Rep. Sylvia Garcia, one of the seven House impeachment managers, laid out reasons that she said debunk the Republicans’ argument that former vice president Joe Biden fired Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin in order to shield his son, Hunter Biden, from being investigated for his work with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma holdings.
Biden pressed for Shokin’s removal during his time as vice president in the spring of 2016, amid pressure from U.S. lawmakers and allies who believed the official was corrupt. Shokin had previously led an investigation into Burisma’s owner. Hunter served on the board of Burisma until last April.
“Every witness with knowledge of this issue testified that Biden was following official U.S. policy in calling for Shokin’s removal,” said Garcia, who noted that the move was supported by a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans Rob Portman and Ron Johnson.
She added that there is “Simply no evidence…in the record to support” the “baseless allegation” that Biden did anything wrong by pressing for Shokin’s removal.
Additionally, Garcia said that President Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for his own personal political gain, not because he wanted to crack down on corruption, as Trump’s lawyers have claimed.
“President Trump asked Ukraine for something that benefited only himself,” said Garcia, D-Texas. “In putting himself above our country, he put his country at risk, and that is why his actions are so dangerous,” she added.
Garcia made the arguments as part of the Trump’s impeachment trial. House managers have been allowed 24 hours over the course of three days to present their case. The White House will then make its defense. The House of Representatives impeached the president in December on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The trial will determine whether Trump is convicted of those charges and removed from office, or acquitted.