Scott Varley/Orange County Register via ZUMA

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Being sick has its advantages: I ended up watching a bunch of Fox News yesterday to find out what the Foxbot take on Ukrainegate is. Roughly speaking, it was: nothing to see here, the real scandal is Joe Biden.

I don’t feel like repeating all this nonsense, but it’s probably useful to provide the NYTbot take on Ukrainegate. That is to say, the consensus view of everyone who’s not a Trump water carrier. Here we go:

  • First off, Ukraine is a very corrupt country. This is the one thing that all sides agree on.
  • In particular, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General in 2016 was Viktor Shokin, a man so corrupt that both the IMF and pretty much every European country insisted he be removed if Ukraine wanted any assistance from the outside world.
  • At this time, Shokin was not investigating Burisma, the energy company on which Hunter Biden held a board seat. This is one of the (many) reasons he was considered corrupt.
  • Joe Biden later told the story of Shokin’s firing like this: “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 bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” Now, this might be a bit of Biden exaggeration, but it accurately describes the general attitude toward Shokin at the time.
  • A new Prosecutor General was appointed and immediately reopened the investigation into Burisma. In other words, by switching prosecutors Biden probably made things harder on his son, not easier.
  • The new prosecutor eventually reached a deal with Burisma. As with everything in Ukraine, it’s unclear if this was on the up-and-up, but in any case it happened after Trump had won election and Joe Biden no longer had any power or influence.
  • There has never been even a hint of evidence that Hunter Biden did anything wrong. He’s a Washington lobbyist who sits on various boards and had done a few small jobs for Burisma during the Obama administration. The head of Burisma at the time was trying to assemble an “all-star” board of directors and approached Hunter Biden. Was this an attempt to curry favor with the White House? I wouldn’t be surprised. But that has nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, which he says was mostly about corporate governance.
  • The new prosecutor has stated many times that his investigation came up with absolutely nothing on Hunter Biden.
  • Likewise, there’s not a hint of evidence that Joe Biden ever did anything wrong.

So that’s the Biden side of the story. Your Foxbot friends will never hear any of this, so I figure it’s useful for you to have it all in one place. I assure you that there is no partisan slant to any of this. This is pure conventional wisdom, agreed to by virtually everyone outside the Trump orbit.

Next, of course, is the timeline for the shakedown of Ukraine over Trump’s desire for them to reopen the investigation into Hunter Biden yet again. We’ll do that some other time.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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