On July 25, President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone.
Their exchange would eventually spark the impeachment inquiry that is currently engulfing the nation.
According to Trump, however, there’s a “more important” call with the European leader that took places months earlier.
The president announced Monday he’ll be releasing the transcript of that call, later promising it would become public this week.
“In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history,” Trump tweeted Monday, “I will be releasing sometime this week the Transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine.”
In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history, I will be releasing sometime this week the Transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine. I am sure you will find it tantalizing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2019
In a follow-up post 12 hours later, Trump promised to release the transcript “before week’s end.”
“I will be releasing the transcript of the first, and therefore more important, phone call with the Ukrainian President before week’s end!” Trump wrote.
I will be releasing the transcript of the first, and therefore more important, phone call with the Ukrainian President before week’s end!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
What we know about the first call is limited, but it could be the missing piece needed to finally end the impeachment farce.
During the call, Trump expressed his desire to work with the Ukrainian president and even extended him an invitation to visit the White House.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was on the original call, and previously confirmed the exchange was “positive.”
The fact that Trump has stressed the importance of the first call multiple times indicates the transcript might contain something that could give context to the conversation at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment push.
The exchange from the controversial July call is so innocuous that “read the transcript” has become a rallying cry for those defending Trump.
Now, a new transcript threatens to galvanize the seemingly growing resistance against Democrats.
A damning undercut to an already struggling partisan impeachment process would be devastating for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff and other lawmakers leading the anti-Trump push.
Schiff is already under mounting pressure from Republicans who want to call their own witnesses to bring a semblance of fairness to the process.
Democrats might have to wait a few more days before the new transcript drops.
While it may not provide any new information, the president’s focus on the call could mean it’s a ticking time bomb for the anti-Trump impeachment inquiry.