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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 176)

White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says

WASHINGTON — After hearing President Trump tried to persuade Ukraine to investigate a 2020 campaign rival, senior officials at the White House scrambled to “lock down” records of the call, in particular the official complete transcript, a whistle-blower alleged in an explosive complaint released Thursday.

In an attempt to “lock down” all records of the call, White House lawyers told officials to move an electronic transcript of the call into a separate system reserved for classified information that is especially sensitive, the complaint said. During the call, Mr. Trump pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

These and other details surrounding the call were “deeply disturbing” to senior White House officials, according to the complaint. A day earlier, the White House released a reconstructed transcript of the July 25 call.

The whistle-blower, an unnamed intelligence official, did not personally witness the actions, but heard accounts from multiple American officials.

“This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” the complaint said.

The complaint, grippingly written to detail a pattern of behavior by Mr. Trump and his administration, was particularly damning given Mr. Trump’s long record of dismissing the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit him. House Democrats took steps to impeach Mr. Trump before the contents of the call and complaint were disclosed.

The White House on Thursday dismissed the whistle-blower’s allegations, with Stephanie Grisham, the press secretary, describing it as “nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings — all of which shows nothing improper.”

Ms. Grisham said the president had been open and transparent about the call. “That is because he has nothing to hide,” she said.

Mr. Trump himself also dismissed the allegations that he acted improperly.

In the complaint, the whistle-blower wrote that president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was involved in the pressure campaign as well as Attorney General William P. Barr, though details of his role were not clear.

The whistle-blower also wrote that the unusual handling of the call was deliberate.

“They told me that there was already a discussion ongoing with White House lawyers 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,” the whistle-blower wrote.

White House officials had told the whistle-blower that this was “not the first time” that a presidential transcript had been placed into the secret system “solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information.”

Days before Mr. Trump spoke with Mr. Zelensky, the president blocked a $391 million military aid package to Ukraine — a decision that officials from Office of Management and Budget or the National Security Council did not know about or understand.

Multiple officials said a subsequent meeting or phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky would depend on whether the Ukrainian president was willing to “play ball” on investigating Mr. Biden, his younger son, Hunter Biden, and other matters, according to the complaint. Mr. Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 re-election bid,” the complaint said.

The United States is a critical partner for Ukraine, which has faced years of Russian aggression that in 2014 culminated in the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea, which was condemned internationally.

Read the complaint.
Full Document: The Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v5 White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of the Director of National Intelligence House Committee on Intelligence Ethics and Official Misconduct

Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees and a group of senior lawmakers from both parties, including Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, were permitted to review the classified complaint late Wednesday, just hours after the White House released a reconstructed transcript of a July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

The unclassified version of the complaint was released ahead of a House Intelligence Committee hearing where the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, testified Thursday morning.

Hours after the release of the transcript Wednesday, Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Speaking together to reporters, Mr. Zelensky joked that a date had yet to be set for the two men to meet in Washington.

The intelligence chief is on Capitol Hill Thursday.

House Democrats have said that Mr. Trump violated his oath of office when he pressured a foreign leader to investigate one of his political rivals. The White House initially refused to provide Congress with the complaint or to reveal what was said on the call. After Democrats took the first steps to impeach Mr. Trump, the administration disclosed details of the call and shared the classified complaint with lawmakers.

“There is nothing the president says here that is in America’s interest,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said at the start of the hearing on Thursday. “It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy, for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.”

During the hearing, Mr. Maguire said, “I believe everything here in this matter is totally unprecedented.”

A large part of the whistle blower’s complaint focuses on the activities of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, and his contacts with Ukrainian officials. In citing mostly public news reports, the whistle-blower said that Mr. Giuliani was pressing Ukrainian officials to investigate Mr. Biden, and his family — an allegation Mr. Giuliani has both denied and enthusiastically defended.

Mr. Giuliani has led the effort to push the Ukrainians to pursue an investigation into the Bidens and met with some Mr. Zelensky’s representatives over the summer.

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman and Michael D. Shear.

14 Answers to the Impeachment Inquiry, and What May Come Next

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_161492547_0994cd13-0e88-4002-bc86-45c2c45c2331-threeByTwoSmallAt2X White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of the Director of National Intelligence House Committee on Intelligence Ethics and Official Misconduct
Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of the Director of National Intelligence House Committee on Intelligence Ethics and Official Misconduct
Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-sub-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of the Director of National Intelligence House Committee on Intelligence Ethics and Official Misconduct

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Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates

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Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing2-superJumbo Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, appears before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Joseph Maguire, the intelligence chief at the center of the fight over a whistle-blower complaint about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, said the whistle-blower “acted in good faith” and called the case “unique and unprecedented.”

“I believe everything here in this matter is totally unprecedented,” Mr. Maguire emphasized as he testified before the House Intelligence Committee.

In fact, he told Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democrat of Illinois, that he would not have accepted the post of acting director of national intelligence if he knew of the case.

Facing tough questioning from Republicans and Democrats, he defended both the whistle-blower’s actions and his handling of the case, which he called “urgent and important.”

“I believe the whistle-blower followed the steps every step of the way,” Mr. Maguire said, a defense of the whistle-blower’s conduct that he repeated often.

The whistle-blower’s complaint, released Thursday, accused Mr. Trump of using his office to try to get Ukraine’s government to help him in the 2020 presidential election.

“It was urgent and important, but my job as the director of national intelligence was to comply with the whistle-blower protection act,” he said under questioning from the panel’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Schiff said he expected Mr. Maguire to explain “why you stood silent when an intelligence professional under your care and protection was ridiculed by the president, was accused of potentially betraying his or her country, when that whistle-blower, by their very act of coming forward, has shown more dedication to country, more of an understanding of the president’s oath of office than the president has ever demonstrated.”

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Westlake Legal Group 26dc-impeach-briefing-maguire-new-videoSixteenByNine3000 Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, defended the whistle-blower’s handling of the complaint during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused the White House of engaging in “a cover-up” of the Ukraine affair, citing a whistle-blower complaint that said Trump administration officials worked to “lock down” all records of a call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president.

“This is a cover-up. This is a cover-up,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference.

The use of the word cover-up seemed designed to hark back to the era of Richard Nixon, who resigned rather than face impeachment.

“Every day the sadness grows,” Ms. Pelosi said. “The disregard for our constitution that our president has becomes more clear.”

The speaker refused to discuss a timeline for the impeachment inquiry she embraced this week. “The facts will determine the timeline,” she said.

She did say that the consensus in the House Democratic Caucus is that the impeachment inquiry should concentrate on Ukraine.

“The inquiry and the consensus in our caucus is that our focus now is on this allegation and we are seeing the evidence of it,” she said.

Several Democratic presidential candidates also accused Mr. Trump of attempting to hide his call with Ukraine’s leader after the complaint’s release.

At least four candidates — Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and the former housing secretary Julián Castro — used the same language to describe the situation, calling it a “cover-up.”

The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v5 Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Here’s an excerpt from the complaint:

“In the course of my duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

The complaint goes on to say the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani is “a central figure in this effort,” but that Attorney General William P. Barr “appears to be involved as well.”

Mr. Schiff vowed to protect the whistle-blower, an intelligence officer, from reprisal as he released the complaint.

