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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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#642

Does anyone know if the phone call was conducted in English on both sides or if translations were going on? The reason I ask is that I read the transcript out loud and it took about 13 minutes. At the top of the document, the length of the phone call is given as 30 minutes so if there were translations going on, then there may be no missing dialog or up to a few minutes missing. If the call was in English, then there are perhaps around 15 minutes of missing dialog.

This seems like an important piece of information about the call, but I can’t find out anything about it. Anyone out there know the answer?

:question:


#643

Three Committee Chairmen to White House: Any Attempt By Trump to Use Presidency for Personal Gain Undermines Our Sovereignty, Democracy and the Constitution

Chairs Demand Documents from White House by Thursday, White House Must Assure Congress No Reprisals Against Officials With Knowledge of Whistleblower Complaint

https://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=701

Today, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone demanding that the White House turn over documents relating to the President’s efforts to influence a foreign country to interfere with our upcoming election, which the Chairmen noted would amount to a gross abuse of power. The letter also warned against the President’s persistent attacks on a credible whistleblower from the intelligence community, demanding the White House ensure that any individual with knowledge relevant to the Committees’ investigation—including knowledge of the subject of the whistleblower complaint—is not subject to intimidation, reprisal, or threat of reprisal.

In the letter, the Chairmen wrote:

Our Committees have a constitutional duty to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch and to determine the facts regarding the actions of the President.

Any attempt by a President to use the office of the presidency of the United States for personal political gain—rather than the national interest—fundamentally undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution.

If the recent reports are accurate, it means the President raised with a foreign leader pursuing investigations related to a political opponent in an upcoming U.S. election. That is the very definition of corrupt abuse of power. The corruption exists whether or not the President mentioned or threatened—explicitly or implicitly—that a lack of cooperation could result in the President withholding U.S. security assistance or other forms of assistance.

This President’s alleged misconduct is all the more egregious in context. Ukraine depends on U.S. economic, military, and diplomatic support and continues to face a military threat from Russia. It is, therefore, particularly vulnerable to pressure from a U.S. President.

Exploiting that vulnerability to advance the President’s personal political interests—whether or not the President ever expressly tied his request to a quid pro quo —subverts the constitutional duties he is sworn to uphold and presents an acute crisis for our democracy. Misuse of the office of the presidency for such a corrupt purpose would thus represent a clear breach of the trust placed in the President to faithfully execute the laws of the United States and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

The President’s alleged wrongdoing is compounded by his Administration’s attempt to block a credible whistleblower who lawfully sought to provide Congress with urgent information about serious or flagrant abuse, which public reports indicate relates to the President himself.

This letter comes amid reports that the Department of Justice, the White House Counsel’s Office, and the White House Counsel have played a direct role in devising a flawed legal basis for the Acting Director of National Intelligence to circumvent both the statute and Congress’ clear intent that all whistleblower disclosures intended for Congress reach the relevant committees unfiltered.

The Committees also demanded that the White House produce all documents by Thursday, September 26, that they requested in their previous letter to Cipollone, including the transcript of the President’s July 25, 2019, call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The full letter is below:

September 24, 2019

Mr. Pat Cipollone
Counsel to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20002

Dear Mr. Cipollone:

On September 9, 2019, the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform wrote to you requesting documents relating to reports that President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pressed the Ukrainian government to interfere with the upcoming U.S. Presidential election by pursuing investigations that could benefit President Trump politically. Our request was predicated on a growing public record of the President and his personal lawyer’s participation in such a scheme, which prompted our Committees to initiate a joint investigation in June.

We asked that the White House produce these documents by September 16, 2019. To date, the White House has failed to acknowledge our request or comply in any way with the Committees’ request for documents.

According to press reports, which multiple outlets have confirmed, documents requested by the Committees—particularly the transcript of the President’s July 25, 2019, phone call with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—may be part of or related to a lawful whistleblower disclosure that Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire continues to improperly withhold from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in violation of his express statutory obligation.

Over the past few days, there has been a dramatic shift in the President’s public statements about his call with President Zelensky, as well as troubling attacks by the President on the whistleblower. The President initially appeared to deny press reports that he urged President Zelensky to investigate the son of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden. By Sunday, September 22, the President explicitly admitted that he raised during his call with President Zelensky the widely debunked conspiracy theory attempting to link Vice President Biden to corruption in Ukraine. He stated:

The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine and Ukraine, Ukraine’s got a lot of problems. The new president is saying that he’s going to be able to rid the country of corruption, and I said that would be a great thing. We had a great conversation…It was a perfect conversation.

