Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin revealed in an exclusive interview with Fox News that he was dismissed during the Obama years for investigating Burisma, the energy company on whose board of directors Hunter Biden served.
During an interview with Brian Kilmeade of Fox News, scheduled to broadcast on Saturday at 8 p.m., Shokin stated that he was dismissed because then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were bribed, as the network reported.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fired Shokin in 2016, a year after hiring him, due to Shokin's alleged malfeasance and U.S. government pressure led by Vice President Biden.
"I have said repeatedly in my previous interviews that Poroshenko fired me at the insistence of the then Vice President Biden because I was investigating Burisma," Shokin said in the interview.
"[Poroshenko] understood and so did [then] Vice President Biden, that had I continued to oversee the Burisma investigation, 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."
Shokin's Take on the Bidens
Shokin added that he believed Joe and Hunter Biden received bribes in connection with the case, although he provided no evidence to support this claim.
"I do not want to deal in unproven facts, but my firm personal conviction is that, yes, this was the case," he added. "They were being bribed. 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?"
White House spokesperson Ian Sams contradicted the former Ukrainian prosecutor, telling Fox News, "For years, these false claims have been debunked, and no matter how much airtime Fox gives them, they will remain false."
"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," he added.
Biden's Comments on the Bribe Claims
Biden boasted a year after departing the White House that he personally pressured Poroshenko to terminate Shokin. He explained that he informed Ukrainian officials that the United States would withhold up to $1 billion in aid if Shokin remained in his position.
"I said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to – we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’ They said, ‘You have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said –.' I said, ‘Call him.’" Biden remarked during a January 2018 event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. "I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the $1 billion.’"
"I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here,'" Biden continued. "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 bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time."
Shokin stated, however, that he was investigating Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, at the time of his dismissal. A month before Shokin was dismissed in February 2016, his office filed a legal petition to seize Zlochevsky's property, which included four homes, two pieces of property, and a Rolls-Royce sports vehicle, the Kyiv Post reported at the time.
Burisma has been accused of illegally producing, selling, and utilizing natural gas supplies.