White House officials dismissed the significance of the document. “Nothing has changed with the release of this complaint, which is nothing more than a collection of thirdhand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings — all of which shows nothing improper,” the press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. She added, “The White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats and many in the mainstream media.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161494683_39e9fae7-73bf-40c7-8e22-4c4c8b2b1722-articleLarge Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. The committee released the whistle-blower complaint on Thursday.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee largely held the line in their defense of Mr. Trump, but Representative Will Hurd, a moderate Texas Republican who has announced he will not run for re-election, wrote on Twitter just before he spoke up in the hearing that the complaint was “concerning” and needs to be fully investigated.

Then in his questioning, he made no mention of those criticisms, instead asking Mr. Maguire detailed questions about his legal rationale.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, dismissed as “laughable” the Democrats’ assertion that Mr. Trump’s effort to get Ukraine to investigate a political rival should lead to his impeachment.

In a statement to Politico, Mr. McConnell said it is “laughable to think this is anywhere close to an impeachable offense.”

“I’ve read the summary of the call. If this is the ‘launching point’ for House Democrats’ impeachment process, they’ve already overplayed their hand. It’s clear there is no quid pro quo that the Democrats were desperately praying for,” McConnell said.

If the House impeaches Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell would have to convene a trial to consider whether to convict the president and remove him from office. In 1999, Mr. McConnell voted to convict Bill Clinton and remove him from office after he was impeached for lying under oath to deny a sexual relationship with a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut, asked Mr. Maguire the question on many minds related to the whistle-blower complaint: “Director, did you or your office ever speak to the president of the United States about this complaint?”

Mr. Maguire hesitated, saying he spoke frequently with Mr. Trump. The congressman insisted on an answer.

In another exchange, Mr. Maguire said that the White House never directed him not to share the complaint. His delay, he said, was about sorting through possible claims of executive privilege. That detail could prove to be key as Democrats attempt to sort out whether Mr. Trump or his team inappropriately obstructed Congress’s investigation.

Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the intelligence panel, has been one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies on Capitol Hill and Thursday morning, he showed he was unmoved by the whistle-blower’s allegations.

Level-toned but brimming with disgust, Mr. Nunes pointedly accused Democrats of launching another “information warfare operation against the president,” just like they fanned the flames of unsubstantiated “Russia hoax.” He ticked through some of the greatest hits of Republican’s unsubstantiated theories about the Democrats’ “mania to overturn the 2016 election.”

They pursued “nude pictures of Trump,” he said. They sought “dirt” on Trump officials from Ukraine. Mr. Biden “bragged that he extorted the Ukrainians into firing a prosecutor who happened to be investigating Biden’s own son.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-impeach-briefing-nunes-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, defended President Trump against the allegations made by a whistle-blower. Mr. Nunes has been one of the president’s most steadfast allies on Capitol Hill.CreditCreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

He even worked in a reference to Nellie Ohr, the wife of a Justice Department official, an employee of Fusion GPS, and a favorite target of Republicans, as he argued that the Russia investigation was cooked up by Democrats and the F.B.I. to take down Mr. Trump.

“They don’t want answers,” Mr. Nunes said. “They want a public spectacle.”

Not every Republican on the panel appeared to be comfortable with the president’s actions. Representative Mike Turner, Republican of Ohio, said the whistle-blower complaint was “based on hearsay” and he criticized Mr. Schiff and the Democrats for jumping to conclusions.

But he also leveled a sharp critique at the president, based on the transcript of his call with the Ukrainian leader released on Wednesday: “Concerning that conversation, I want to say to the president, this is not okay. That conversation is not okay.”

A worker cleaning a reflecting pool near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Mr. Biden has been more restrained in addressing impeachment than many of his Democratic rivals, indicating earlier this week that he would support impeachment if Mr. Trump refused to cooperate with congressional investigations, but keeping the focus primarily on Congress’s pursuit of information in subsequent remarks.

But in an appearance on the late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, Mr. Biden appeared to move closer to supporting impeachment, saying that “based on the material that they acknowledged today, it seems to me it’s awful hard to avoid the conclusion that it is an impeachable offense and a violation of constitutional responsibility.”

As news swirled on Wednesday about Mr. Trump’s discussion with Ukraine’s president about Mr. Biden and his son, Mr. Biden spoke at a fund-raiser in California about the challenges of exposing his family to a presidential campaign. “I was worried because I knew what was going to happen if I ran,” he said, but added that his five grandchildren were supportive.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington and Katie Glueck and Matt Stevens from New York.

Joseph Maguire, Acting D.N.I., Holds His Ground

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-maguire-sub-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v5 Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )
14 Answers to the Impeachment Inquiry, and What May Come Next

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_161492547_0994cd13-0e88-4002-bc86-45c2c45c2331-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )
The Trump-Zelensky Phone Call: Key Takeaways From Two New Documents

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-transcript-takeaways-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v7 Pelosi Accuses White House of Cover-Up as Maguire Says Case Is ‘Unprecedented’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates

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Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing2-superJumbo Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, appears before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

A whistle-blower in the intelligence community accused President Trump of using his office to try to get Ukraine’s government to help him in the 2020 presidential election, according to a complaint released Thursday by the House Intelligence Committee.

“In the course of my duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

The complaint goes on to say the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani is “a central figure in this effort,” but that Attorney General William P. Barr “appears to be involved as well.”

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam B. Schiff of California, vowed to protect the whistle-blower, an intelligence officer, from reprisal as he released the complaint.

White House officials dismissed the significance of the document. “Nothing has changed with the release of this complaint, which is nothing more than a collection of thirdhand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings — all of which shows nothing improper,” the press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. She added, “The White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats and many in the main stream media.”

Read the complaint.
The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )
ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161494683_39e9fae7-73bf-40c7-8e22-4c4c8b2b1722-articleLarge Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. The committee released the whistle-blower complaint on Thursday.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

With the whistle-blower report now public, Congress and the public will increasingly want to hear from the person who filed the report.

Under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, the whistle-blower is not permitted to make public statements on the substance of the disclosure, or even to testify to the intelligence committees without proper authorization from senior intelligence community officials, including the inspector general.

In this case, officials including Mr. Maguire would need to let the whistle-blower know how to contact the congressional intelligence committees in accordance with appropriate security practices. Mr. Maguire has not yet advised on the situation, and lawmakers could ask him whether he will allow the whistle-blower to speak to Congress.

Mr. Maguire, the intelligence chief at the center of the fight over a whistle-blower complaint about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, said in his opening remarks that he was not legally obligated to share the whistle-blower report to Congress, based on legal advice that he received from the Justice Department earlier this month.

The department argued that the complaint did not flag behavior related to intelligence activity or a member of the intelligence community, and should then not be passed along to Congressional intelligence committees.

While the inspector general argued that the allegations met the definition of a matter that should be shared with Congress because “the DNI has operational responsibility to prevent election interference,” the Justice Department argued that the allegations do not concern the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the DNI, and that the “allegations do not arise in connection with any such intelligence activity.”

Mr. Maguire called the case “unique and unprecedented,” as he testified before the House Intelligence Committee.

“I believe everything here in this matter is totally unprecedented,” Mr. Maguire emphasized.

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, was sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday on Capitol Hill.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

He also said he believed the complaint was urgent and important, even though he did not initially forward the complaint to Congress.

“It was urgent and important, but my job as the director of national intelligence was to comply with the whistle-blower protection act,” he told the House Intelligence Committee under questioning from the panel’s chairman, Mr. Schiff.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Schiff said he expected Mr. Maguire to explain “why you stood silent when an intelligence professional under your care and protection was ridiculed by the president, was accused of potentially betraying his or her country, when that whistle-blower, by their very act of coming forward, has shown more dedication to country, more of an understanding of the president’s oath of office than the president has ever demonstrated.”

