The whistleblower complaint on President Donald Trump and Ukraine was released Thursday morning, accusing the President of using his power “to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 election.
White House officials, the whistleblower said, were “deeply disturbed” by Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The officials attempted to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced by the White House, the complaint states.
The complaint has been at the center of a controversy that has spurred Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. The White House on Wednesday also released a rough transcript of the July 25 call that shows Trump repeatedly pressed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
White House lawyers asked to remove transcript
The complaint notes White House lawyers were “already in discussion” about “how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”
White House lawyers also directed officials to remove the transcript of the call from a computer system that stores them for Cabinet-level officials and instead put the transcript in a system for especially sensitive information, the whistleblower alleges.
Rudy Giuliani’s role worried State Dept officials
US officials were concerned, the whistleblower said, with Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s contact with Ukraine. The whistleblower alleges the US officials believed Giuliani was a conduit for messages between the President and officials in Kyiv.
Two US State Department officials had spoken with Giuliani “in an attempt to ‘contain the damage’ to US national security,” the whistleblower writes.
The State Department officials also met with Ukrainian leaders to sort through differing messages they were receiving from US officials versus Giuliani’s version of events, the whistleblower wrote.
The complaint also describes how on the day after the Trump’s call with the Ukraine leader, State officials met with Ukrainian political figures and provided advice “about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of” Zelensky.
This story is breaking and will be updated.