Friday, September 20, 2019

Trump urged Ukraine to investigate son of political rival Joe Biden

From The Journal

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington.

President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The revelation is likely to raise more questions in the ongoing controversy over a mysterious complaint submitted by an intelligence whistleblower that involves Trump's communications with a foreign leader. The complaint has created a showdown between Congress and the White House.
Two people familiar with the matter say the complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — There are many unanswered questions about a whistleblower's complaint that reportedly says President Donald Trump's made an inappropriate, even alarming "promise" involving Ukraine. For starters, it's not publicly known who the whistleblower is or what he or she is specifically alleging.
One of the people says Trump urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential rival Biden's son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name.
Trump is angrily labeling the allegation as "partisan" even as Democrats move to investigate the interactions.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Trump pressured Ukraine's president during a July phone call to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter, repeatedly suggesting that he work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, to carry out the probe. 
The Washington Post also reported that the President pressed the leader of Ukraine to investigate Biden's son during the call, which took place one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress about Russian interference in US elections.
A look at controversy over intelligence whistleblower law
WASHINGTON (AP) — The rancorous standoff between Congress and the Trump administration over a whistleblower's complaint hinges on a 20-year-old law designed to protect those in the intelligence community who want to raise concerns about things they've seen or heard.
The complaint deals at least in part with Ukraine, The New York Times and Washington Post reported Thursday night.
In the July 25 phone call, Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know" whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said, according to the Journal.
Trump suggested Zelensky enlist the help of Giuliani about eight times, the Journal reports. The Post did not report that detail.
The person familiar with the call told the Journal that Trump did not mentioned the issue of foreign aid to Ukraine during the conversation and did not believe the President explicitly offered any quid-pro-quo for Ukraine's cooperation on an investigation.
A readout of the call put out by the Ukrainian government, which occurred one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress about foreign interference in US elections, references discussion of investigating corruption, but the White House version makes no mention -- saying only that he was congratulating him on his recent election.

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