It is unclear how much Mr. Maguire will be able to disclose about the classified portions of the whistle-blower’s complaint. He is also expected to avoid revealing any details of the whistle-blower’s identity, which could be a violation of the law

Mr. Maguire will be able to discuss why he and his general counsel disagreed with the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the complaint needed to be handed over to the congressional intelligence panels.

The differences of opinion between Mr. Maguire and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general, will be at the heart of many questions from House Democrats, who objected angrily to Mr. Maguire’s refusal to share the material with Congress, which they said was required by law. The Democrats will also hammer away at the consultations between Mr. Maguire’s office, the Justice Department and the White House, seeking to find out whether the administration influenced Mr. Maguire’s decision. They plan to seek assurances that the whistle-blower will be protected.

Mr. Maguire is expected to argue that his own lawyers reached the same conclusions as the Justice Department’s, and he will have a chance to defend his reputation. The dispute has put Mr. Maguire, a former Navy SEAL and three-star admiral, in a bind, caught between a duty to inform Congress and legal advice that said the complaint could not be handed over.

Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the intelligence panel, has been one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies on Capitol Hill and Thursday morning, he showed he was unmoved by the whistle-blower’s allegations.

Level-toned but brimming with disgust, Mr. Nunes pointedly accused Democrats of launching another “information warfare operation against the president,” just like they fanned the flames of unsubstantiated “Russia hoax.” He ticked through some of the greatest hits of Republican’s unsubstantiated theories about the Democrats’ “mania to overturn the 2016 election.”

They pursued “nude pictures of Trump,” he said. They sought “dirt” on Trump officials from Ukraine. Mr. Biden “bragged that he extorted the Ukrainians into firing a prosecutor who happened to be investigating Biden’s own son.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-nunes-videoSixteenByNine3000 Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, defended President Trump against the allegations made by a whistle-blower. Mr. Nunes has been one of the president’s most steadfast allies on Capitol Hill.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

He even worked in a reference to Nellie Ohr, the wife of a Justice Department official, an employee of Fusion GPS, and a favorite target of Republicans, as he argued that the Russia investigation was cooked up by Democrats and the F.B.I. to take down Mr. Trump.

“They don’t want answers,” Mr. Nunes said. “They want a public spectacle.”

A worker cleaning a reflecting pool near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

House Democrats passed a significant milestone late Wednesday: 218 lawmakers, a majority of the House, are now on the record supporting an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s behavior.

Though the number is not exactly predictive of how lawmakers might vote on actual articles of impeachment, it spoke to the growing consensus among Democrats that emerging details about Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to help tarnish a leading Democratic rival may reshape Mr. Trump’s presidency and the 116th Congress.

Democrats pledged to maintain their legislative work independent of the inquiry, but any cooperation with the White House could soon collapse as the specter of impeachment clouds out other topics.

Republicans have made clear that they believe Democrats are rushing prematurely into a grave proceeding, but several members of the president’s party who saw the classified complaint on Wednesday either called for its public release or said they were troubled by what they saw.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emerged from reading the whistle-blower complaint on Wednesday evening and urged both parties not to rush to “partisan tribalism.” Republicans he said, “ought not be rushing to circle the wagons and say there’s no there there, when there’s obviously a lot that is troubling there.”

The speaker is scheduled to step before the cameras at 10:45 a.m. for her weekly news conference, and rarely has there been one of such interest.

A day after throwing her support behind an inquiry, Ms. Pelosi spent Wednesday locked in strategy meetings with her leadership team, top aides and the leaders of six committees investigating Mr. Trump. The objective: Sketch out a path for an investigation that could lead to articles of impeachment that would formally charge Mr. Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Many questions remain unanswered about how quickly the House may move to assemble potential articles and on what topics.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated a discussion with leaders of committees investigating President Trump about whether Democrats should limit their case strictly to the Ukraine matter.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Democrats are not yet ready to limit their inquiry to just the Ukraine episode. They plan to continue investigating other, unrelated matters as possible impeachable offenses, including the findings of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and Mr. Trump’s attempts to derail that inquiry. Those topics could help populate impeachment articles.

But during a meeting with members of her leadership team, the speaker initiated a discussion about whether Democrats should limit their case strictly to the Ukraine matter and attempts by Mr. Trump and his administration to keep it from Congress, people familiar with the conversation said. An aide to Ms. Pelosi cautioned that no final decisions had been made.

Mr. Trump spent the morning re-tweeting supporters, White House and campaign aides and family members, who echoed the talking points that his White House blasted out Wednesday to friends and foes alike — the real scandal is with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Democrats, the whistle-blower is politically biased, the news is all fake, perpetuated by a corrupt Washington.

But with the whistle-blower’s complaint public and his acting director of national intelligence testifying, the president grew more emphatic.

Mr. Biden has been more restrained in addressing impeachment than many of his Democratic rivals, indicating earlier this week that he would support impeachment if Mr. Trump refused to cooperate with congressional investigations, but keeping the focus primarily on Congress’s pursuit of information in subsequent remarks.

But in an appearance on the late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, Mr. Biden appeared to move closer to supporting impeachment, saying that “based on the material that they acknowledged today, it seems to me it’s awful hard to avoid the conclusion that it is an impeachable offense and a violation of constitutional responsibility.”

As news swirled on Wednesday about Mr. Trump’s discussion with Ukraine’s president about Mr. Biden and his son, Mr. Biden spoke at a fund-raiser in California about the challenges of exposing his family to a presidential campaign. “I was worried because I knew what was going to happen if I ran,” he said, but added that his five grandchildren were supportive.

Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington and Katie Glueck from New York.

Joseph Maguire, Intelligence Chief in Political Storm, Holds His Ground

Sept. 26, 2019

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14 Answers to the Impeachment Inquiry, and What May Come Next

Sept. 26, 2019

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The Trump-Zelensky Phone Call: Key Takeaways From Two New Documents

Sept. 25, 2019

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Joseph Maguire, Intelligence Chief in Political Storm, Holds His Ground

WASHINGTON — For days, the nation’s top intelligence official found himself wedged between lawmakers eager to see a potentially explosive whistle-blower complaint and other Trump administration officials who deemed it off-limits.

Senior intelligence officials described Joseph Maguire, who became acting director of national intelligence last month, as reeling from accusations that he broke the law by keeping the complaint from Congress. Mr. Maguire, a retired three-star admiral who friends and allies say did not want the job and was unprepared to wage a political battle, now finds himself trying to protect his reputation, former officials familiar with the workings of his office said.

But he is learning as he goes, friends said. And he will face his most public test yet on Thursday when he testifies before lawmakers about his refusal to hand over the complaint, which is said to sound an alarm about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and has seized Washington in recent days, prompting Democrats to announce a formal impeachment inquiry.

Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing2-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joseph Maguire, Intelligence Chief in Political Storm, Holds His Ground Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Espionage and Intelligence Services Appointments and Executive Changes

Mr. Maguire, 68, has confided to friends and colleagues that he feels his once-sterling reputation is under attack, a risk he accepted with the job but a turn that few predicted would happen so fast. He does not want to resign and leave behind colleagues and instead is committed to finding a solution to the crisis, people close to him said. He prepared intensely ahead of his scheduled testimony.

