Ukraine prosecutor reveals he was likely ousted for refusing to launch Hunter Biden probe
The former top Ukrainian prosecutor believes he was ousted last year over his refusal to open an investigation into Hunter Biden; an investigation Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's aide ensured would be opened following former President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani's request.
During an interview with Buzzfeed, Rouslan Riaboshapka on Wednesday, May 5, discussed a 2019 transcript that he believes is an indication that his firing was politically motivated. From Strasbourg, France, Riaboshapka highlighted a phone call between Giuliani and Andriy Yermak on July 22, 2019.
"It reveals an important detail," Riaboshapka said of the transcript. "Yermak promised Giuliani to open an investigation into Hunter Biden," the son of President Joe Biden. "I didn't know about the essence of the call. I didn't know Yermak promised to help Giuliani."
That call came just three days before Trump's infamous phone discussion with Zelensky which subsequently led to his first impeachment trial.
"Just let these investigations go forward," Giuliani said to Yermak at the time, according to the transcript. "Get someone to investigate this."
"We'll be ready ... to coordinate, to work and investigate everything, which you listed," Yermak responded. At a later point during the phone discussion, Yermak reassured Giuliani that the situation would be "deeply" investigated.
Riaboshapka is the second [erson to insist his firing was politically motivated. Back in April 2019, Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was also ousted. During Trump's impeachment trial, she also testified and revealed that she believed Giuliani and several Ukrainian political operatives were responsible for her firing.
However, Giuliani has denied any allegations of wrongdoing. Zelensky's office has also released a statement about the incident. According to Zelensky's office, neither Yermak nor the Ukrainian president pressured law enforcement agencies about the investigation.
"Mr. Riaboshapka's statements may be caused by internal political circumstances in Ukraine and have nothing to do with the foreign policy of the state," the statement from Zelensky's office read. "The Office of the President is interested in developing a strong system of independent law enforcement agencies in Ukraine."
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