A few days ago Andrii Derkach, a longtime member of the Ukrainian parliament, held a press conference (vid) during which he published recordings of phone calls between then Vice President Joe Biden, then Secretary of State John Kerry and then President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
Unfortunately there is no big scoop in the published material:
They discussed, particularly, the resignation of Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin. It was the issue of the recording of the talk of Poroshenko and Kerry dated December 3, 2015.
"Would like to urge to consider the possibility of solving the problem of replacing Prosecutor General Shokin because, to my opinion, he blocked the reform of clearance of Prosecutor General's Office," Kerry said.
Besides, he referred to the ‘concern' of Vice President Joe Biden.
Then, the recording of the talk of Biden and Poroshenko on March 22, 2016, was played. It took place four days before Shokin's dismissal in the parliament.
"In case that you have a new government and a new prosecutor general, I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitments on 1 billion dollars," Biden said.
"Extremely strong motivation. One of the possible candidates for this position is the leader of my faction Lutsenko," Poroshenko responded. "If you think that a politically motivated figure could be not very good, from your point of view, I recall this proposal. Cause nobody knows that I am going to propose Lutsenko," the president explained.
The Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid Joe Biden's son Hunter absurd sums for little work, is not mentioned in the now published calls.
Biden did intervene in the Ukraine to get then Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired soon after the prosecutor office had confiscated the villas of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Biden himself had admitted that he held back a $1 billion credit line for the Ukraine to remove Shokin but claimed that the move had nothing to do with his son's benefactor.
The timeline of Biden's intervention looks awfully suspicious and there is no evidence that Shokin was, as Biden claimed, corrupt.
But the now published calls only confirm Biden's version of the story. They will not harm him. For now it is only Poroshenko who will have additional trouble from them:
"Petro Oleksiyovych confesses to Biden that he raised tariffs for ordinary Ukrainians, attention, not by 75% as requested by the IMF, but by as much as 100%." "Already raised the tariffs by 100%, give me my yard, please." For the sake of a billion for himself, Poroshenko is ready to strip the Ukrainians naked and also make money on tariffs. By the way, tariffs really doubled," Derkach said.
The recordings and other material have been handed to U.S. and Ukranian officials:
All the many-hour records available today, along with a statement on treason and facts of international corruption, were handed over to the Prosecutor General's Office. All the files were also sent to US government agencies for use and decision making within their competence.
Derkach has previously worked with Trump's lawyer Rudi Giuliani to find dirt about Biden's activities in the Ukraine.
But why were these tapes published now and why only a few snippets from "all the many-hour records"? The timing is not right to use these tapes as an element in Trump's campaign. The content of the published calls is not damaging enough to Biden.
That lets me assume that there is an additional game going on behind this move.
Andrii Derkach, the member of the Ukrainian parliament, is seen as friendly with Russia. He claimed that the recordings of the calls were made by Poroshenko himself. He did not explain how he received them. Derkach's father is a former head the Security Service of Ukraine and that services, or some other one, may have had a hand in this.
Are there more such tapes? Could they be used as a threat against Biden or to make a deal with Trump?
My hunch is that this is not the last time we will hear of them.
Posted by b on May 21, 2020