“I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now,” Mr. Maguire said in a statement on Wednesday denying a report that he had threatened to resign. Colleagues and friends also backed up his denial. “I am committed to leading the intelligence community to address the diverse and complex threats facing our nation.”

[Our Washington reporters answer readers’ questions on the impeachment inquiry, and what may come next.]

Indeed, Mr. Maguire appears to have succeeded in navigating the crux of his crisis when Mr. Trump relented this week and allowed administration officials to turn over the complaint to lawmakers conducting oversight, as an intelligence whistle-blower law calls for. Mr. Maguire had refused on the advice of administration lawyers who determined that it fell short of a legal requirement to turn it over to Congress.

When the Department of Justice said the whistle-blower complaint could not go to Congress, the career lawyers in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence agreed, giving Mr. Maguire confidence in the ruling.

But his decision to embrace that legal analysis brought him in the cross hairs of Democrats. And after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested this week that he had ignored the law, Mr. Maguire reacted with barely concealed anger.

“I have upheld my responsibility to follow the law every step of the way,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. He had struggled to find a compromise that would allow Congress to get the information but take into account the legitimate legal concerns of the Department of Justice and allow the White House to protect material it viewed as privileged.

Mr. Maguire, who is among a handful of top intelligence officials who know about the complaint’s contents, said he was committed to protecting whistle-blowers and appeared to defend the current complainant. All intelligence officials and officers “have a solemn responsibility to do what is right, which includes reporting wrongdoing,” he said.

A former Navy SEAL who rose to three-star admiral and leader of the Naval Special Warfare Command over a 36-year career, Mr. Maguire has faced tough leadership challenges. A graduate of Manhattan College and a longtime Yankees fan, he has commanded at every level.

Friends and former colleagues described him as a dedicated public servant who tends to cajole friends and foes alike toward a solution, often with a joke.

“Joe’s life is about service,” said Michael Leiter, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, where Mr. Maguire served as deputy while in active service and later as director. “And there is no way Joe is going to walk out on an incomplete mission.”

For all the pressure Mr. Maguire has confronted in his first month on the job, he has told friends that he has faced worse. At the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most deadly time for special operators, Mr. Maguire and his wife went to funeral after funeral to pay their respects and to represent the United States.

Last year, Mr. Maguire left a job that he loved as president and chief executive of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to run the counterterrorism center. While important in the intelligence community, the post usually draws little public attention or political fire.

Though he was reluctant, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, convinced him. “He is not the kind of guy who says ‘no’ when called upon to serve,” said Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Mr. Maguire’s predecessor at the counterterrorism center.

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, blocked Mr. Maguire’s nomination for months, seeking information on the targeting of Islamic State militants. By the time the Senate approved the nomination at the end of 2018, Mr. Mattis was gone from government.

Mr. Maguire has been “unflappable” through the current crisis, Mr. Rasmussen said.

“That comes from being someone who has been in much more consequential and stressful situations,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “The idea he would be shaken to the core by a controversy like this I find not credible. Knowing Joe, he’s focused simply on doing the right thing as he understands it.”

Mr. Maguire was not the president’s first choice when his first director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, decided to step down after his relationship with Mr. Trump frayed. The president said this summer that he intended to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, to fill the job.

But Mr. Ratcliffe was seen as highly partisan and had exaggerated parts of his resume. Republicans were also cool to his nomination and Mr. Ratcliffe withdrew. Instead, the White House, which had also forced out Mr. Coats’ deputy, Sue Gordon, turned to Mr. Maguire to serve on an acting basis.

Mr. Trump’s advisers saw him as a safe, experienced choice.

“Everyone who has served with Joe holds him in the highest regarded because he is a person of uncompromising integrity,” said William H. McRaven, former special operations commander who is a longtime friend of Mr. Maguire. “He knows that his loyalty is to the Constitution and the people of this country.”

Mr. Maguire won praise within the intelligence agencies for comments praising Ms. Gordon and saying she had deserved the post.

Almost immediately, he was swept up in a brewing political firestorm. He received the whistle-blower complaint the day after Mr. Coats stepped down, Mr. Coats said at an event in Indiana this week.

“I feel so bad for Joe,” he said. “He is caught in a squeeze here, and the lawyers are divided.”

Many retired military officers who have worked for Mr. Trump have seen their reputations battered. Mr. Maguire knew of that risk but friends said that he felt that when the White House asked him to serve, he had little choice.

“Joe has never been a creature of politics, but he is not an idiot,” Mr. Leiter said. “Of course he knew he was going to a tricky place.”

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

Follow Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman on Twitter: @julianbarnes and @adamgoldmanNYT.

Intelligence Committee Questions the Acting Intelligence Chief: Live Updates

Sept. 26, 2019

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Whistle-Blower’s Complaint Says White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records

Sept. 26, 2019

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Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call

Sept. 25, 2019

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Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’

Sept. 25, 2019

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‘Do Us a Favor’: Calls Shows Trump’s Interest in Using U.S. Power for His Gain

Sept. 25, 2019

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Intelligence Whistle-Blower Law, Explained

Sept. 20, 2019

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Elated, Furious, Wary: Impeachment Divides Voters, Like Everything Trump

Sept. 25, 2019

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Intelligence Chief Heads to the Hill: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475942_e21d8cd3-4409-4e1f-b1b8-bf41954b1ece-articleLarge Intelligence Chief Heads to the Hill: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Joseph Maguire after testifying during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last year.CreditAl Drago/Getty Images

Joseph Maguire, the intelligence chief at the center of the fight over a whistle-blower complaint about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, will make a much-anticipated appearance on Thursday morning before the House Intelligence Committee.

It is unclear how much Mr. Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, will be able to disclose about the whistle-blower’s complaint, much of which remains classified. His office transmitted a declassified version of it to Congress’s intelligence committees late Wednesday, after a classified version had been made available for review by select lawmakers.

He is also expected to avoid revealing any details of the whistle-blower’s identity, which could be a violation of the law.

Mr. Maguire will be able to discuss why he and his general counsel disagreed with the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the complaint needed to be handed over to the congressional intelligence panels.

The differences of opinion between Mr. Maguire and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general, will be at the heart of many questions from House Democrats, who objected angrily to Mr. Maguire’s refusal to share the material with Congress, which they said was required by law. The Democrats will also hammer away at the consultations between Mr. Maguire’s office, the Justice Department and the White House, seeking to find out whether the administration influenced Mr. Maguire’s decision. They plan to seek assurances that the whistle-blower will be protected.

Mr. Maguire is expected to argue that his own lawyers reached the same conclusions as the Justice Department’s, and he will have a chance to defend his reputation. The dispute has put Mr. Maguire, a former Navy SEAL and three-star admiral, in a bind, caught between a duty to inform Congress and legal advice that said the complaint could not be handed over.

A worker cleaning a reflecting pool near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

House Democrats passed a significant milestone late Wednesday: 218 lawmakers, a majority of the House, are now on the record supporting an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s behavior.

Though the number is not exactly predictive of how lawmakers might vote on actual articles of impeachment, it spoke to the growing consensus among Democrats that emerging details about Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to help tarnish a leading Democratic rival may reshape Mr. Trump’s presidency and the 116th Congress.

Democrats pledged to maintain their legislative work independent of the inquiry, but any cooperation with the White House could soon collapse as the specter of impeachment clouds out other topics.

