Whistleblower complaint released ahead of acting DNI testimony

Unnamed official claims White House tried to "lock down" call details

SKY News
September 26, 2019 - 9:11 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials sought to "lock down" records of a phone call in which President Donald Trump urged his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to a secret whistleblower complaint made public Thursday.

The document was released ahead of scheduled testimony from Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.

House Democrats who are now mulling Trump's impeachment are hoping Maguire will explain why he withheld the intelligence community whistleblower's complaint from Congress for weeks. Maguire will then go behind closed doors to speak to the Senate intelligence panel.

Lawmakers have been given a redacted, declassified version of the complaint that can be made public.

The complaint is at least in part related to the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump prodded Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Biden. The White House released a rough transcript of that call Wednesday morning.

According to the nine-page complaint, the White House officials were “deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” and that White House lawyers were consulted out of concern that the president used his office for his own personal gain.

The complaint appeared to mirror the details of the phone call, as laid out in a five-page readout of the call that the White House released early Wednesday morning.

 While Trump has admitted that he raised the prospect of investigating Biden in the phone call, he has denied that he withheld financial aid to help combat Russian aggression as leverage in his discussions with the foreign leader.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday endorsed an impeachment investigation in light of the Ukraine revelations.

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