On September 26, 2019, the full complaint filed against President Trump by an anonymous whistleblower has been released. The whistleblower is a male CIA agent who provided a 9-page long complaint. It also includes a letter from the Inspector General, Joseph McGuire. The complaint is about a phone call that took place between President Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Furthermore, the complaint details concerns with how the White House handled the records of the phone call, and the interactions between President Trump, White House lawyers, and Ukraine. Also, the whistleblower is filing the complaint due to concerns about Trump abusing his power of office and soliciting help from a foreign power.
It is important to note that the whistleblower was not a witness to most of the events described in the complaint. However, there are enough witnesses with credible accounts along with public statements to validate the whistleblower’s complaints.
Contents of the Phone Call and Attempted Cover-Up
The morning of July 25, 2019, President Trump and Ukranian President Zelensky were in a phone call. It is unknown who was the one who initiated the phone call. Witnesses and the transcript show that Trump exchanged “pleasantries” with the Ukranian President before using the “remainder of the call to advance his [Trump’s] personal interests.” There were two things that Trump wanted from Zelensky
First, he pressured Zelensky to help him win the 2020 presidential reelection. Secondly, he wanted Zelensky to find out if the Russians did interfere with the 2016 presidential elections. He wanted to know if such interference came from Ukraine. Furthermore, Trump wanted Ukraine to hand in any servers that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had used. Crowdstrike would investigate these servers. Lastly, Zelensky could meet and talk to Trump’s personal lawyer Mr. Rudolph Giuliani and Attorney General Anthony Barr. Giuliani, in particular, played a huge role in the events described in the complaint.
Trump’s Phone Call
There were over a dozen people listening to Trump’s phone call. This is part of the protocol. The whistleblower also named State Department official Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl as someone who was listening. When the call ended White House lawyers were keen on covering up word-for-word transcripts, instructing White House officials to “remove the electronic transcript from the computer system.” The computer system was used to store and send documents to Cabinet-level officials. Furthermore, the transcript was loaded onto another computer system. The sole purpose of this computer was to code sensitive intelligence materials of national security. One White House official said that the use of the computer system was abuse. Another official stated that this was not the first time that the Trump administration had used the system to store politically sensitive phone calls.
The Meetings And Events In Ukraine
The next day after the phone call Ukraine was already discussing how to deal with Trump’s demands. President Zelenskymet with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and other Ukrainian politicians, according to U.S. officials. On August 2, Giuliani met with one of Zelensky’s aides, Andriy Yermak in Madrid. According to U.S. officials, they called this meeting a “direct follow-up” to Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. Additionally, Giuliani met with other Ukranian advisers, and two of them wanted to travel to Washington in August. On August 9, President Trump also stated that President Zelensky was going to make a deal with President Putin. Zelinsky was welcomed into the White House.
Actions Before the Phone Call
It is crucial to understand what had happened in Ukraine before the phone call. Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and other politicians accused the Ukranian administration of having and hiding evidence of interference in the 2016 presidential election. The accusations included Head of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Parliament Member Serhiy Leshchenko. These accusations occurred in an online news article from The Hill in March 2019. There were also politicians and Ukrainian officials preventing the transport of this evidence to the United States. Additionally, a “do not prosecute” list was made.
Lutsenko himself was accused of not pursuing corruption leads or cases. Lutsenko also accused former Vice President Joe Biden of pressuring the former Ukranian President to fire the Ukranian Prosecutor General in order to stop a criminal probe into Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings. (Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukranian energy company). Lutsenko himself stated that he wanted to discuss these matters to Attorney General Anthony Barr.
These accusations came on the eve of the Ukranian Presidential election. President Poroshenko lost to Zelensky, and Zelenskywanted to make Lutsensko his Prosecutor General. Mr. Giuliani had also met with Lutsensko twice. On April 25, Trump stated publicly that Lutsensko’s claims were “big” and “incredible,” inviting Barr to discuss things with Lutsensko. Later, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was recalled to Washington for “consultations” but was removed from her post “as planned.” Yovanovitch was removed because she was “part of the efforts against the President,” according to Giuliani to a Ukranian journalist. In early May, Giuliani intended to travel to Ukraine to help President Trump with his reelection along with investigating the Biden family. Trump publicly announced that he would talk to Giuliani about the meeting, and a few hours later the trip to Ukraine was canceled. The reason for the cancellation was because Zelensky was surrounded by Trump’s enemies.
Further Concerns And Actions
The whistleblower was deeply concerned by Giuliani’s actions because he was not adhering to national security decisionmaking protocols. Instead, the man was making decisions on his own without consulting U.S. officials. Ukraine was receiving mixed messages from Giuliani and other American communications. Even when Giuliani was warned by two U.S. ambassadors about the risks to national security and damages, he continued meeting with Ukranian officials. Giuliani claimed that he was investigating the Biden family in Ukraine. Also, President Trump would accept information from a foreign power about such allegations.
It is unknown whether Zelensky has done what President Trump requested. The Trump administration is waiting to see if Zelensky will “play ball.” The whistleblower does not know what the phrase means. The whistleblower does know that a new policy regarding Ukranian assistance was made sometime between June and the phone call. Trump then told the Office of Management and Budget to “suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.” No one in the department or the National Security Council knew why Trump gave these instructions.
More information will likely be released as Congress sorts through the complaint. This article is a followup to What We Know About The Whistleblower & The Complaint Filed Against President Trump