Republicans have made clear that they believe Democrats are rushing prematurely into a grave proceeding, but several members of the president’s party who saw the classified complaint on Wednesday either called for its public release or said they were troubled by what they saw.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emerged from reading the whistle-blower complaint on Wednesday evening and urged both parties not to rush to “partisan tribalism.” Republicans he said, “ought not be rushing to circle the wagons and say there’s no there there, when there’s obviously a lot that is troubling there.”

The speaker is scheduled to step before the cameras at 10:45 a.m. for her weekly news conference, and rarely has there been one of such interest.

A day after throwing her support behind an inquiry, Ms. Pelosi spent Wednesday locked in strategy meetings with her leadership team, top aides and the leaders of six committees investigating Mr. Trump. The objective: Sketch out a path for an investigation that could lead to articles of impeachment that would formally charge Mr. Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Many questions remain unanswered about how quickly the House may move to assemble potential articles and on what topics.

Democrats are not yet ready to limit their inquiry to just the Ukraine episode. They plan to continue investigating other, unrelated matters as possible impeachable offenses, including the findings of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and Mr. Trump’s attempts to derail that inquiry. Those topics could help populate impeachment articles.

But during a meeting with members of her leadership team, the speaker initiated a discussion about whether Democrats should limit their case strictly to the Ukraine matter and attempts by Mr. Trump and his administration to keep it from Congress, people familiar with the conversation said. An aide to Ms. Pelosi cautioned that no final decisions had been made.

In a positive sign for the speaker, the House’s inquiry is already getting results, at least in the form of documentary evidence.

First on Wednesday, the White House released a reconstruction of a call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian leader that showed the American president pressing his counterpart to work with Attorney General William P. Barr and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to investigate Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

Later in the day, Mr. Maguire’s office shared a copy of the whistle-blower complaint with the intelligence panels for the first time.

Joseph Maguire, Intelligence Chief in Political Storm, Holds His Ground

Sept. 26, 2019

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14 Answers to the Impeachment Inquiry, and What May Come Next

Sept. 26, 2019

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The Trump-Zelensky Phone Call: Key Takeaways From Two New Documents

Sept. 25, 2019

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Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call

WASHINGTON — The intelligence officer who filed a whistle-blower complaint about President Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine raised alarms not only about what the two men said in a phone call, but also about how the White House handled records of the conversation, according to two people briefed on the complaint.

The whistle-blower, moreover, identified multiple White House officials as witnesses to potential presidential misconduct who could corroborate the complaint, the people said — adding that the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, interviewed witnesses.

Mr. Atkinson eventually concluded that there was reason to believe that the president might have illegally solicited a foreign campaign contribution — and that his potential misconduct created a national security risk, according to a newly disclosed Justice Department memo.

An early portrait of the intelligence officer began to take shape on Wednesday as the White House released a rough log of a July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the latest extraordinary revelation set off by the whistle-blower’s complaint.

This account is based on interviews with the two people and with lawmakers who were permitted to read the complaint late in the day, as well as on details revealed in a Justice Department memo explaining the Trump administration’s legal rationale for withholding the whistle-blower’s allegations from Congress before Mr. Trump relented this week. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Atkinson also found reason to believe that the whistle-blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump and made clear that the complainant was not in a position to directly listen to the call or see the memo that reconstructed it before it was made public, according to the Justice Department memo, which referred only to a single phone call between Mr. Trump and an unnamed foreign leader.

Instead, the officer heard about the call secondhand from unidentified White House officials who expressed concern that Mr. Trump had “abused his authority or acted unlawfully in connection with foreign diplomacy,” the memo said. Still, Mr. Atkinson concluded after an investigation that the information in the complaint was credible.

In their first public comments, lawyers for the whistle-blower said their client hoped to remain anonymous but wanted to continue to cooperate with lawmakers conducting oversight.

Mr. Trump had brought up American aid to Ukraine with Mr. Zelensky — without mentioning that at the time he was blocking delivery of a large military assistance package that Congress had approved to help it fend off Russian aggression — and suggested that Ukraine could be doing more to help the United States, the reconstructed transcript of the call indicated.

Mr. Trump then asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son, Hunter Biden. Mr. Zelensky agreed to have his incoming top prosecutor do so, while asking whether the United States had information to share. A previous top prosecutor in Ukraine said in May that the Bidens did nothing wrong.

Mr. Trump also pressed Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor, though”: to use Attorney General William P. Barr’s help in opening an investigation of a company involved in the beginnings of the F.B.I. inquiry of Russia’s 2016 election interference. Both potential inquiries could benefit Mr. Trump politically.

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.

After reading it, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee told reporters that it contained far more information that reinforced their mounting concerns. They could disclose very little, 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.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161494647_ad1e8ec3-227d-4974-954d-2ffd7a8c31ad-articleLarge Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Office of the Director of National Intelligence Office of Legal Counsel (US) Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Inspectors General House Committee on Intelligence Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Espionage and Intelligence Services Classified Information and State Secrets Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

A newly released transcript of a conversation between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian leader added urgency to a House inquiry into the president’s dealings with Ukraine, Representative Adam B. Schiff said.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

But the revelations that the whistle-blower had identified White House witnesses dovetailed with new details in the Justice Department memo, which was signed by Steven A. Engel, the head of its Office of Legal Counsel.

He argued that it was lawful for the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, to refuse to turn the whistle-blower complaint over to Congress — a stance that the Trump administration began to back off of as Democrats stepped up talk of potentially impeaching the president. Mr. Maguire was to testify about the complaint on Thursday.

After hearing about the July call, the intelligence officer agreed that Mr. Trump might be “seeking to pressure that leader to take an action to help the president’s 2020 re-election campaign,” Mr. Engel wrote, and decided to tell Congress about it, using a process that protects intelligence whistle-blowers from reprisal.

That process requires complaints to go through the inspector general and intelligence director. It says if the inspector general deems a complaint to be credible and present an urgent concern, the intelligence director shall send it to Congress within seven days.

Mr. Atkinson determined that the complaint met the criteria for an “urgent concern,” partly because it fell within Mr. Maguire’s “operational responsibility to prevent election interference.” But Mr. Engel disagreed, arguing that it did not center on intelligence activities that Mr. Maguire supervises.

In explaining his interpretation of the whistle-blower law, Mr. Engel also noted that Mr. Atkinson had found unspecified indications of “an arguable political bias,” suggesting the whistle-blower favored a rival political candidate, the memo said.

But Mr. Atkinson, a Trump appointee, nevertheless concluded that the allegations appeared to be credible and identified two layers of concern.

The first involved a possible violation of criminal law. Mr. Trump’s comments to Mr. Zelensky “could be viewed as soliciting a foreign campaign contribution in violation of the campaign-finance laws,” Mr. Atkinson wrote, according to the Justice Department memo.

(Mr. Engel, while saying the allegations did not fit within the intelligence whistle-blower system that enables Congress to see complaints, said such a complaint could instead result in a criminal referral. Mr. Maguire and Mr. Atkinson then made referrals, an official said, but the Justice Department closed the matter without charges.)

The second concern Mr. Atkinson identified, according to the Justice Department memo, was that Mr. Trump’s potential misconduct might expose him “to serious national security and counterintelligence risks.”

Mr. Engel did not elaborate, and it was not clear whether he was suggesting that Mr. Trump would be subject to extortion if foreign officials threatened to expose his purported misconduct or he was referring to some other risk.

