppy shoes who screams "STOP CLOWNING AROUND!" the Democrats, yet again, are doing what they do best: psychological projection.