House Republicans conducting the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden have sent a letter to White House counsel Edward Siskel demanding the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) hand over all drafts of then-Vice President Biden’s speech bragging about getting Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired.
As vice president in the Obama administration, Biden was the designated foreign policy point person on Ukraine — which conveniently coincided with his son, Hunter Biden, working on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, where he earned $1 million per year until the company cut his compensation in half roughly two months after his father left the White House.
In 2015, Biden threatened to withhold U.S. aid to Ukraine unless then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fired Shokin, who was reportedly investigating Burisma at the time. He later bragged about this move during a 2018 speech at the Council of Foreign Relations.
“I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours,” Biden told the audience.
“I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b—h. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” he added.
It has since been alleged by a whistleblower, an FBI informant, that both Joe and Hunter Biden were paid $5 million each from Burisma after the prosecutor was fired.
Now, House Republicans are requesting that the Biden administration hand over the original drafts of Biden’s speech. House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) previously requested these documents more than five months ago, but the White House refused to give NARA the authorization to release them to Congress.
In the new letter to the Biden administration, the House Republicans conducting the impeachment inquiry pointed out that the White House was completely fine with releasing presidential records related to former president and current GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump soon after receiving a request, but refused to hold themselves to the same standard.
“This White House has previously permitted NARA to provide Congress with presidential records related to the Trump Administration after only one month of White House review,” the letter read. “We expect the White House to do the same in this instance.”
“Such a lengthy delay in processing a discrete and limited category of documents is unacceptable and appears to represent an attempt to obstruct the Committees’ legitimate investigation,” the letter continued. “These dilatory tactics must cease, and the White House must permit NARA to release these documents forthwith.”