In a twist of irony, the Democrats find themselves in the same position they once placed the Republicans. The impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, spearheaded by House Republicans, revolves around Ukraine, mirroring the scenario with President Donald Trump. The same incident, viewed from contrasting perspectives, has become the focal point of both impeachments.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) unveiled the impeachment inquiry on September 12, shedding light on the findings. These include a staggering $20 million in alleged foreign payments to the Biden clan and their associates, President Biden’s questionable communications with his son, Hunter, regarding overseas ventures, and claims that the Department of Justice showed undue favoritism to the Biden family. McCarthy aptly remarked, “These are grave allegations of power abuse, obstruction, and corruption, necessitating a thorough investigation by the House of Representatives.”
The crux of these allegations harks back to 2016. Then-Vice President Biden dangled a $1 billion loan guarantee to pressure Ukraine into firing prosecutor Victor Shokin. Shokin was probing Ukrainian energy firm Burisma. Hunter Biden conveniently held a board position with a hefty $1 million annual paycheck. Burisma’s associates leaned on Hunter to ensure investigations into the company’s owner were stifled.
President Trump’s mere request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2019 to delve into this matter was enough for House Democrats to initiate an impeachment inquiry against him, culminating in a vote to impeach. However, the GOP-led Senate acquitted President Trump.
Ukraine, a hotspot of geopolitical strife, witnessed Russia’s invasion in 2022. Hunter Biden’s appointment to Burisma in 2014 came shortly after President Obama anointed Vice President Biden as the “point-man” for Ukraine. Shokin, who became Ukraine’s prosecutor general in 2015, began assembling a money laundering case linked to Burisma. Hunter received an email from a Burisma advisor in 2015 emphasizing the “ultimate purpose” to halt any legal pursuits against the company’s owner. Subsequently, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine and demanded Shokin’s ouster.
While some labeled Shokin as corrupt, the U.S. administration seemed content with his performance. A U.S. task force commended Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts several weeks before Biden’s visit, granting them another $1 billion loan guarantee. Moreover, a 2015 note from then-assistant U.S. Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland praised Ukraine’s reformative and anti-corruption initiatives.
Biden’s audacious threat to withhold the $1 billion loan guarantee unless Ukraine complied with his demands was later a point of pride for him during a 2018 event. Fast forward to 2019, President Trump’s call to President Zelenskyy, urging an investigation into Shokin’s dismissal and Biden’s involvement, was misconstrued by Democrats as an abuse of power for personal gain.
President Trump maintained his innocence, suggesting that the Democrats were merely attempting to divert attention from the Biden family’s dubious dealings. Republicans now argue that there was indeed corruption worth probing. They highlight Hunter’s lucrative Ukrainian dealings, payments from Elena Baturina, Moscow’s former mayor’s wife, and funds from entities tied to the Chinese Communist Party.
Evidence also challenges President Biden’s assertion of never discussing overseas business with his son. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) stated, “There was never a separation between Joe Biden and his family’s questionable business ventures. We’re likely to discover that Joe Biden was not just aware but was the mastermind behind his family’s alleged wrongdoings.”
McCarthy has entrusted the inquiry to Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), and Comer. He emphasized, “Regardless of political affiliations, these revelations should alarm every American. The public deserves assurance that public offices aren’t up for grabs and that the government isn’t shielding a politically connected family.”