Since he has no real accomplishments on which to build his 2020 reelection platform, Donald Trump is once again stooping to smearing his Democratic rivals with outright lies. His efforts to get current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open up a manufactured investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter has already backfired, resulting in the opening of an official impeachment inquiry. Rather than back down though, Trump continues to spread conspiracy theories and earlier today went so far as to publicly ask both China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
The president wants his followers to believe that back when Joe Biden was vice president he pushed to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired to save his son from a criminal probe. What actually happened was that the Obama administration with Biden’s assistance pushed for the ousting of Ukranian prosecutor Viktor Shokin because of credible allegations of corruption within his office. At the time, the United States was trying to get Ukraine to clean up some of the more egregious criminal elements within its government and in this regard, Biden and the admin appear to have succeeded. Hunter Biden was never incriminated in any sort of wrongdoing. Trump conveniently fails to mention any of these details in his attacks.
Now, Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko has stepped forward and destroyed Trump’s already tenuous narrative. Bloomberg reports that Poroshenko has stated that at no point during his tenure did then-Vice President Biden ask him to open or close any criminal cases.
“The former vice president, at least in personal conversations, didn’t raise any requests to open or close any concrete cases,” said Poroshenko, dashing Trump’s claims to the contrary.
Poroshenko explained that Shokin’s expulsion was widely desired within his country and that activists, government officials, and Ukranian media outlets pushed rigorously for his removal from office. To put it in perspective, he stated that 2/3 of the Ukrainian parliament voted in favor of the prosecutor resigning. Poroshenko himself accepted Shokin’s resignation because he believed it could “restore public confidence and trust” in Shokin’s office and help “move the country forward.
Poroshenko then went on to make it clear that Ukraine is interested in getting “bipartisan support” from the United States and is not interested in playing favorites between Democrats and Republicans.
“It’s very important to secure such support at this moment. It should not be harmed as the result of internal processes in the U.S. and should not depend on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election,” explained the former president.
With Poroshenko’s help, Trump’s latest conspiracy theory has been reduced to rubble. That said, it’s unlikely that our truth-averse president will retreat in the face of something like “facts.” His impeachment inquiry must proceed and it falls to every American to push back against the MAGA movement’s misinformation campaigns.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.