The Trump phone call at the center of a mysterious intelligence community whistleblower complaint reportedly involves Ukraine.
Both The Washington Post and The New York Times report that an intelligence official who worked in the White House filed the complaint Aug. 12 after growing alarmed about the details of a phone call that President Donald Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Trump and Zelensky, who took office in May, spoke by phone July 25. The Ukrainian government released a read-out of the phone call that said the two leaders spoke about corruption investigations “that have hampered interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”
Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has reportedly pushed the Ukrainians to release information about former Vice President Joe Biden’s business ties to Ukraine.
It is still not clear exactly what triggered concern in the whistleblower, who has not been identified. Andrew Bakaj, a lawyer for the whistleblower, declined a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Details of the complaint have spilled into public view following a tense battle between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.
Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG), sent Schiff letters this month making it clear that he disagreed with Maguire’s decision not to turn the whistleblower complaint over to Congress. Atkinson said he found the complaint credible and “urgent,” a threshold that requires the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to sent an intelligence community whistleblower complaint to Congress.
But Maguire, with guidance from the Justice Department, declined to turn over the complaint, saying it involved privileged communications.
House Democrats have investigated whether Trump and Giuliani improperly used leverage against Ukraine in order to obtain information about Joe Biden’s financial ties to the eastern European nation. Some news outlets have reported the Trump administration threatened to withhold $250 million in military aid from Ukraine.
Democrats requested a transcript of Trump and Zelensky’s July 25 phone call as part of their investigation.
The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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