On Wednesday, the impeachment inquiry sent a formal request to White House Counsel Edward Siskel, demanding that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide all versions of then-Vice President Joe Biden’s speech regarding the firing of Burisma Holdings’ prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
The inquiry is specifically interested in obtaining the original drafts of the speech, as Joe Biden himself boasted in 2018 about successfully pressuring for Shokin’s removal. This removal was a prerequisite for Ukraine to receive a crucial $1 billion loan guarantee, as Joe Biden himself explained.
More than five months ago, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) had already requested the original drafts of Joe Biden’s speech. However, the White House has consistently refused to authorize NARA to release them to Congress.
During the Obama administration, Joe Biden held the role of the designated foreign policy representative for Ukraine. The House Oversight Committee argues that Joe Biden had threatened to withhold U.S. aid to Ukraine in 2015 unless then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fired Shokin, who was responsible for investigating the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. It is worth noting that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, served on the board of Burisma and earned $1 million annually. However, his monthly compensation was reduced by half two months after his father’s tenure as vice president ended.
“This White House has previously permitted NARA to provide Congress with presidential records related to the Trump Administration after only one month of White House review,” the inquiry wrote the White House. “We expect the White House to do the same in this instance.”
“Such a lengthy delay in processing a discrete and limited category of documents is unacceptable and appears to represent an attempt to obstruct the Committees’ legitimate investigation,” it wrote. “These dilatory tactics must cease, and the White House must permit NARA to release these documents forthwith.”