The White House on Wednesday released a transcript of President Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showing he sought a review of Biden family dealings in the country — but the document does not show Trump explicitly leveraging military aid as part of a quid pro quo, as Democrats have suggested in pressing forward with impeachment.
The document, declassified by Trump a day earlier, indicates that the call – which Trump made from the White House residence — took place July 25 from 9:03 a.m. to 9:33 a.m. A notation on the memo says it does not represent a “verbatim transcript” but is based on “notes and recollections” of those listening and memorializing the call. It is still presented in transcript form.
The memo begins with the president congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, before Trump eventually broaches the subject former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said in the phone call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
This refers to Joe Biden, while vice president, urging Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Biden has maintained that corruption concerns prompted his intervention.
Trump, in the run-up to the transcript’s release, was accused by Democrats of essentially pressuring a foreign power to investigate a political opponent, as Biden is now a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. – READ MORE