Whistleblower Complaint Released: Alleges Trump Abused Power for Foreign Interference

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One.

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One on the PCU Gerald R. Ford, Newport News, Virginia, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The whistleblower complaint that launched an impeachment inquiry, the release of a phone call between two world leaders, and controversy over whether or not President Trump used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election,” was released on Wednesday evening to the public. [1]

A Transcript

On July 25 the U.S. president made a thirty minute phone call with the Ukrainian president. On August 12 an anonymous complaint was submitted to the intelligence community inspector general; stating that Trumps 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.”

Shortly after the complaint was filed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that they turn the complaint over to the House, when the Trump administration initially refused to do so Pelosi announced that she was starting a formal impeachment inquiry. [2]

The day after the impeachment inquiry was announced, the administration released the phone call transcript to the public, but the complaint continued to remain classified.

By Thursday morning the official whistleblower complaint had also been released to the public.

A Complaint

The whistleblower is a nine-page complaint which states that “more than half a dozen” White House officials witnessed the event and were “deeply disturbed” by the phone call between Trump and Ukraine President, Mr. Zelensky, the inspector general, who elevated the complaint, interviewed these White House officials.

According to the whistleblower, officials “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the call, especially the word-for-word transcript.”

White House lawyers managed the loading of the transcript onto a separate system- one that is normally used for classified information- even though there was no national security-sensitive material in the released transcript.

The whistleblower said that his concerns were deepened when the day after the call a U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland met with Ukrainian officials to discuss how they should “navigate” Trump’s demands.

In the complaint, the whistleblower also goes on extensively about how Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko made a series of corruption allegations against U.S. officials in March 2019- one of the officials that he mentioned was Joe Biden. His charges were followed shortly after by the news that Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with Lutsenko to pursue investigations related to Trump’s 2020 reelection.

“I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election,” the complaint reads. “The interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.”

Allegedly, multiple White House officials were “deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision-making processes.” Halfway through July, the whistleblower learned that Trump had suspended all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine- OMB officials were unaware of any policy rationale. [3]

Although the whistleblower was not personally on the July 25 phone call, nor did he have any access to the transcript of the phone call before submitting the complaint, they believe that their witness accounts are accurate “because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another.”


Notes:

  1. ^https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6430350-20190812-Whistleblower-Complaint-Unclass.html#document/p8 (go back↩)
  2. ^Wilson, Christopher. “Pelosi calls for official impeachment inquiry into President Trump.” Yahoo, 24 Sept. 2019, news.yahoo.com/pelosi-trump-impeachment-inquiry-ukraine-210758893.html. (go back↩)
  3. ^Whistleblower complaint alleges Trump abused power to solicit foreign interference.” Axios, 26 Sept. 2019, www.axios.com/trump-ukraine-whistleblower-complaint-released-e2524316-fb2f-418e-ae57-51892e709a4c.html. (go back↩)

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