The White House released a partial transcript based on Trump aides’ notes that showed the president pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
The White House released a memo of a phone conversation, not to be confused with an actual phone transcript, based on notes taken by Situation Room Duty Officers and National Security Council staff.
The transcript shows that Trump pressed Zelensky on Biden, as well as CrowdStrike, a security firm that investigated the Russian DNC hacks, but does not include an explicit quid pro quo offer. Of course, the disclaimer on the memo says the transcript may be incomplete and the 30-minute conversation was condensed into four pages. Trump blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine days before the call and only released it under pressure from lawmakers.
Trump repeatedly mentioned Biden:
“I would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump told Zelensky, according to the memo. “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.” Trump was apparently referring to a DNC server that was investigated by CrowdSrike but not the FBI.
“There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation,” Trump said. “I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.”
Trump added that “they say” that the Mueller investigation “started with Ukraine.”
“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible, Trump said.
After Zelensky agreed that it was important to investigate, Trump brought up Biden.
“I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair,” Trump said, even though the prosecutor was accused of soliciting bribes and a western consensus pushed to have him fired.
“A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved,” Trump said. “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man… I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you speak to him that would be great.”
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution,” Trump said, even though the investigation was not into Biden’s son, it was into the company he worked for and the probe was no longer inactive, so Biden did not stop any prosecution.
“A lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution,” he claimed. Again, Biden did not stop any prosecutions.
DOJ did not act on criminal referral:
The Justice Department said in a statement that the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community submitted a criminal referral to the Justice Department related to an “urgent” whistleblower report about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine. The DOJ declined to act on it.
“In August, the Department of Justice was referred a matter relating to a letter the Director of National Intelligence had received from the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community regarding a purported whistleblower complaint,” the DOJ said in a statement. “The Inspector General’s letter cited a conversation between the President and Ukrainian President Zelensky as a potential violation of federal campaign finance law, while acknowledging that neither the Inspector General nor the complainant had firsthand knowledge of the conversation.”
“Relying on established procedures set forth in the Justice Manual, the Department’s Criminal Division reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation.”