House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky, has formally requested information from the State Department pertaining to the actions of then-Vice President Joe Biden and the decision-making process within the Obama administration regarding Ukraine.
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a Tuesday, Comer specifically sought documents and communications related to the “State Department’s perspective on the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General, which was led by Viktor Shokin at that time.”
Viktor Shokin, who took on the role of Prosecutor General in February 2015, was subsequently dismissed from his position in March 2016, amid allegations of pressure exerted by Joe Biden.
Comer pointed out that Shokin was appointed to head the Prosecutor General’s Office while an ongoing international investigation was underway, focusing on corruption involving the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. Notably, Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, served on the board of Burisma, and its founder was Mykola Zlochevsky.
Comer’s letter cited a March 2014 incident in which a French bank reported Zlochevsky to UK authorities on suspicion of money laundering. This report came after Zlochevsky’s companies attempted to transfer $23 million to Cyprus from their British account at the bank. Hunter Biden joined Burisma in April 2014 and received an annual salary of approximately one million dollars.
In his letter, Comer referenced statements from officials in the then-Obama administration who had praised Shokin for his efforts in combating corruption in Ukraine. In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt expressed a desire to work with Prosecutor General Shokin to lead the fight against corruption.
However, the situation seemed to change after Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine in December 2015, during which it is alleged that he conveyed the condition of Shokin’s removal as a prerequisite for $1 billion in loan guarantees to the country.
“By late 2015, however, the removal of Prosecutor General Shokin became a condition of the loan guarantee by the United States,” Comer wrote in his letter to Blinken. “In March 2016, Shokin was dismissed from his position by the Ukrainian Rada after months of public pressure most adamantly applied by then-Vice President Biden.”
Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, testified before Comer’s committee approximately six weeks ago. Archer subsequently told conservative commentator Tucker Carlson that Shokin had posed a threat to the energy company Burisma.
“During the Committee’s transcribed interview with Devon Archer — a longtime Biden family associate — Archer explained that by late 2015, Vadym Pozharsky, Burisma’s corporate secretary, was increasingly pushing Hunter Biden to seek assistance from the U.S. government regarding pressure faced by Zlochevsky from the Office of the Prosecutor General and abroad,” Comer wrote in his letter to Blinken. “Archer testified that on December 4, 2015, Hunter Biden ‘called D.C.’ during a private meeting with Zlochevsky and Pozharsky in Dubai, following Pozharsky’s request. The Committee is currently investigating the nature of this call and the circumstances surrounding it, including any involvement by the State Department.”