Looks Like Trump's Enormous Pressure on Ukraine Is Starting to Work

Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

After private and now extremely public prodding from President Donald Trump to investigate former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, it appears that Ukraine is taking steps to, uh, do just that.

The Washington Post reports that Ukraine’s chief prosecutor is opening an “audit” into a previous investigation of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company which counted Hunter Biden as one of its board members. The Ukrainians have continued to insist that the investigation focused on the years 2010 to 2012; Hunter Biden joined the board in 2014.

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Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to get the investigation closed and the prosecutor, Victor Shokin, fired, although as CNN reported on Thursday, the effort to get that prosecutor fired was also backed by multiple Senate Republicans at the time. The Financial Times also reported on Thursday that “multiple EU diplomats” who were working in Ukraine at the same time were pushing for Shokin’s removal “as part of an international effort to bolster Ukraine’s institutions,” ironically as a result of Shokin not pursuing corruption cases hard enough for the EU and the US’s liking. (An EU diplomat did tell the FT that “Biden was the most vocal, as the US usually is.”)

The Post reports, emphasis mine:

Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka reiterated at a news conference Friday that he knows of no evidence of criminal activity by Biden.

He said that he is aware of at least 15 investigations that may have touched on Burisma, its owner Nikolai Zlochevsky, an associate named Serhiy Zerchenko, and Biden, and that all will be reviewed. He said no foreign or Ukrainian official has been in touch with him to request this audit.

At least he knows how to take a hint.

The news comes after Trump just went straight for it on Thursday and said that both Ukraine and China, where Hunter Biden also had business, “should start an investigation into the Bidens.”

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On Thursday night, the House committees who had interviewed former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker released text messages showing, among other things, that Volker told Ukrainian presidential aide Andrey Sermak, “assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.’

Today, Trump tweeted, “Case Closed!” So, that clears all of that up.

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