Recently ousted Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko has become a central figure in the Ukraine scandal, and one whose actions on the surface appear to be contradictory. By most accounts, he was part of the original effort to promote the theory that Joe Biden corruptly sought the firing of Lutsenko’s predecessor Viktor Shokin — yet since May 2019 he has been saying he found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens under Ukrainian law. What gives?
A theory that I’ve been hearing for quite a while from Ukrainian sources has now gained enough currency that it’s being floated in the media, most particularly in a story in the Washington Examiner by Joel Gehrke. The basic storyline is this: when it became apparent that the former president Petro Poroshenko was likely to lose the election to Volodymyr Zelensky, Lutsenko, knowing he would have to overcome obstacles to keep from being fired, came up with the idea of positioning himself as having a special relationship with the Trump administration as a way of making himself indispensible to the new President. To that end, the theory goes, thatProsecutor General Lutsenko, fearing for his job under the new he lured Giuliani into a wild pursuit of dirt on Democrats by dangling the notion that he had damning info on Joe and possibly Hunter Biden. He forged the alliance — but it didn’t keep him from getting fired. His story would then change to the one we have been hearing lately — that he found no wrongdoing by the Bidens.
One Ukrainian analyst speaking out about this now is Oxana Shevel, an expert in the post-Communist region at Tufts University, who told the Washington Examiner:
What the new administration in Kiev is well aware of is that this whole Ukrainegate mess was initiated by Lutsenko in his conversations with Giuliani. . . He did what he did maybe to make himself look like a valuable asset to the new regime, He’s a serious politician. Ukrainian politics [involves] figuring out where, informally, the power lies and being on the right side at the right time.. . Clearly, Lutsenko was seeking to maintain his position in the new administration.
Throughout the spring 2019, as Zelensky came closer and closer to gaining the Presidency, Lutsenko peddled the notion that Ukrainian officials helped the Clinton campaign by leaking information about Paul Manafort that would ultimately lead to embarrassment of the Trump campaign, and indictment of Manafort. More significantly, he also put forward the notion that Joe Biden had intervened on behalf of his son Hunter, who said on the board of energy giant Burisma, by pressuring then President Poroshenko to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin so as to take the heat off Hunter and his company. But as is by now well established, there was no heat on Burisma or its founder Mykelo Zlochesky, emanating from Shokin.
As Zelensky took power, it was apparent to all parties that change was coming. Zelensky started the process of removing him in June, and it was completed in August. Since being removed, Lutsenko has changed his story, claiming in a variety of interviews that his investigation found no wrongdoing by either Biden, and stating that he had repeatedl rebuffed Giuliani as the latter attempted to get dirt on the former vice president.
Read more on this here.