International

Trump urges Ukraine and China to probe Bidens

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US President Donald Trump has publicly called on Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

Ex-Vice-President Joe Biden is a Democratic frontrunner in the 2020 presidential race, and a central figure in the push to impeach Mr Trump.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” said Mr Trump, in reference to Mr Biden’s son, Hunter.

The Democrats accuse the US president of dangling military aid as a way to press Ukraine to dig dirt on Mr Biden.

A 25 July phone call between Mr Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky triggered an intelligence community whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry.

But Mr Trump says he has done nothing wrong and the inquiry is a witch hunt.

Mr Trump has accused Mr Biden and his son Hunter of corruption in their political and business dealings in Ukraine and China, but offered no specific evidence.

When Hunter Biden joined Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma in 2014, questions were raised about a potential conflict of interest for his father.

Ukraine was undergoing a political transition after its pro-Russia president was forced out of office, and the elder Biden was making frequent trips to the country.

In 2016, Joe Biden pushed the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, whose office had been scrutinising the oligarch owner of Burisma.

Mr Trump and his allies accuse Mr Biden of acting to protect his son. However, several Western governments and major financers of Ukraine’s government also wanted Mr Shokin dismissed because he was seen as a barrier to anti-corruption efforts.

Last week, the Ukrainian prosecutor general who took over from Mr Shokin told the BBC there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

BBC

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