Sep 26, 2019

Ukrainian prosecutor named by whistleblower says Hunter Biden did not violate any laws

Photo: Angela WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko told the Washington Post on Thursday that he does not believe Joe Biden's son, Hunter, has violated any Ukrainian laws.

Why it matters: A whistleblower complaint released Thursday details how beginning in March 2019, Lutsenko floated allegations that Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash an investigation into a company called Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden served as a board member. Rudy Giuliani and President Trump capitalized on the allegations — which Lutsenko later walked back — in a campaign to get the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into Biden.

The big picture: Lutsenko first said that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son in an interview with Bloomberg in May. Nonetheless, Trump and Giuliani have continued to push for an investigation, even after House Democrats announced they would launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump for allegedly soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

  • The whistleblower complaint states that according to multiple U.S. officials, Ukrainian leadership was "led to believe" that a phone call or meeting between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky — which Ukraine desperately wanted — would depend on whether Zelensky showed a willingness to "play ball" on the Biden issues aired by Lutsenko and Giuliani.

Go deeper: Read the whistleblower complaint with summaries of each section

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."