On April 1, 2019, The Hill published a Solomon column titled “Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived.” This column highlighted that Joe Biden was a key player in convincing Ukraine to fire its then-prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in 2016. Shokin was replaced by Lutsenko, who at the time was regarded highly by some U.S. officials and deemed to be someone the U.S. could work with.
The column suggests that Joe Biden was protecting Hunter Biden because Burisma was the subject of a “wide-ranging corruption probe.” That account has been disputed by officials in both Kyiv and Washington and others who maintain the investigation had grown dormant, and that Joe Biden was pushing for Shokin’s removal, not because he was investigating corruption allegations, but because he was neglecting to do so. British officials investigating fraud at Burisma backed this account, dropping a case against the company in early 2015 — months before Joe Biden’s push to remove Shokin — citing a lack of cooperation from the prosecutor general’s office in Kyiv. Furthermore, seeking Shokin’s ouster was the official position of the U.S. and the European Union. The Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove Shokin in 2016. Like Lutsenko, Shokin’s reliability as a source is in question. Shokin was among the figures Solomon interviewed during his research.