Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Will Ukraine be an issue in the 2020 election campaign?

April 19, 2019 --

The conflict between pro-Russia forces in the eastern part of Ukraine and the Kiev government (which wants closer ties with the west) has not gotten much attention this year, but if Joe Biden does announce his candidacy for president, his ties to Ukraine definitely should be the subject of opposition research. As vice president, Mr. Biden was the Obama administration's lead person on Ukraine, and he made numerous visits to Ukraine after the Maidan revolution and the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. John Solomon, writing for The Hill, April 7, reported, "Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes." On the latter point, Solomon reported on April 1 that as vice president, Mr. Biden, in March 2016, threatened to withdraw one billion dollars in loan guarantees if a prosecutor wasn't fired. He was.

The prosecutor was looking into corruption involving Burisma Holdings, reportedly the largest energy producer in Ukraine. In April 2014, Burisma named Mr. Biden's son Hunter to its board. Solomon reported that from April 2014 to October 2015, the junior Biden's firm was paid three million dollars, and, most months, the junior Biden would get $5,000 to $25,000 from his firm from Burisma's wire transfers. Another source reported that the vice president, in Kiev, April 22, 2014 urged Ukraine reduce imports of natural gas from Russia. It is simply not credible that the vice president was unaware of his son's business involvement with Burisma. Imagine the outcry if a Trump son received similar treatment from a foreign company.