WASHINGTON — Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denied Sunday that former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden ever approached him about Burisma Holdings, a gas company Biden’s son Hunter was a board member of.
“My absolutely clear answer: no, never,” Poroshenko told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “But I also cannot accept that, neither President Obama nor President Biden — Vice President Biden, nor President Trump, nor Vice President Pence never press[ed] me.”
Poroshenko became president of Ukraine in 2014, the same year that Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, a gas company based in Kyiv. At the time, Vice President Biden was working with the others in the Obama administration to help reform policy and root out corruption in Ukraine. Hunter Biden served on the board until early 2019.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have claimed, without corroborating evidence, that when he was vice president, Joe Biden inappropriately pressured Ukraine to remove a prosecutor who had launched an investigation into Burisma in order to protect his son.
Trump’s legal team and Republican allies in Congress have opened probes into the alleged interference. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) told reporters in early March that he is likely to release an interim report within one to two months.
The allegation was also at the center of the House inquiry that led to Trump’s impeachment. Trump was accused of abusing his power by urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens to help his reelection.
A majority of voters said it was inappropriate for Hunter Biden to be employed at Burisma while his father was leading the effort on policy change in Ukraine, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll from February. Congressional Democrats supporting Biden’s presidential bid have pushed him to punch back harder against Trump’s accusations.
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