Former Ukraine president: Biden never asked to close cases

Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday said that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOn The Money: Economists flabbergasted after Congress leaves with no deal | Markets rise as the economy struggles | Retail sales slow in July Congress exits with no deal, leaving economists flabbergasted Trump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' MORE never asked him to open or close any criminal cases as President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 GiulianiTrump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' Feehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Coronavirus concerns emerge around debates MORE, his personal attorney, and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrEx-FBI lawyer Clinesmith to plead guilty in Durham probe Barr says some results on probe into Russia investigation could be released before election Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations 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.