BREAKING NEWS: Whistle-blower complaint accusing Donald Trump of abusing his power in call to Ukraine’s president is published – and also claims White House tried to cover up the call on a secret server
- Bombshell whistle-blower complaint is published and reveals new allegations of a high-level White House cover-up as well as claims of abuse of power
- Official remains unnamed and unidentified but is not a member of the White House staff and works for another agency
- Official was given a ‘read-out’ of the call but did not listen to it
- Whistle-blower says they were told by ‘disturbed’ White House officials about the aftermath of the call
- Its contents were moved to a secret computer system more normally used for ‘covert action’ despite not being ‘national-security sensitive’
- White House officials ‘voiced concern internally that this would be an abuse of the system,’ the complaint says
- Complaint says it was not the first time Trump’s calls to foreign leaders had been placed on secret server run by the National Security Council
The House Intelligence Committee Thursday published the bombshell whistle-blower complaint at the center of the growing scandal facing Donald Trump over his dealings with Ukraine.
The seven-page document was declassified overnight after lawmakers had viewed it.
It levels a series of new charges at Donald Trump and the White House including that:
- White House lawyers tried to cover up the call by restricting the official transcript’s distribution and placing it in a classified computer system usually used for ‘covert action’ without justification;
- That other ‘politically sensitive – rather than national security sensitive’ calls between Trump and foreign leaders have been dealt with in the same way
- That there are more notes of the call which have vanished;
- That ‘multiple U.S. officials’ expressed concern about Rudy Giuliani’s involved in Ukraine.
The letter does not disclose the whistle-blower’s identity but makes clear that they are a senior figure – they disclose that they were provided a ‘readout’ of the call.
But the core of the charge against Trump is less likely to be about Ukraine but about a wide-ranging cover-up.
Call: The conversation on July 25 between Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump is now at the center of a metastasizing Washington D.C. scandal with fuel poured on it by the publication of the whistle-blower’s complaint
In the spotlight: The complaint alleges both Rudy Giuliani – the president’s private attorney – and Bill Barr, the attorney-general are both named as being part of the alleged abuse of power
The whistle-blower says after the call, they learned from ‘multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript.’
To the whistle-blower, this underscored ‘White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.’
White House officials said they were ‘directed’ by lawyers to remove the transcript from the typical White House computer system for storage.
It was loaded on to a ‘separate electronic system’ – one the whistle-blower notes normally associated with ‘covert activity.’
The whistle-blower describes readouts of Special Ukraine Representative Kurt Volker’s trips to the country.
According to those readouts, Volker and the U.S. ambassador to the European Union counseled the Ukrainians how to ‘navigate’ the president’s directives.
The whistle-blower also describes hearing form U.S. officials what has been publicly reported, that Giuliani traveld to Madrid to meet with one of Zelensky’s advisors, Andrey Yermak.
Using what could be code for the Biden investigation Trump sought, officials said the meeting was ‘direct follow-up’ to the Trump Zelensky phone call and the ‘cases’ they discussed. The call contains only mention of one case, the company tied to Hunter Biden, as well as Trump’s reference to the hacked Democratic server from the 2016 election.
The whistle-blower names Zelensky advisors who Giuliani approached. Officials told the whistle-blower two of them were planning a trip to Washington in August.
The official also talks about the extraordinary decision to call back the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, for ‘consultations’
Trump’s July 25 call features the president calling the U.S. diplomat a ‘bad news,’ and Zelensky agreeing that he was the ‘first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100 per cent.’
The whistle-blower learned from U.S. officials that Yovanovitch was likely to be removed on April 29. The person learned that she was recalled due to ‘pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations’ – a reference to claims by the Ukrainian prosecutor.
Ukraine links: Joe Biden made multiple trips there and demanded action on corruption; Hunter was on the board of a natural gas firm which faced money-laundering accusations
Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, who Trump praised on the July call, had made a series of allegations about the 2016 election which were at odds with the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia hacked Democratic servers.
Lutskenko also said Biden’s pressure on prior Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire an earlier prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was done to stop an investigation of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy firm where Hunter Biden served on the board.
Giuliani has pushed those twin claims – dealing with the 2016 elections and Biden’s actions – in his public efforts on behalf of Trump.
The whistle-blower also cited public comments by Lutsenko to communicate with Attorney General William Barr, who Trump mentioned repeatedly on his call with Zelensky.
Days after the State Department announced Ambassador Yovanovich’s removal, the New York Times reported that Giuliani had planned to travel to Ukraine in an effort the said could help his client and help the United States.
READ THE FULL COMPLAINT