Both the reconstructed transcript and the Justice Department memo may be incomplete. The transcript contained a footnote that said it was not “verbatim,” and it contained ellipses.

And Mr. Engel’s memo, dated Sept. 24, said in a footnote that it was a revision of an original from Sept. 3, and that the department had “changed the prior version to avoid references to certain details that remain classified.”

Lawyers for the whistle-blower expressed concern in an interview on Wednesday about officials disclosing their client’s identity.

“Intelligence officers, by nature, are not people who want to be publicly known,” said Andrew P. Bakaj, the lead lawyer for the whistle-blower. “If you are an intelligence officer through and through, you are doing this for national security.”

The comments by Mr. Bakaj — who is representing the officer for free along with two other lawyers, Mark Zaid and Charles McCullough III — were the first, however limited, to the press about the case. Coming forward to the inspector general was very risky, said John Napier Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid, which is raising money to defer expenses for the complainant.

“To have the president of the United States tweeting about you, casting aspersions, it is scary for anyone — it is very scary for anyone who works in the intelligence community,” Mr. Tye said.

The legal team’s objective, Mr. Zaid said, is to continue to try to get information about the complaint lawfully to the congressional oversight committees. Mr. Zaid and Mr. Bakaj have sought permission from Mr. Maguire to be cleared to see the full complaint and represent their client before the House Intelligence Committee.

Reporting was contributed by Katie Benner, Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman and Mark Mazzetti.

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Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’

President Trump repeatedly pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate leading Democrats as “a favor” to him during a telephone call last summer in which the two discussed the former Soviet republic’s need for more American financial aid to counter Russian aggression.

In a reconstruction of the call released by the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Attorney General William P. Barr and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, on corruption investigations connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

Although there was no explicit quid pro quo in the conversation, Mr. Trump raised the matter immediately after Mr. Zelensky spoke of his country’s need for more help from the United States. The call came just days after Mr. Trump blocked $391 million in aid to Ukraine, a decision that perplexed national security officials at the time and that he has given conflicting explanations for in recent days.

The aid freeze did not come up during the call and Mr. Zelensky was not yet aware of it. Instead, he thanked Mr. Trump for previous American aid, including Javelin anti-tank weapons, and suggested he would need more as part of Ukraine’s five-year-old war with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” Mr. Trump responded, shifting to his interest in investigating Democrats and urging that he work with Mr. Barr and Mr. Giuliani. “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

The July 25 call has become a major flash point in what is rapidly shaping up as a divisive battle between the president and House Democrats over impeachment that will consume Washington for weeks or months. The conflicting interpretations of the call’s meaning began to define the contours of a debate that will seek to determine whether the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

In a series of public appearances on Wednesday that veered from bristling with anger to uncharacteristically subdued, Mr. Trump insisted he did nothing wrong and was once again the victim of “a total hoax.” Mr. Zelensky, who by an odd coincidence was in New York for a previously scheduled meeting with Mr. Trump, backed him up by saying during a session with reporters that he did not feel pushed by the president.

“It’s a joke,” Mr. Trump said. “Impeachment for that?”

But House Democrats denounced Mr. Trump for seeking foreign help to tear down Mr. Biden, a leading rival for his job, and said the quid pro quo was implied and clear, comparing him to a mob boss who makes veiled hints to extort money from his victims.

“The president has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

The White House released the reconstructed transcript of the call in the morning in hopes of undercutting suspicions about the president’s actions but it failed to convince Democrats. By the end of the day, the administration similarly sent Congress the original complaint filed by an unidentified intelligence official that triggered the furor that in just a matter of days has put the future of Mr. Trump’s presidency at risk.

The complaint reportedly calls into question a range of actions by the president beyond just the phone conversation. Democrats and at least one Republican who reviewed it on Wednesday said it contained disturbing allegations, and, while still classified, it will be the central issue on Thursday morning when Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, testifies before Congress.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161494746_ca4293b3-b2d5-4a33-a493-bf6545756b61-articleLarge Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’ Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading House Democrats said the record of the July call made clear that Mr. Trump was pressuring Ukraine to help benefit his own political prospects.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The administration dropped its resistance to providing the complaint to lawmakers in the face of a vote planned by House Democratic leaders condemning its handling of the matter. By backing down, Mr. Trump made it possible for Republicans to go along with the resolution, which all but two did later in the day.

For Mr. Trump, keeping Republicans in his corner is more important than winning over Democrats, most of whom White House aides consider unmovable at this point. As of Wednesday, at least 216 House members have publicly advocated impeachment or at least an inquiry, just short of the necessary majority of 218.

Even if the House does impeach Mr. Trump, however, it would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate to convict and remove him from office, meaning at least 20 Republican senators would have to decide he was guilty.

Few Republicans broke with Mr. Trump on Wednesday. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah called the record of Mr. Trump’s phone call “deeply troubling” but most others who spoke publicly said it revealed no impeachable action.

“From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, a Trump ally who served as a House prosecutor during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Democrats said no direct quid pro quo was necessary to conclude that the president overstepped his bounds. But even if it was, they said Mr. Trump’s meaning was hard to miss and the timing of the request to Ukraine coming just after he put the aid on hold was damning.

“There was only one message that that president of Ukraine got from that call and that was: ‘This is what I need, I know what you need,’” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “Like any mafia boss, the president didn’t need to say, ‘That’s a nice country you’ve have — it would be a shame if something happened to it.’”

Mr. Biden said that the House should “hold Donald Trump to account for his abuse of power,” although he did not directly call for impeachment. “It is a tragedy for this country that our president put personal politics above his sacred oath,” Mr. Biden said. “He has put his own political interests over our national security interest, which is bolstering Ukraine against Russian pressure.”

For Mr. Trump, the sudden turn of events has recast the remaining year of his term before next year’s re-election, seemingly all but dooming chances for bipartisan legislation. He castigated Democrats for focusing on this “nonsense” instead of gun control or trade.

And he expressed surprise that impeachment was now back on the table again after the threat seemed to fade following the report on Russian election interference by the special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III. “I thought we won,” he said. “I thought it was dead, it was dead.”

He blamed Ms. Pelosi, who until this week had been reluctant to pursue impeachment, which so far does not have the support of most Americans. “She’s lost her way,” Mr. Trump said. “She’s been taken over by the radical left.”

The call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky took place just a day after Mr. Mueller testified before Congress and the issue was clearly still on Mr. Trump’s mind. Mr. Mueller reported that he did not find sufficient evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia, although he identified actions by Mr. Trump that could be construed as obstruction of justice.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday in Delaware. He said that the House should “hold Donald Trump to account for his abuse of power.”CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

Feeling that he had survived the special counsel probe, Mr. Trump apparently wanted to turn the tables and prove that it was illegitimate to begin with. In his discussion with Mr. Zelensky, he pressed the Ukrainian leader to use Mr. Barr’s help to investigate a company involved in the beginnings of the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Trump also pressed Mr. Zelensky to open an investigation of Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, asserting that the former vice president forced the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit the company’s owner. Neither claim has been born out by evidence but both held the potential to benefit the president politically.

Mr. Zelensky told Mr. Trump that he would have the country’s new top prosecutor examine the matters he raised.

“The next prosecutor general will be 100 percent my person, my candidate,” Mr. Zelensky assured the president. “He or she will look into the situation.”

Sitting side by side with Mr. Trump in their first face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky told reporters that he wanted to stay out of United States politics but provided a benign interpretation of the call.

