News Release

* Ukraine Election Interference * Biden Corruption

* Ukraine Election Interference * Biden CorruptionLEV GOLINKIN, golinkin at gmail.com
Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, a Memoir of Soviet Ukraine, which he left as a child refugee. He has had pieces in the New York TimesWashington Post and numerous other outlets.

He just wrote the piece “The Full Scope of Ukraine’s Impact on the 2016 Election Has Yet to Be Examined” for The Nation which states: “President Donald Trump’s strong-arming of the Ukrainian government to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden raises serious questions about the White House’s alleged attempt to leverage foreign aid in order to influence the 2020 election. However, the United States has not even grappled with the full scope of Ukraine’s impact on the 2016 election.”

Golinkin highlights a 2016 Financial Times article (“Ukraine’s leaders campaign against ‘pro-Putin’ Trump“) about “Ukraine’s takedown of [former Trump campaign chair Paul] Manafort, including quotes from [Ukrainian parliament member Serhei] Leshchenko and Western analysts. ‘The prospect of Mr. Trump, who has praised Ukraine’s arch-enemy Vladimir Putin, becoming leader of the country’s biggest ally,’ it began, ‘has spurred not just Mr. Leshchenko but Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.’

“’Mr. Leshchenko and other political actors in Kiev say they will continue their efforts to prevent a candidate … from reaching the summit of American political power,’ the story went on.”

In May of this year, Golinkin wrote the piece “Joe Biden’s Conflict of Interest on Ukraine,” in which he wrote: “In March 2016, then-vice president Biden successfully strong-armed Ukraine to fire prosecutor general Viktor Shokin. Biden, who flew into Kiev dangling the promise of a one billion dollar loan guarantee, told Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko the loan wouldn’t be authorized unless Shokin was ousted.

“Here’s how Biden himself recounted it: ‘I looked at them and said: “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.’

“At the time, Shokin was allegedly investigating corruption at Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. Joe Biden’s son Hunter happened to sit on Burisma’s board, a lucrative position which was netting him millions of dollars.

“That’s where the accusations come in. Biden claims he forced Kiev to fire Shokin — who was widely seen as a corrupt Poroshenko loyalist — for the good of the country, not because of investigations into Burisma. Shokin, meanwhile, insists his firing was politically motivated by his investigation of Burisma.

“Shokin should be taken with a pound of salt. The man was infamously corrupt; his attempt to frame himself as an honest prosecutor punished for tackling shady dealings doesn’t hold water. Additionally, as Bloomberg reported, the Burisma case was utterly dormant. Biden didn’t need to protect Burisma because the company wasn’t under active investigation.

“In sum, Biden had no incentive to defend Burisma. And as the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, he had every incentive to force Poroshenko to root out Kiev’s endemic corruption, the first step of which was ousting Shokin. Giuliani’s claim that Shokin’s firing was meant to protect Hunter Biden’s income is simply untrue.

“The problem — indeed, the only reason we’re discussing this three years later — is that Hunter Biden should’ve never joined Burisma’s board to begin with. His decision to do so displays a lack of judgement on the part of both Bidens, one that is relevant now that Joe Biden is running for president.

“Earlier this month, the New York Times ran a lengthy report about Hunter Biden’s Burisma entanglement. The picture isn’t flattering: Hunter’s involvement included the establishment of a private equity firm with other children of prominent political actors who proceeded to rake in money from murky overseas entities. Sitting on Burisma’s board netted Hunter several million dollars. What services Hunter provided to Burisma remains unclear, but at one point he was making as much as $50,000 a month.”

Golinkin also recently wrote the piece “When we can’t agree to fight against neo-Nazis, we’ve reached a new low” for The Hill about the rise of neo-Nazis in Ukraine.