- Call in Question:
- Whistleblower Letter:
- Timeline: Political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s occupation of Crimea
- The story behind Biden’s son, Ukraine and Trump’s claims
Hunter Biden was named a paid board member of Burisma Holdings in April 2014. The company’s founder was a political ally of Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president, who was driven out in February 2014 by mass protests.
Yanukovych’s ouster prompted the Obama administration to move quickly to deepen ties with Ukraine’s new government. Joe Biden played a leading role, traveling to Ukraine and speaking frequently with its new Western-friendly president.
The younger Biden’s business role raised concerns among anticorruption advocates that Burisma was seeking to gain influence with the Obama administration. At the time, the company ran a natural gas extraction operation in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia after Yanukovych was pushed from power.
Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma. He remained on the board through early 2019, often appearing at energy-related conferences abroad representing Burisma’s interests.
- Trump’s Hold on Military Aid Blindsided Top Ukrainian Officials
- Trump denies explicitly tying U.S. military aid to demand for Ukrainian probe of Biden
In 2016, then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine to push for the firing of its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. On that trip, Biden said the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Shokin was removed.
Biden’s push was part of a broader international effort to fight corruption in Ukraine, and Shokin had been accused of ignoring major misconduct. Shokin, at one point, led an investigation into Burisma Holdings. However, the case had been dormant before the prosecutor’s firing, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, and the U.S. ambassador at the time publicly called for the investigation in Burisma to proceed.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who met with Zelensky in Ukraine in early September, said Monday that the Ukrainian president directly expressed his concern that military aid was being cut off to his country by Trump as “a consequence” of his unwillingness to launch an investigation into the Bidens.