U.S. President Donald Trump put pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help his 2020 re-election bid, according to the bombshell whistleblower complaint released Sept. 26.
White House officials were then directed by lawyers to “lock down” all records of the conversation, including its word-for-word transcription, the anonymous whistleblower wrote, citing conversations with said officials.
The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released the unclassified complaint on Sept. 26, ahead of testimony by Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
The complaint has been at the heart of a scandal, that Trump had allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of political rival and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, during a phone conversation on July 25.
On Sept. 25, the White House released a memorandum of the phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky. The memo revealed that Trump wanted Zelensky “look into” the case of Hunter Biden, Joseph Biden’s son. The document is composed from notes taken during the phone call and is not a literal transcript of the conversation.
However, the declassified complaint states that Trump pressured Zelensky to “initiate or continue the investigation” into Hunter Biden, assist in uncovering that allegations of Russian interference into the U.S presidential elections held in 2016, as well as meet with Trump’s lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr.
According to the disclosed complaint “… these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”
It also shows that many White House officials knew about the content of the two leaders’ conversations and were “deeply disturbed” by it.
The complaint details the July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky, the efforts to restrict records related to the call, the ongoing concerns about Trump’s putting pressure on Ukraine and circumstances that have led to the July 25 phone call between the two countries’ leaders.
The complaint goes on to say that on the day after the call, U.S. special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker met with Zelensky and some Ukrainian politicians.
Volker, together with the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon D. Sondland, “reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that President (Trump) made of Zelensky.” the complaint reads.
It also says that Giuliani had reportedly “privately reached out to a variety of Zelensky’s advisers, including Chief of Staff Andrii Bohdan, and Acting Chairmen of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”
Read more – What US whistleblower scandal means for Ukraine