Whistleblower Complaint about President Trump Released

The whistleblower complaint about President Trump‘s actions regarding Ukraine has been released.

The document paints a damaging picture. In addition to relaying the gist of the July phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, it outlines other moves the White House made to push for an investigation of Joe Biden.

  • The administration took steps to hide a transcript of the call, moving it from a regular White House server to one used specifically for classified information — even though no national security issues were discussed.
  • The day after the phone call, U.S. officials met with Zelensky to advise him on how to “navigate” Trump’s request.
  • The following week, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani traveled to Madrid to meet with Ukraine officials as a “direct follow-up” to the phone call.
  • In May, Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration, instead sending Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The whistleblower characterizes this as a move to put pressure on Zelensky.
  • As has been reported, shortly before the July phone call, Trump ordered all aid to Ukraine to be suspended.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, the person officially responsible for releasing the report to Congress, is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill today (Thursday).

Hot Takes:

  • This is some scary stuff, especially that Trump has been using Rudy Giuliani to circumvent normal, secure diplomatic channels.
  • That they tried to hide the transcript of the call is pretty strong evidence they knew what they were doing, and that it was wrong.
  • If Giuliani is acting as a campaign adviser, not a government official, is it actually illegal for him to talk to foreign countries about campaign dirt?
  • Bear in mind that this whistleblower has acknowledged that almost all of his information is second-hand.