Former Ukraine president: Biden never asked to close cases

Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday said that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Yang cautions Democrats: Impeachment might not be 'successful' Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders' heart attack was a 'gut check' moment MORE never asked him to open or close any criminal cases as President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE continues to rail against what he calls misconduct.

Poroshenko refuted Trump’s claims that Biden abused his power as vice president when he sought to pressure Kiev to dismiss a federal prosecutor who was investigating a natural gas company on whose board Biden's son Hunter Biden sat.

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Joe Biden has said he wanted the prosecutor fired over insufficient efforts to tackle corruption, and no evidence has emerged to suggest he acted to benefit his son.

“The former vice president, at least in personal conversations, didn’t raise any requests to open or close any concrete cases,” Poroshenko said in a statement to Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

The former president added that Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor, resigned in 2016 after “massive campaigns” by activists, politicians and the media, noting that two-thirds of Parliament members voted in favor of Shokin’s resignation. 

Poroshenko said he accepted the resignation “to restore public confidence and trust” in the prosecutor general’s office and as a way to “move the country forward.”

Yuri Lutsenko, another of Ukraine’s former prosecutor generals, who was investigating Hunter Biden, said last month that his probe was abandoned after turning up no evidence of wrongdoing on Hunter Biden's behalf.

“From the perspective of Ukrainian legislation, he did not violate anything,” Lutsenko said of Hunter Biden. 

Trump’s efforts to push Kiev to investigate Biden are at the heart of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Furor on Capitol Hill has been at a fever pitch since a whistleblower filed a complaint over a phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The White House released a rough transcript of a July phone call between the two leaders in which Trump pressured Kiev to work with Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Overnight Energy: Trump taps deputy energy secretary to replace Perry | Praises pick Dan Brouillette as 'total professional' | Perry denies quid pro quo over Ukraine Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE, his personal attorney, and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFederal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Mulvaney ties withheld Ukraine aid to political probe sought by Trump MORE to open an inquiry into the former vice president, the current front-runner in the 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

A declassified copy of a whistleblower complaint regarding the call said that a future phone call or meeting between the two presidents “would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball,’ ” and that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” of the call were alarmed that Trump appeared to be using his office for his personal political gain.