The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released a declassified version of a whistleblower complaint regarding President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president and subsequent handling of records about a July 25 phone call between the two leaders.
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The whistleblower’s complaint recounted what led up to that phone call—and the phone call itself — during which President Trump repeatedly pressure the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to ‘play ball’ on issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsensko and Mr. Giuliani,” the whistleblower claimed.
Not only did he whistleblower take issue with the nature of the July 25 call, but reported hearing from White House officials “that they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.”
“Instead,” the whistleblower claims, “the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”