The President’s admission followed that of his personal attorney, Mr. Giuliani, who acknowledged during an interview on national television last week that “of course” he had asked Ukraine to investigate President Trump’s political opponent.

Our Committees have a constitutional duty to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch and to determine the facts regarding the actions of the President.

Any attempt by a President to use the office of the presidency of the United States for personal political gain—rather than the national interest—fundamentally undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution.

If the recent reports are accurate, it means the President raised with a foreign leader pursuing investigations related to a political opponent in an upcoming U.S. election. That is the very definition of corrupt abuse of power. The corruption exists whether or not the President mentioned or threatened—explicitly or implicitly—that a lack of cooperation could result in the President withholding U.S. security assistance or other forms of assistance.

This President’s alleged misconduct is all the more egregious in context. Ukraine depends on U.S. economic, military, and diplomatic support and continues to face a military threat from Russia. It is, therefore, particularly vulnerable to pressure from a U.S. President.

Exploiting that vulnerability to advance the President’s personal political interests—whether or not the President ever expressly tied his request to a quid pro quo —subverts the constitutional duties he is sworn to uphold and presents an acute crisis for our democracy. Misuse of the office of the presidency for such a corrupt purpose would thus represent a clear breach of the trust placed in the President to faithfully execute the laws of the United States and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

The President’s alleged wrongdoing is compounded by his Administration’s attempt to block a credible whistleblower who lawfully sought to provide Congress with urgent information about serious or flagrant abuse, which public reports indicate relates to the President himself.

The Department of Justice, your office, and you personally have reportedly played a direct role in devising a purported legal basis for the Acting DNI to circumvent both the statute and Congress’ clear intent that all whistleblower disclosures intended for Congress reach the relevant committees unfiltered. If true, your office’s involvement raises the specter of a signficant cover-up, in which the White House has improperly intervened to withhold such information from Congress in contravention of the clear command and purpose of the whistleblower statute. That the White House, through you and your office, appears to have received information about or even potentially possesses a whistleblower disclosure involving the President vitiates the purpose of the statutory framework that was established to ensure protected disclosures to Congress are insulated from political interference.

In light of the President’s persistent attacks on the whistleblower, and consistent with the White House’s preservation obligations as set forth in our September 9 letter, the White House must also assure the Committees that it is taking all steps to ensure that no officials with knowledge relevant to the Committees’ investigation, including knowledge of the subject of the whistleblower complaint, are subject to intimidation, reprisal, or threat of reprisal. Any attempt to intimidate or retaliate against these officials is illegal, and the Committees will treat any such allegation with the utmost gravity.

For all these reasons, we now request that you produce—by Thursday, September 26—all of the documents we requested in our letter of September 9. In light of these grave allegations, the President must immediately abandon his stonewalling of Congress and his refusal to submit to any scrutiny or examination of his actions. Failure to comply with our request will compel our Committees to resort to escalated measures.

Sincerely,

Rep. Adam Schiff ,
Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings ,
Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform

Rep. Eliot L. Engel ,
Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs


#644

It’s not actually a transcript, it’s a memo of a telephone conversation or TELCON.


#645

I saw a couple of news items on MSNBC “Last Word” about that with someone who had been a ‘transcriber’ in one administration - Larry Pfeiffer, former Chief of Staff for CIA Director (2006-9 GWBush admin) and Director of the SItuation Room for Obama .

Situation Room -This is where transcripts are worked on and released…there will always be a rough version where 2 or 3 people will be transcribing this information…

If it is anything less than what it seems like the final memo…then you can go to the verbatim translation…or to a summary which is the shortest version.

We do not tape anymore, post Nixon…and Pfeiffer said he was aware of ‘a few’ countries who may tape conversations.

Good summary on this clip with Rep Adam Schiff saying if it does not appear to be the fuller version, we need to do some more checking…and I think you have a good point @Keaton_James that it does appear streamlined. It also has the specific talking points that T 'n co are using - funny, isn’t it!!! :roll_eyes:


#646

@Pet_Proletariat, @dragonfly9 - Lots of good background info on how presidential calls are documented. A fascinating glimpse of what goes on in the situation room!

