Fox is propping up corrupt former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin as an excuse to demand Republicans begin an impeachment inquiry, and host Maria Bartiromo is none too happy with the Republican holdouts who would like to see some actual evidence first.
As Media Matters reported this week on the interview by Fox’s Brian Kilmeade with Shokin: Fox’s Viktor Shokin interview misses the basics, ignores what Fox already knows:
On August 25, Fox News previewed an interview of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by network host Brian Kilmeade that is set to air in full on August 26. In the preview segment, Shokin accused President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden of “corruption” and “being bribed” to push for the prosecutor’s removal from office in 2016. In fact, there was widespread agreement at the time across the political spectrum in the United States and the European Union that Shokin should be fired for being soft on corruption, including State Department allegations that Shokin himself was corrupt. Additionally, at the time of his removal, Shokin wasn’t actively investigating Hunter Biden or Burisma, an energy company that had hired Hunter Biden to serve on its board of directors. Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer recently testified that it would have been better for Burisma if the Ukrainian government had kept Shokin because he was unlikely to move against the company.
Shokin’s claims are part of a longstanding smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani on behalf of former President Donald Trump, which ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. Fox News knew Shokin’s claims were baseless then and continues to know it now, but the network is airing Shokin’s baseless allegations regardless.
Go read the rest of the report on why no one should take a word out of this man’s mouth seriously, but that didn’t stop Maria Bartiromo and Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth from hyping the interview and using it as yet another excuse to demand Republicans impeach Joe Biden.
BARTIROMO: This is the same exact bribery allegation that we heard from the FBI whistleblower who told us that the head of Burisma said 5 million to one Biden, 5 million to another Biden, so the allegations of bribery seem to be getting louder.
The issue for the Republicans now is they need to identify that $5 million. They need to find the $5 million to prove to the American people that in fact there is bribery here and this is cause for impeachment. So that’s what I think is going to take place in the coming weeks.
I think you’re going to have a new effort to get Joe Biden’s credit card receipts, get Joe Biden and Biden family members’ bank records… in fact Joe Biden’s bank records. An impeachment inquiry will give them more power to do so.
HEGSETH: So it’s not for a lack of trying so far, and that Jim Jordan and James Comer, they’re pushing and pushing, but you need more tools if you want to get that kind of stuff.
BARTIROMO: You need more tools to convince some of these Republicans who still will not vote for an impeachment inquiry. The last time I spoke with members of the Oversight and Judiciary Committee they told me right now they do not have the votes.
It seems to me that Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker, has been speaking with members this entire recess about what they’re hearing from their constituents, and that is the question. I’m speaking with the Souse Speaker today. Speaker McCarthy will join me live, and that’s the first question. Do these allegations of bribery, do these bank records, this witness testimony, these suspicious activity reports, all 176 of them, does that raise to the occasion of it’s time for digging in and an impeachment inquiry. So that’s going to be my first question to the Speaker.
HEGSETH: And right now, your sense is, it is Republicans in bluer areas that are still reticent to sign on.
BARTIROMO: I heard some of the guys from New York, California, they’re still reticent. They want more evidence. They want to dig in. But that’s exactly what an inquiry is about. Okay? So the question is, do you have enough already to actually just do the inquiry. Then you — and then they may make the case that look, we need an inquiry now that David Weiss is in charge.
Because you’ve got a special counsel and arguably David Weiss could say the information flow is stopping, now it’s in my hands, and this is my investigation, no more information flow to the Oversight Committee. If that’s the case, then it is, it becomes more important to get that inquiry going. So I think it is likely we are going to get an impeachment inquiry in September.