House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is demanding answers from the State Department on the “sudden foreign policy decisions” during the Obama administration that led to the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma Holdings while Hunter Biden sat on the board of the company.
Comer, R-Ky., penned a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday requesting information on those decisions as part of his investigation into whether President Biden was connected to his son Hunter’s overseas business activities.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s connections to certain international and domestic business transactions and practices, including his family and associates peddling influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family,” Comer wrote to Blinken Tuesday, seeking information from the State Department to provide “context for certain sudden foreign policy changes that occurred while Joe Biden was Vice President, particularly regarding Ukraine while then-Vice President Biden’s son served on the board of directors of a company being investigated for corruption.”
Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin led the Office of the Prosecutor General in February 2015 during an ongoing, international investigation focused on alleged corruption surrounding Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky.
In April 2014, while his father was serving as vice president of the United States, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings, which brought him an annual salary of approximately $1 million.
“The Committee seeks to understand the State Department’s sudden change in disposition towards the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General in late 2015,” Comer said.
In June 2014, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland wrote to Shokin “applauding his office’s progress in anti-corruption efforts.”
In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly stated “we want to work with Prosecutor General Shokin so the [Prosecutor General Office] is leading the fight against corruption.”
Also in September 2015, the Interagency Policy Committee said that Shokin had made sufficient progress in combating corruption to warrant a third guarantee of a $1 billion loan.”
But it was in November 2015 that then-Vice President Biden participated in a phone call with then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko. During that call, Comer notes that Biden did not provide any indication that U.S. policy regarding Ukraine “required the dismissal” of Shokin.
“By late 2015, however, the removal of Prosecutor General Shokin became a condition of the loan guarantee by the United States,” Comer wrote. “In March 2016, Shokin was dismissed from his position by the Ukrainian Rada after months of public pressure most adamantly applied by then-Vice President Biden.”
Biden has acknowledged that when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled in 2018 telling then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden said.
Biden allies maintain the then-vice president pushed for Shokin’s firing due to concerns the Ukrainian prosecutor went easy on corruption and say that his firing, at the time, was the policy position of the U.S. and international community.
But Comer is pointing out the “timing” of the supposed shift in policy, pointing to testimony the committee obtained from former Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer.
Archer testified this summer before the panel that in late 2015, Vadim Pozharsky, Burma’s corporate secretary, was “increasingly pushing Hunter Biden to deliver help from the U.S. government regarding pressure Zlochevsky was facing” from prosecutors.
Archer testified that on Dec. 4, 2015, Hunter Biden “called D.C.” in a private meeting with Zlochevsky and Pozharsky in Dubai after their request.
“The Committee is investigating the nature of this call and the circumstances that surrounded it, including at the State Department,” Comer wrote.
Comer is seeking a vareity of documents, including transcripts and notes made during phone calls between Biden and Ukrainian officials from January 2014 through December 31, 2016; records between State Department employees and Blue Star Strategies regarding Burisma.
The White House has said President Biden was “never in business with his son.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.