“We had, I think, a good phone call,” Mr. Zelensky said. “It was normal; we spoke about many things. So, I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed pushed me.”

“In other words, no pressure,” Mr. Trump chimed in. “And by the way,” he added, addressing a reporter, “you know there was no pressure.”

The meeting on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly could hardly have come at a more fraught moment in Ukrainian-American relations. Mr. Zelensky, a former comedian with no prior political experience, was elected this year to take over a country torn by Russian military intervention and desperately dependent on help from the United States and Europe.

Mr. Zelensky made clear just how much he needed the good will of Mr. Trump when he opened his meeting on Wednesday noting that the president had invited him to the White House, but “I think you forgot to tell me the date” and pressing Mr. Trump to visit Ukraine.

The two sought to make light of the conflict over their call. “He’s made me more famous,” Mr. Trump joked as he sat down with Mr. Zelensky.

“Mr. Zelensky said it was better to meet in person “than by phone.”

Even as he flattered Mr. Trump, the Ukrainian leader made a point of saying he did not actually order the sought-after investigation.

“We have independent country and independent general security, and I can’t push anyone,” Mr. Zelensky said in halting English, referring to the prosecutor general. “So I didn’t call somebody or the new general security. I didn’t ask him I didn’t push him.”

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‘Do Us a Favor’: Calls Shows Trump’s Interest in Using U.S. Power for His Gain

WASHINGTON — It did not take long for President Trump to see an opening during his July 25 call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the young new president of Ukraine.

Just after 9 a.m. in Washington, Mr. Zelensky was heaping praise on the American president for bragging about helping Ukraine in its yearslong war with Russian-backed separatists. “You are absolutely right. Not 100 percent, but actually 1,000 percent,” Mr. Zelensky gushed, according to a reconstructed transcript of the call the White House released on Wednesday.

When Mr. Zelensky said Ukraine was almost ready to purchase American Javelin anti-tank missiles so it could better repel armored assaults by Russian-supported fighters, Mr. Trump pounced.

“I would like you to do us a favor though,” Mr. Trump responded, beginning a series of pointed requests. The president pressed Mr. Zelensky to use the help of Attorney General William P. Barr in opening an investigation of a company involved in the beginnings of the F.B.I. inquiry of Russia’s 2016 election interference. He also wanted a corruption investigation connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic rival.

Both held the potential to benefit Mr. Trump politically. And in case Mr. Zelensky needed reminding, Mr. Trump was quick to point out that “the United States has been very, very good to Ukraine.”

Mr. Trump’s suggestion that American law enforcement be directly involved and in contact with Ukraine’s government marks the first evidence that the president personally sought to harness the power of the United States government to further a political investigation.

The exchange, revealed in a declassified, five-page “memorandum of telephone conversation,” prompted an unidentified whistle-blower to accuse the president of a quid pro quo, trading a promise of foreign assistance for help in legitimizing an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory and gathering dirt on a political rival.

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-articleLarge-v3 ‘Do Us a Favor’: Calls Shows Trump’s Interest in Using U.S. Power for His Gain Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Trump is accused of pressing Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Mr. Trump insisted on Wednesday that the reconstructed transcript offered no evidence that he pressured Mr. Zelensky. Questioned by reporters before the two met at the United Nations, Mr. Zelensky said that “we spoke about many things and so I think — you read it — that nobody pushed me.”

Mr. Trump jumped in: “In other words, no pressure.”

But critics seized on the conversation as proof that the president violated his oath of office by coercing another world leader into supporting his personal political agenda.

The document provided a rare opportunity to review a private conversation between the United States president and another leader.

It included a note cautioning that it was “not a verbatim transcript” but was based on “notes and recollections of Situation Room duty officers” and national security staff. Voice recognition software was also used in preparing the document, which included long, direct quotations, senior administration officials said.

An American official translated Mr. Zelensky’s statements into English, officials said. The document included three ellipses indicating that part of Mr. Trump’s comments may be missing, though it is unclear how much was left out. Administration officials said the ellipses indicated when Mr. Trump trailed off or was inaudible.

The release of the conversation’s details marked a culmination of an extraordinary series of revelations that began in recent weeks with the whistle-blower’s private expressions of concern about Mr. Trump’s actions and prompted Democrats in Congress to officially begin an impeachment inquiry.

And unlike most Washington memos, Wednesday’s document was written like a movie script.

“There is a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that,” Mr. Trump said to Mr. Zelensky, referring to unfounded allegations that the former vice president tried in 2015 to stop a prosecution of a company that his son worked for at the time.

“So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” the president said, referring to his desire that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with both Mr. Barr and the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160496304_e7850113-30ee-45bf-829f-71f5bd1d2b07-articleLarge ‘Do Us a Favor’: Calls Shows Trump’s Interest in Using U.S. Power for His Gain Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

Attorney General William P. Barr at the White House last week. The Justice Department said Wednesday that Mr. Barr was unaware that Mr. Trump had told Mr. Zelensky that he would contact him.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Zelensky’s response appeared to reassure Mr. Trump. Mr. Zelensky said that since his party recently won an absolute majority in parliament, he would have no problem ensuring that Ukraine’s new top prosecutor would conduct the investigations that Mr. Trump wanted.

“The next prosecutor general will be 100 percent my person, my candidate,” Mr. Zelensky assured the president. “He or she will look into the situation.”

Mr. Trump specifically asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into the unsubstantiated theory pushed by Mr. Giuliani holding that Ukrainians had some role in the emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee.

“I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of that,” Mr. Trump said on the call, which took place a day after the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, testified to lawmakers about his report on Russia’s election sabotage and the president’s efforts to impede the inquiry.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky that Mr. Mueller had delivered an “incompetent performance” and again pressed the Ukrainian president to pursue investigations for him. “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it, if that’s possible.”

The Justice Department said Wednesday that Mr. Barr was unaware that Mr. Trump had told Mr. Zelensky that the attorney general would contact him. The department said that Mr. Barr had never spoken with Mr. Trump about working with Ukraine to investigate anything related to the Bidens and that he had never spoken with Mr. Giuliani about “anything related to Ukraine.”

Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky took place on a sunny day just before the president made the short trip to the Pentagon for the ceremonial swearing-in of Mark T. Esper, his new defense secretary. Later, the White House released an anodyne statement noting that the two leaders discussed “ways to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, including energy and economic cooperation.”

The president’s mentions of Mr. Barr and Mr. Giuliani were the most striking parts of a half-hour conversation in which the two men discussed a series of issues.

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The president and Mr. Giuliani have long pushed for Ukrainian officials to examine whether there was any improper overlap between Mr. Biden’s dealings with Ukraine while in office and his son’s position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

As vice president, Mr. Biden embraced his role as the Obama administration’s leader in pressing Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt government to clean up its act. He once publicly threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders did not dismiss a prosecutor accused of ignoring corruption.

Mr. Giuliani said in an interview that Mr. Trump would have been shirking his duty to enforce the laws of the United States had he not asked the Ukrainian government to pursue the allegations against Mr. Biden and his son. “The only person that can raise that is the president of the United States,” he said. “The president of Ukraine is not going to take a call from the head of the F.B.I.”

There was no explicit reference during the call to $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine that Mr. Trump had told Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, to put a hold on several days before the call took place.

