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Ignore the smear: Joe Biden acted appropriately in ousting a corrupt Ukraine prosecutor


Shamelessly but predictably, President Trump is responding to the damning revelations that he pressured Ukraine’s Voldymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden by claiming that the former vice president’s behavior is the real story.

Monday, Trump called his political foe’s actions “a disgrace” that, if committed by a Republican, would lead to “the electric chair.”

Anyone who falls for his obscene attempt to distract from his own sins — O.J. Simpson would call this a search for the real scandal — is being bamboozled.

The man at the center of the claim, Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, was overripe for removal. He had repeatedly pushed back against Western governments’ demands to root out corruption, including at the company on whose board Hunter Biden sat, whose owner Mykola Zlochevsky had been the country’s former natural resources minister.

In 2015, the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine called out Shokin for ignoring requests from the U.K. to support freezing $23 million in assets Zlochevsky allegedly laundered. Instead, Shokin cleared Zlochevsky, who squirreled the assets offshore.

Soon thereafter, multiple international organizations, including the G-7 and the International Monetary Fund, agreed that if there were any hope of attacking corruption in Ukraine, Shokin had to go. Biden became the Obama administration’s point man on a coordinated international effort to get it done — telling Ukraine that $1 billion in loan guarantees depended upon Shokin’s ouster.

So, yes, Biden moved, correctly, to get a rotten apple removed.

Trump and Rudy Giuliani, smearing indiscriminately because it is all they know how to do, want Biden to be the story.

The American people have seen this movie before. The sequel, as often, is worse than the original. They should walk out and stand with House Democrats as they demand both the transcript of Trump’s phone call and complaint by an intelligence community whistleblower.

Focus, people.