Several former Joe Biden officials have revealed that they knew that the former vice president and 2020 Democratic front-runner “had not spoken well” when he recounted a story about forcing the hand of the Ukrainian government to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2015.
Biden recounted his 2015 negotiation with the Ukrainian government during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations a year after leaving office as vice president. Specifically citing that he personally threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, Biden touted his successful tactics as forcing the dismissal of Shokin.
“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,” Biden said of his trip to Kyiv three years prior, pausing for laughter from the crowd. “He got fired.”
However, even at that time, three of Biden’s staffers knew those words would come back to haunt him, as they now so painfully have.
“It was classic Joe Biden,” one anonymous former official said in reference to Biden’s 2018 appearance at CFR, according to BuzzFeed News.
By “classic Joe,” I assume he means the former Veep’s penchant for casting himself as the hero of stories with dubious factual content and blatant errors, additions, and omissions. He was the subject of scrutiny in August for misstating nearly every major detail about honoring a selfless soldier when he was vice president. He also falsely claimed to have been a comforting vice president during the 2018 Parkland mass shooting and shared multiple versions of stories that elevate him as a champion for gay rights.
Shokin Had to Go
Shokin had to go, but why and who was responsible for his departure, that is the big question. Shokin had been in the sights of several foreign governments and the U.S. Senate as a corrupt individual who needed to be removed for some time when Biden cast himself as the catalyst in making his professional demise official.
Now, embroiled in the impeachment debacle, President Trump and his personal attorney are trying to imply that Biden had other motives, mainly removing Shokin to keep him from prosecuting a Ukrainian energy company upon which Biden’s son, Hunter sat on the board.
The anonymous Biden official added, “It was not just us — it was other governments, it was the IMF [International Monetary Fund], so it also felt not great that we were taking credit for something that lots of people had been trying to do.”
Another former Biden staffer said, “I think it’s quite possible that he got it over the finish line … Everything that a president or vice president does, almost everything has been worked on for months or weeks by dozens if not hundreds of people.”
All three officials rejected the notion that Biden’s son Hunter was guilty of malfeasance when he joined the board of a Ukrainian gas company in 2014 but noted that the appearance was less than ideal. And, Joe’s bravado at taking all the credit for ousting Shokin only made a gray picture that much darker.
As they suspected at the time, those words are now back to bite the Biden campaign in the Butt.