Twitter Falsely Says Biden Didn’t Pressure Ukraine to Fire Prosecutor

October 15, 2020 Updated: October 15, 2020

Twitter this week falsely said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while still vice president, did not pressure Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.

Twitter placed a section on the top of its “What’s happening” section about the topic after an explosive story alleged Biden’s son Hunter Biden arranged for a meeting between Biden and an executive at Burisma Holdings, a company Hunter Biden worked for while his father was still in office.

Twitter and Facebook censored the story, which relied on documents on a hard drive from a computer dropped at a repair shop in Delaware last year, drawing flak from a wide range of people, including Twitter’s own CEO.

Twitter then elevated an old Washington Post story that falsely reported that Joe Biden while vice president played no role in pressuring top Ukrainian officials to fire Viktor Shokin, the country’s top prosecutor.

“A series of emails obtained by the New York Post were published on Wednesday in a story alleging that Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, introduced his father to a top executive at Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, and that Biden pushed for the firing of a prosecutor investigating Burisma,” Twitter wrote. “However, according to The Washington Post, then-Vice President Biden played no role in pressuring Ukraine officials into firing the prosecutor, who also was not investigating the energy firm.”

Biden himself admitted to pressuring Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in 2015.

Joe biden is welcomed by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko
Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Kyiv on Jan. 16, 2017. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)
Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, addresses the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention on Aug. 20, 2020. (DNCC via Getty Images)

The leverage was a $1 billion loan guarantee that Ukraine wanted from the United States.

“They were walking out to a press conference,” Biden told a crowd in Washington in 2018. “I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.”

“Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” he added.

Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Biden has defended his actions, saying Shokin was corrupt.

Shokin has said that he was investigating Burisma and that was the reason he was ousted.

Shokin said last year that Poroshenko later went to him and said that Joe Biden cited the probe into Burisma as the reason the Obama administration wouldn’t release $1 billion in aid to Ukraine.

“Because of Biden. Everyone knew what was going on. Poroshenko told me directly that I had to step down as prosecutor general because of Joe Biden,” Shokin added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber