Ukrainian investigators have begun an inquiry into then-Vice President Joe Biden over allegations that he pressured officials into firing a top prosecutor in 2016.
A case revolving around Biden, now a Democratic candidate for president, was opened by the State Bureau of Investigations on a court order following a January appeal for action by Viktor Shokin, the dismissed prosecutor general’s lawyer, Oleksandr Teleshetsky, told the Washington Post.
“They need to investigate this. They have no other alternative. They are required to do this by the decision of the court. If they don’t, then they violate a whole string of procedural norms,” Teleshetsky said.
The State Bureau of Investigations confirmed an inquiry was opened. The case mentions only a U.S. citizen and does not refer to Biden by name.
Daria Kaleniuk, director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, downplayed the significance of the matter, saying that Ukrainian law requires state investigators to open a case on a court order even if they don’t believe there is enough evidence. “If I was a SBI investigator, I would close that case immediately,” she said.