Sputnik: How do you assess the level of possible pressure from the then US administration on Shokin or other Ukrainian officials?
Jim Jatras: I think the pressure is pretty obvious but it is quite clear from Joe Biden’s own words that he got Shokin fired. He is proud of that, he said that he was going to leave Kyiv in six hours and if Shokin was not fired they wouldn’t get aid money. And he was fired immediately. I think it’s quite clear that there was a direct connection between Biden’s threats and Shokin’s being fired. Now there is conflicting testimony on whether or not Shokin was investigating Burisma and whether that was the reason for it but the American media is claiming this is all discredited conspiracy theory. As far as I can tell, it seems to be a pretty solid reason to believe that is why Shokin was fired. But in any case, it is not a politically important factor here in the US. The mainstream media is all pretending that this is all made-up stuff from the Trump people.
Sputnik: By the way, the mainstream media has picked up a narrative that there is no evidence of Biden’s corruption in Ukraine and it must not be investigated. But at the same time it needed two years to investigate the so-called “Russiagate issue”. What is the reason for that?
Jim Jatras: The reason for it is that the media establishment and the political establishment - all have two views in common. One is: “orange man bad”, “Trump is bad” and the other one is: “Ukraine is good and Russia is bad”. So anything has to be put through that filter to start with: “giving weapons to Ukraine can never be a bad thing”, “peace with Russia can never be a good thing” and “anything that Trump does is bad”. Which also means, that people like Biden can get away with anything they want, and for that matter, Hillary Clinton and her e-mails. And there will be political repression to actually look into their wrongdoing. Because that would be somehow seen as a political vendetta.
Sputnik: Also the mainstream media is circulating the opinion that the reason for Shokin’s sacking was not actually Joe Biden’s pressure on President Poroshenko. How does this square with the fact that Biden was actually publicly bragging that he had pushed Poroshenko to fire Shokin?
Jim Jatras: It doesn’t square at all. And it simply shows the extent to which American discourse is now in a kind of pseudo-reality, that it exists in its own closed loop with no reference to facts. And indeed the facts are all available. They are available on the alternative media, in some minor conservative media that report it. To some extent on Fox news – but they are not politically relevant. The only thing that matters in political discourse - despite having free information on parts of the Internet or foreign sources like Sputnik or RT - is that what the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Free networks and CNN says – those are the facts. And that is where the real target for the struggle is – how many Republican senators will panic over that. Because they don’t care what is in the Washington Times they don’t care what is on Sputnik they care what is on Washington Post and the NY Times and they are all terrified of it.
Sputnik: What do you think was the reason behind a then Vice President of the US asking the Ukrainian government for “anti-corruption measures”?
Jim Jatras: A couple of aspects to it: if they have been directed in any broad sense to that very purpose – everybody knows that Ukraine is a very corrupt state and it is quite possible that given that Ukraine had been cultivated as a spearhead against Russia as a point against our policy against Russia geopolitically, that there is a desire to try to strengthen the integrity of Ukrainian state by taking anti-corruption measures so in the broad sense we may have meant that. However, I don’t think he wanted anti-corruption measures that would target the corrupt behaviour of his son. So I think there was also a more specific purpose involved there. And again I think that largely boils down to the question – was Shokin investigating Burisma or not and was that the reason that Biden wanted him fired. I think there is no question that Biden’s threats regarding USA aid were specifically the reason Shokin was removed. The only problem is that here in the US none of that matters.
Sputnik: Why do you think the criminal case against Burisma has not been restarted?
Jim Jatras: Because unfortunately Biden and his son just like Hillary with her e-mails belong to a kind of a golden class. They belong to the class of untouchables who can do what they want and the establishment will protect them. And that indeed even looking into their activities is considered politically incorrect and impossible. So here we are three years into the Trump administration, three years after Trump supporters were chanting: “Lock her up!”. And he would not dare to lift a finger against her, and that’s what we see now is the outcry from the establishment over any attempt to hold Hunter Biden responsible for this flagrant profiteering off of his father’s position. That’s not done. Again, the irony here is that we point our finger at any other country: Russia, Ukraine or whoever, Nigeria and say “oh, look how corrupt they are”. But this kind of corruption is at the very hard of what goes on in America today.