On Wednesday, Congress received the whistle-blower’s report on President Trump’s July call to Ukraine, following lawmakers’ demands to see the intelligence officer’s memo that tipped off the scandal leading to Tuesday’s impeachment inquiry. After Democrats called for the report to be made public, it was declassified around 10:30 p.m. — though it will not be released to the public until at least Thursday morning.
Still, reporting provides a decent public understanding for what the complaint will contain: Not only did the whistle-blower flag Trump’s call requesting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate the business dealings of Hunter Biden, but they were reportedly concerned with how the White House responded to Trump’s solicitation. According to the New York Times, the whistle-blower “identified multiple White House officials as witnesses to potential presidential misconduct who could corroborate the complaint.”
According to the Times, Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, interviewed witnesses in the administration, concluding that “there was reason to believe that the president might have illegally solicited a foreign campaign contribution — and that his potential misconduct created a national security risk.”
Another memo — an opinion from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel on the whistle-blower’s findings — provides more insight into the whistle-blower report. According to two sources who read the memo, the whistle-blower was concerned that Trump “abused his authority or acted unlawfully in connection with foreign diplomacy,” though the intelligence officer heard about the call secondhand. The memo also suggests that the whistle-blower’s report goes beyond the details of the limited transcript released on Wednesday — a determination shared by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who called the complaint “deeply disturbing” and “very credible.”
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also previewed more revelations from the soon-to-be-published report: “All I’ll tell you is this. Two things: Number one, having read the documents in there, I’m even more worried about what happened than when I read the memorandum of the conversation. There are so many facts that have to be examined. It’s very troubling.”
More on the Trump-Ukraine Scandal
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- Trump Fires Impeachment Witnesses Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland
- Trump Impeachment Hearing Schedule: What’s Next?