Joe Biden’s campaign published a video Tuesday explaining “what really happened in Ukraine” that featured footage of a Ukrainian activist, but neglected to include that the same activist has criticized Hunter Biden for his role at Burisma.
In the video, Biden’s rapid response director Andrew Bates explains that Joe Biden’s work in Ukraine was to help rid the country of corruption, and points to his efforts to rid the country of prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
“The entire anti-corruption activist community in Ukraine desperately wanted him fired,” Bates says, pushing back against the claim that Biden worked to have him fired to protect his son’s business interests. The video then pans to footage of Daria Kaleniuk, the executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre in Ukraine.
“We will not allow him, actually, to maintain the Soviet system of prosecution which intimidates people,” she says in the video.
— Team Joe ⛄️(Text JOE to 30330) (@TeamJoe) January 21, 2020
But Kaleniuk has also criticized Hunter Biden’s board role at Ukrainian gas company Burisma, a fact the video fails to mention.
“I think Hunter Biden did a very bad thing and he was very wrong,” Kaleniuk told ABC News in July. “He allowed his name to be abused.”
Kaleniuk also pushed back on a narrative cited by President Trump that Biden wanted Shokin fired because he was investigating Burisma, telling The Washington Post that “Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”
In a comment to Fox News, Bates pointed to the interview as proof of Biden’s innocence.
“The fact that the Trump campaign just admitted their best move is to cite one of the most authoritative figures who has conclusively debunked their own candidate’s conspiracy theory says everything about how bankrupt their position is,” Bates said. “I would like to thank them for accidentally making our case for us.”
With the impeachment trial hitting full swing, the Biden campaign has been aggressively attempting to clear the former vice president’s record of any wrongdoing. A Monday memo warned media outlets of “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” of any alleged conflict of interest between Biden’s policy work in Ukraine and his son Hunter’s role on the board of Burisma.
Reports from Ukraine have emerged that Biden was hired “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name” by Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky, who was facing potential indictments on fraud and corruption. Reuters also reported that alleged payment records from Burisma show monthly payments of $83,333 to Biden for “consulting services.”