In this clip from a January 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, former Vice President Joe Biden seems to brag about threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine as a pressure tactic to force the firing of a prosecutor he did not like.
In September 2019, House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump over a whistleblower's accusation that he threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine as a pressure tactic to force the Ukrainian government to investigate allegations that Joe Biden's son Hunter benefited financially from the firing of that same Ukrainian prosecutor.
JOE BIDEN, 23 JANUARY 2018: And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.
So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him.
I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. 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. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
Well, there’s still—so they made some genuine substantial changes institutionally and with people. But one of the three institutions, there’s now some backsliding.