I still wish I could find out whether or not Zelensky was speaking English. If he was speaking English, there is a significant amount of dialog missing from the 30-minute call. :question:


#647

Excellent point. I’m sure seeing original whistleblower complaint would help add some more much needed context. Why not release it to the House Intel Committee?


#648

Acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign if he couldn’t speak freely before Congress on whistleblower complaint

The acting Director of National Intelligence threatened to resign over concerns that the White House might attempt to force him to stonewall Congress when he testifies Thursday about an explosive whistleblower complaint about the president, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The revelation reflects the extraordinary tensions between the White House and the nation’s highest-ranking intelligence official over a matter that has triggered impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The officials said that Joseph Maguire, who was thrust into the top intelligence post last month, warned the White House that he was not willing to withhold information from Congress, where he is scheduled to testify in open and closed hearings on Thursday.

The move was in part designed to force the White House to make an explicit legal decision on whether it was going to assert executive privilege over the whistleblower complaint, which centers on a call that Trump made with the leader of Ukraine in late July.

Some Senate Republicans stunned,question White House’s judgement after release

In essence, Maguire was serving notice that he intended to cooperate with lawmakers unless the White House moved forward with a legal case to prevent him from doing so, the officials said.

The White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

:boom::boom::boom:


#649

@Keaton_James - Zelensky does speak English. He’s in front of T at the UN - looking for a clip. He can speak for the most part…sounds fluent.

T is talking about how great the US economy is…making campaign-like platitudes.

Your theory would be right…the discussion should have been a long one and does NOT seem to be reflected in the 13 mins notes. :male_detective:

And there is a NOTE TAKER there…

:smile:


#650

Breaking…

Whistleblower report to be released today.

PBS news Lisa Lesjardins. :boom:


#651

:eyes:


#652

:eyes:


#653

:boom::boom::boom:

Adam Schiff says the Whistleblower complaint “was an urgent matter and is an urgent matter.”


#654

Two hundred and eighteen House Democrats and one independent — a majority of the chamber’s 435 members — now favor some kind of impeachment action against President Donald Trump, according to an NBC News tally.


#655

The anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general, which includes allegations about President Donald Trump’s conduct, has tentatively agreed to meet with congressional lawmakers, according to correspondence obtained by CNN

The meeting will take place on the condition that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire approves appropriate security clearances for the individual’s legal counsel so that they can accompany their client, the correspondence showed.


Day 979
#656

NYT is reporting that the whistleblower complaint is extremely concerning and credible…

And with the WB (whistleblower) speaking soon they will know more.

Looking for a R Rep’s comment that it would be vital for the public to see it. Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY) see below*

Handling of internal documents? Images of Classified Iranian locales

But the two people said the whistle-blower complaint went beyond Mr. Trump’s comments to Mr. Zelensky. It also dealt in part with the unusual manner in which White House officials handled internal records describing the call. The atypical proceeding heightened internal concerns about the content of the call, the two people said.

Bowing to pressure, the Trump administration permitted members of the intelligence committees and congressional leaders to read a copy of the complaint, which remains classified, late on Wednesday.

Its allegations were “deeply disturbing” and “very credible,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said after emerging from reviewing the complaint.

It contained far more information that reinforced their mounting concerns, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee told reporters after reading it. They could disclose very little because the complaint remained classified, but several of the lawmakers said it discussed other witnesses.

…

It was very well written and certainly provides information for the committee to follow up with other witnesses and documents,” Mr. Schiff said.

“I do not support impeachment of President Trump. I have just read the whistleblower complaint made available to House Intelligence Committee Members. I believe strongly in transparency and it should be immediately declassified and made public for the American people to read,” Stefanik

tweeted.ttps://thehill.com/homenews/house/463105-gop-house-intel-member-says-whistleblower-complaint-should-be-made-public


#657

The New York Times confirms, Democrats now have 218 House members in favor of impeachment proceedings. Enough to pass articles of impeachment. :hugs:


#658

:fire:

So another fast-moving shift for declassifying the Whistleblower report on the eve of Acting DNI Maguire’s testimony, with minimal redaction and will be made available to the public tomorrow morning.

All systems-a-go…here comes more up-front battles - what T 'n Co might say, and the career intelligence Maguire will be straight forward.

The whistleblower complaint at the center of the political firestorm involving President Trump’s contacts with Ukraine’s leader has been declassified, a member of the House Intelligence Committee announced late Wednesday.

“BREAKING NEWS: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified. I encourage you all to read it,” tweeted Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah).

