The recording of presidential candidate Joe Biden offering money for the removal of a general prosecutor turns the tables on a political conflict between him and President Trump. Recordings from 2016 of then Vice President Joe Biden (D) offering a $1 billion loan to the Ukrainian president has been leaked by an anonymous YouTube channel. NABU leaks uploaded hours of recorded conversation between the two, showing Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden exchanging in a quid pro quo to deter an investigation into his son’s corrupt company.
The leak reveals Biden pressured president Petro Poroshenko to fire the General Prosecutor of the investigation, Viktor Shokin, who was under investigation himself even though he was cleared of any wrongdoing. The Obama administration (D) was looking into Shokin, allegedly suspecting him of an inadequate investigation into Burisma Holdings, the company in which Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the board.
There were suspicions the company was involved in crimes such as money laundering and tax evasion, but the recent leaks suggest that the investigation into Shokin had less to do with holding them accountable, and more to do with ensuring Biden’s son was not prosecuted for his crimes. This can be considered textbook corruption in that the administration was using taxpayer money to squash a potential scandal that could reveal their illegal activity. As the 2020 elections approach, these leaks have the capacity to cause distrust in the hearts of Americans, and could be used as a major advantage for the Trump administration.
Biden Recordings Prove Democrats Were Guilty, Not Trump
President Donald Trump (R) was also the subject of an investigation, accused by the Democratic party of being involved in a quid pro quo deal with current Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. They claimed he was attempting to gain information about the Biden family’s corrupt activities by offering Zelensky $400 million in military aid. The accusations lead to Trump being impeached though he was soon acquitted for lack of evidence. Trump had made accusations against the Obama administration as well, and now his claims are backed up with real evidence.
Ukraine, led by the Zelensky administration, will be launching an investigation into Poroshenko’s dealings with Biden. While the investigation focuses on Poronshenko and not Biden, if it is found Ukraine was involved in criminal activity related to the incident, it will have a catastrophic impact on the image of the Democratic party. Burisma Holdings is not mentioned in the recordings and neither is Hunter Biden, but they clearly show Biden and Poronshenko were offering favors to one another.
A Washington Post article, attempting to downplay the leaks, stated “The tapes released in Kyiv offered no evidence to back Giuliani’s long-standing accusation that Biden pushed for the prosecutor general’s ouster to help his son.” They also stated the video was heavily edited, though it was only edited in the sense that the recordings were out of order. However, Biden could be heard saying “I’m hearing that you’re going to form a new government and a new Prosecutor General, I am prepared to do a public signing of a commitment for $1 billion.”
While Biden does not explicitly state he is willing to pay the sum for the replacement of the General Prosecutor, it was heavily implied. Porshenko replies “One of the possible candidates is the leader of my faction Lutsenko, who is a public figure. If you think that a politically motivated figure would not be very good from your point of view, I recall my proposal.” It is clear a “politically motivated figure” would be problematic for Biden and his son, and it is undeniable Biden had a conflict of interest in regards to the investigation. Zelensky said their actions could be “qualified as treason,” in that Biden was meddling in Ukraine’s political affairs by bribing the president.
Public Perceives Hunter Biden’s Role As Improper
A poll conducted by Politico earlier this year showed most voters thought Hunter Biden should not have been working at a company in a foreign state allied with the U.S, the major issue being Joe Biden’s ability to influence Ukraine in a way that benefited his son. Politico stated “52 percent of voters believe it was inappropriate for Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to take the job with the firm Burisma, while 18 percent said it was appropriate. 57 percent said it was a scandal while 19 percent said it wasn’t.”
The new leaks are only likely to worsen the public’s opinion of Biden and Democrats leading up to the 2020 election. Whether or not Biden is found guilty of treason, it may cause Americans to second guess supporting his campaign for presidency. Furthermore, because Democrats were not only using Trump’s dealings with Ukraine as an excuse to smear him but were using it as an excuse to force him to resign, the Trump administration can use the new leaks to showcase the hypocritical nature of the Democrat party when it comes to what they accuse others of versus what they are involved in themselves.
Democrats have used morality as a way of trying to depict Trump in a bad light by repeatedly referring to unfounded allegations. This new information will cause Democrats to attempt to fix their image, though it may be difficult for them to recover from the leaks in time for the election. Andrew Bates, Biden’s spokesman, has responded to the recordings by stating it is a “nothingburger that landed with a thud.” However, this perception is unlikely to be held by the public. An official investigation by Ukraine is only just beginning. While Biden’s team will undoubtedly downplay the recordings, it is likely they will not be going away as quickly as they might hope.
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