Attorney General William Barr never asked for a joint investigation into Burisma or Hunter Biden, according to top Ukrainian prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka.
Ryaboshapka was appointed as prosecutor general in August, just weeks after the July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that has become the foundation for the House’s impeachment.
During the call, Trump suggested that Zelensky investigate Biden’s high paying position on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma, while his father was leading U.S. policy in the region as President Barack Obama’s vice president.
Many, including Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, have speculated about Barr’s involvement in any investigation of Burisma or the Bidens. Nadler already demanded that Barr recuse himself from any of the impeachment matters, tweeting, “The President dragged the Attorney General into this mess. At a minimum, AG Barr must recuse himself until we get to the bottom of this matter.”
Ryaboshapka explained, however, that Barr has made no contact with him asking to investigate anything, according to a report from the Financial Times. He claimed there is no investigation into the Bidens taking place in Ukraine beyond a broader investigation into Burisma that is part of a review of all cases handled by previous corrupt prosecutors.
Barr’s name had been included twice in notes released by the White House related to U.S. policy in Ukraine, but the Justice Department has been adamant that it was never asked to independently investigate or coordinate an investigation with Ukraine into the Bidens or Burisma.
In September, a Justice Department spokesperson told Politico, “If you are asking separately if the President has asked the AG to investigate Biden, the answer is no.”
The Trump administration and Republicans have maintained that there was no quid pro quo between the United States and Ukraine for military aid in return for an investigation into the Bidens because the investigation never took place, and Ukraine eventually received its aid.
Witnesses from the impeachment hearings have refused to confirm a quid pro quo took place with the exception of Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Sondland claimed there was a quid pro quo for an investigation into the Bidens, but it was over a visit to the White House, not over military aid.
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