Another source familiar with the matter told The Hill shortly before Stewart’s announcement that the declassification process was complete.

The source said that while the declassification process is completed, details about the public release of the complaint remain unclear. The complaint is also expected to have some redactions, according to the source.

The complaint revolves around Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to do him a “favor” and later pressed the foreign leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a readout of the call released Wednesday by the White House.

The declassification comes hours after members of the House Intelligence Committee reviewed its contents behind closed doors, and on the eve of acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire’s public testimony before the panel about his handling of the allegations.

Maguire, who has argued that the complaint falls outside the intelligence community (IC) whistleblower statute, declined to initially provide the committee with the complaint after consulting with the Justice Department, a move that sparked a standoff between the DNI and Congress.

IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who disagreed with Maguire, had deemed the allegations both credible and urgent and raised the handling of the complaint behind closed doors with the intelligence committees earlier this week.

Republicans and Democrats left the closed-door hearing offering differing accounts of the same document.

Democrats described the complaint as “deeply troubling” and “concerning,” but they offered little more about the nature of the allegations regarding Trump’s efforts.

Republicans, on the other hand, called for the complaint’s public release, stating that they do not believe Trump committed an impeachable offense.

"I do not support impeachment of President Trump,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted. “I have just read the whistleblower complaint made available to House Intelligence Committee Members. I believe strongly in transparency and it should be immediately declassified and made public for the American people to read.”


#659

ABC News Scoop: Even before the call began, Zelensky was well aware that Trump was going to ask him to investigate Biden!

When Ukrainians voted to elect comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy as their next president in the spring of 2019, the fledgling administration was eager to coordinate a phone call with Kyiv’s most important benefactor – the United States, according to an adviser to Zelenskiy.

But after weeks of discussions with American officials, Ukrainian officials came to recognize a precondition to any executive correspondence, the adviser said.

"It was clear that [President Donald] Trump will only have communications if they will discuss the Biden case," said Serhiy Leshchenko, an anti-corruption advocate and former member of Ukraine’s Parliament, who now acts as an adviser to Zelenskiy. "This issue was raised many times. I know that Ukrainian officials understood."

The Trump administration’s alleged insistence that the two leaders discuss a prospective investigation into Biden, one of the president’s political opponents, casts his July 25 conversation with Zelenskiy in a new light. …

This is a very interesting article because it describes the dynamics of power struggles that were unfolding in Ukraine in the months leading up to the phone call. Suffice it to say that, according to this Zelensky adviser, Giuliani got “gamed” by a certain Ukrainian official. The details are laid out in the article, but I’m not recapping them here because they’re somewhat complicated and the primary take away is given above: Trump’s pressuring of Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son was not a spontaneous request during the call – it was premeditated – in fact, it was planned for weeks in advance and telegraphed ahead of time to Ukrainian officials; it was even made a pre-condition of the call. This validates what so many pundits have been saying – this is about so much more than just one phone call.


#660

House backs release of Trump whistleblower complaint 421-0

Did we get this one? I can’t tell aaannd migraine.


#661

Crucial Distinction: The Complaint is being released, but not the Full Report.

@dragonfly9 already broke this news with a post from The Hill (see above).

This CNN account contains much of the same information, but I’m posting it because buried in it is an extremely important distinction to keep in mind.

The document that has been declassified is the whistleblower complaint – evidently this is what the whistleblower submitted to the Inspector General. There is another document which is the whistleblower report. That report (I believe) was produced by the Inspector General and was forwarded along with the complaint to the acting Director of National Intelligence (who then refused to forward the complaint and report to Congress). It is the report that contains the IG’s assessment that the complaint is “credible and urgent.”

Here are the relevant paragraphs:

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell said the whistleblower “invokes other witnesses to the disturbing conduct” in the complaint, and lays out “a lot of other documents.”

Swalwell, a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is blocking lawmakers from seeing the full report, but said he was able to read the whistleblower’s complaint.

So WTF?! Maguire is still unlawfully blocking critical information. Congress has the right to see, not just the original complaint, but also the Inspector General’s report which is an evaluation of the complaint. Maguire is continuing to violate the whistleblower law.

Anyway, it’s important to remember while we are reading the complaint tomorrow that it is still only a small part of a significantly bigger picture which should include the IG’s report and so, so much more. That is why an impeachment inquiry has been opened – so that the entire truth can come out.

Note: Please step in and set the record straight if I have misinterpreted Swalwell’s comments.