In the reconstructed transcript of the call, Mr. Trump complained to Mr. Zelensky that the United States spends more to help Ukraine than European countries, citing specifically the lack of action by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor.

“When I was speaking to Angela Merkel, she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Zelensky repeatedly lavished praise on Mr. Trump, employing a strategy of ego-stroking that world leaders often use with the president. He called Mr. Trump a “great teacher” for draining “the swamp” of corrupt officials and thanked Mr. Trump for revealing to him that his country’s ambassador to the United States was “a bad ambassador.”

“She admired the previous president and she was on his side,” Mr. Zelensky said. “She would not accept me as the new president well enough.”

Mr. Trump replied: “Well, she’s going to go through some things,” but did not elaborate on what that meant. Near the end of the call, Mr. Trump invited Mr. Zelensky to visit the White House and Mr. Zelensky said he is “looking forward to our meeting.”

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Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released

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President Donald Trump spoke to reporters a day after Democrats in Congress began an impeachment inquiry into his actions, denying that he did anything improper.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The acting director of national intelligence, under pressure from Congress to release the full complaint of a whistle-blower who touched off the Ukraine impeachment furor, handed over the document to the House Intelligence Committee.

It was delivered just hours before a planned House vote on a non-binding resolution to condemn the Trump administration’s handling of the complaint. All but two Republicans joined House Democrats in voting Wednesday in favor of the resolution. The measure demanded that the complaint be given to Congress, that the whistle-blower be instructed on how to contact the congressional intelligence committees, and that President Trump and his team “cease their public efforts to discredit the whistleblower.”

Two Republicans, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, voted “present.”

Democratic leaders wanted to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress was already required by law, Democrats assert, but Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, had previously declined to produce it, under instructions from the White House and the Department of Justice. (Mr. Maguire is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.)

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475936_2dec0473-7b14-4709-9be4-0fd862eaaba2-articleLarge Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.CreditMarcus Tappen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“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.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Ms. Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Mr. Trump complained bitterly about media coverage of his call with the president of Ukraine, accusing Democrats and reporters of continuing to pursue a “hoax” against him.

In a disjointed, lengthy opening statement, the president announced that he had asked Republicans in the House not to object to the release of the whistle-blower’s report on the call and insisted that “we want transparency.”

“It’s a joke. Impeachment for that?” he said of his “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

But he also insisted that the media cover what he said were similar accusations against Democrats. He read from a letter to Ukraine officials written by Democratic senators warning that support for Ukraine could suffer if the country does not confront corruption.

“See, doesn’t that sound familiar?” Mr. Trump asked as he again insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call.

He also said the Democrats’ new mantra was, “We can’t beat him. Let’s impeach him.”

Earlier in the day, Trump defended his call to reporters during a brief encounter, saying “there was no pressure whatsoever.”

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine, calling the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things.”

“Nobody pushed me,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, an attempt “to manufacture a smear” against him, “using a malicious conspiracy theory.”

“We also learned that he planned to involve the United States Department of Justice in this scheme — a direct attack on the core independence of that department, an independence essential to the rule of law,” he said.

But he tried deftly to make it not about him — as he made it about him.

“Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable. In the meantime, I will continue to focus my campaign not on how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America’s families.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump again, saying the call is a “smoking gun” for impeachment, with at least two candidates using the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

The battle to defend Mr. Trump from impeachment charges is already being fought online.

On Wednesday, the president’s re-election campaign took out dozens of Facebook ads urging his supporters to join an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The president’s supporters also received emails urging them to join the group. It’s not clear whether such a group actually exists, or whether the campaign is simply using it to collect donations and email addresses.

“I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most, which is why my team is making me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who adds their name,” read one of the ads.

Democrats are also seizing on the opportunity to rally their supporters online. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, among others, have taken out ads on Facebook calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in recent days. Vice President Biden’s Facebook ads — which urged his supporters to “Stand With Joe” — were less impeachment focused.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, leaving a Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. She said Democrats should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing-live-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters a day after Democrats in Congress began an impeachment inquiry into his actions, denying that he did anything improper.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The acting director of national intelligence, under pressure from Congress to release the full complaint of a whistle-blower who touched off the Ukraine impeachment furor, was to have handed over the document to the House Intelligence Committee at 4 p.m., according to a congressional aide.

The complaint was set to be delivered just hours before a planned House vote on a resolution that would have condemned President Trump and the administration for withholding the material and would have demanded that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, promptly furnish it.

The resolution also demands that Mr. Maguire, who is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday, ensure that the whistle-blower is protected from retribution. It chastises the president for comments disparaging the whistle-blower in recent days.

With the complaint heading to Congress, it was not clear whether the vote would happen.

Democratic leaders wanted to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress is already required by law, Democrats assert, but Mr. Maguire had declined to produce it, under instructions from the White House and the Department of Justice.

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475936_2dec0473-7b14-4709-9be4-0fd862eaaba2-articleLarge Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.CreditMarcus Tappen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump used an afternoon news conference in New York to complain bitterly about media coverage of his call with the president of Ukraine, accusing Democrats and reporters of continuing to pursue a “hoax” against him.

In a disjointed, lengthy opening statement, the president announced that he had asked Republicans in the House not to object to the release of the whistle-blower’s report on the call and insisted that “we want transparency.”

“It’s a joke. Impeachment for that?” he said of his “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

But he also insisted that the media cover what he said were similar accusations against Democrats. He read from a letter to Ukraine officials written by Democratic senators warning that support for Ukraine could suffer if the country does not confront corruption.

“See, doesn’t that sound familiar?” Mr. Trump asked as he again insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call.

Later, he said the Democrats’ new mantra was, “We can’t beat him. Let’s impeach him.”

Mr. Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“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.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. He met Mr. Zelensky there in the afternoon, and was scheduled to hold a formal news conference later on.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Ms. Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

President Trump met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things.”

“Nobody pushed me,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, an attempt “to manufacture a smear” against him, “using a malicious conspiracy theory.”

“We also learned that he planned to involve the United States Department of Justice in this scheme — a direct attack on the core independence of that department, an independence essential to the rule of law,” he said.

But he tried deftly to make it not about him — as he made it about him.

“Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable. In the meantime, I will continue to focus my campaign not on how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America’s families.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump again, saying the call is a “smoking gun” for impeachment, with at least two candidates using the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

Ask a Question

Our reporters in Washington are available to answer your questions about the impeachment inquiry. We may publish your name and location along with your question.

Mr. Trump insisted that the reconstruction of the call showed that he did not exert pressure on his counterpart to investigate a political rival.

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine, calling the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

“If you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense,” he said. “All of a sudden the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.”

Markets actually dropped when the call script was released at 10 a.m., but regained ground quickly, with the S&P 500 up about 0.21 percent in early morning trading. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day decline in a month.

Democrats were giving no ground. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

The battle to defend Mr. Trump from impeachment charges is already being fought online.

On Wednesday, the president’s re-election campaign took out dozens of Facebook ads urging his supporters to join an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The president’s supporters also received emails urging them to join the group. It’s not clear whether such a group actually exists, or whether the campaign is simply using it to collect donations and email addresses.

“I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most, which is why my team is making me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who adds their name,” read one of the ads.

Democrats are also seizing on the opportunity to rally their supporters online. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, among others, have taken out ads on Facebook calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in recent days. Vice President Biden’s Facebook ads — which urged his supporters to “Stand With Joe” — were less impeachment focused.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, leaving a Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. She said Democrats should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com