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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 22)

White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader

WASHINGTON — The White House learned that a C.I.A. officer had lodged allegations against President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine even as the officer’s whistle-blower complaint was moving through a process meant to protect him against reprisals, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The officer first shared information about potential abuse of power and a White House cover-up with the C.I.A.’s top lawyer through an anonymous process, some of the people said. The lawyer shared the officer’s concerns with White House and Justice Department officials, following policy. Around the same time, the officer separately filed the whistle-blower complaint.

The revelations provide new insight about how the officer’s allegations moved through the bureaucracy of government. The Trump administration’s handling of the accusations is certain to be scrutinized, particularly by lawmakers weighing the impeachment of the president.

Lawyers for the whistle-blower refused to confirm that he worked for the C.I.A. and said that publishing information about him was dangerous.

“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” said Andrew Bakaj, his lead counsel. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.”

Neither the White House nor the National Security Council, its foreign policy arm, responded to requests for comment. The C.I.A. referred questions to the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, Michael Atkinson, who declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, said that protecting the whistle-blower was his office’s highest priority. “We must protect those who demonstrate the courage to report alleged wrongdoing, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace,” Mr. Maguire said at a hearing on Thursday, adding that he did not know the whistle-blower’s identity.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said The Times was right to publish information about the whistle-blower. “The president and some of his supporters have attacked the credibility of the whistle-blower, who has presented information that has touched off a landmark impeachment proceeding,” Mr. Baquet said. “The president himself has called the whistle-blower’s account a ‘political hack job.’”

Mr. Baquet added, “We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible. We also understand that the White House already knew he was a C.I.A. officer.”

Document: Read the Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v6 White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

During his time at the White House, the whistle-blower became deeply unnerved about how he believed Mr. Trump was broadly seeking to pressure the Ukrainian government to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically. “Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the president’s 2020 re-election bid,” said the complaint, which was released on Thursday.

During a July 25 call, Mr. Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son and other matters that the president saw as potentially beneficial to him politically, according to a reconstructed transcript released by the White House on Wednesday.

The whistle-blower was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity, and has since returned to the C.I.A.

His complaint suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law.

The whistle-blower’s expertise will most likely add to lawmakers’ confidence about the merits of his complaint and tamp down allegations that he might have misunderstood what he learned about Mr. Trump. He did not listen directly to the July call, but some White House colleagues told him that they were concerned they had witnessed “the president abuse his office for personal gain,” according to the complaint.

The week after the call, the officer delivered a somewhat broad accusation anonymously to the C.I.A.’s general counsel, Courtney Simmons Elwood, according to multiple people familiar with the events. The initial allegations reported only that serious questions existed about a phone call between Mr. Trump and a foreign leader.

As required by government policy, Ms. Elwood had to assess whether a “reasonable basis” for the accusation existed. During the preliminary inquiry, Ms. Elwood and a career C.I.A. lawyer learned that multiple people had raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s call.

Ms. Elwood also called John A. Eisenberg, a deputy White House counsel and her counterpart at the National Security Council, according to three people familiar with the matter. He was already aware of vague concerns about the call.

Ms. Elwood, Mr. Eisenberg and their deputies spoke multiple times the following week. They decided that the accusations had a reasonable basis.

Mr. Eisenberg and Ms. Elwood both spoke on Aug. 14 to John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, according to three people familiar with the discussion. Ms. Elwood did not pass on the name of the C.I.A. officer, which she did not know because his concerns were submitted anonymously.

The next day, Mr. Demers went to the White House to read the transcript of the call and assess whether to alert other senior law enforcement officials. The deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and Brian A. Benczkowski, the head of the department’s criminal division, were soon looped in, according to two administration officials.

Department officials began to discuss the accusations and whether and how to follow up, and Attorney General William P. Barr learned of the allegations around that time, according to a person familiar with the matter. Although Mr. Barr was briefed, he did not oversee the discussions about how to proceed, the person said.

But as White House, C.I.A. and Justice Department officials were examining the accusations, the C.I.A. officer who had lodged them anonymously grew concerned after learning that Ms. Elwood had contacted the White House, according to two people familiar with the matter. While it is not clear how the officer became aware that Ms. Elwood had shared the information, he concluded that the C.I.A. was not taking his allegations seriously.

That played a factor in his decision to become a whistle-blower, they said. And about two weeks after first submitting his anonymous accusations, he decided to file a whistle-blower complaint to Mr. Atkinson, a step that offers special legal protections, unlike going to a general counsel.

Ms. Elwood and Mr. Eisenberg learned only later about the complaint, filed on Aug. 12, and did not know it was sent by the same officer who had sent the information anonymously to her.

At the end of August, the office of the director of national intelligence referred the allegations to the Justice Department as a possible criminal matter. Law enforcement officials ultimately declined to open an investigation.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161468745_3dcf0523-f760-4ffd-9965-3fdf83781ff8-articleLarge White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.CreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

The revelation that the White House knew that a C.I.A. officer was expressing concerns before he filed a whistle-blower complaint demonstrates a weakness in a law meant to protect him from reprisals and shows that he was at risk of retaliation.

“I always advise whistle-blowers against going to general counsels because the general counsels have to report the matter,” said Dan Meyer, the former executive director of the intelligence community whistle-blowing program and managing partner at the law firm Tully Rinckey’s Washington office. “They are like tuna in a shark tank.”

Mr. Maguire defended the government’s handling of the complaint, noting the whistle-blower’s accusations had been delivered to Congress and the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call had been released. “Everything here in this matter is totally unprecedented,” he said at the hearing.

Speaking to State Department employees at a closed-door meeting, Mr. Trump said the whistle-blower was “almost a spy,” according to a person briefed on what took place, and said he wanted to identify his sources, suggesting that punishment awaited them.

The whistle-blower has identified at least a half-dozen government officials — including several who work for the White House — who he believes can substantiate his claims. The inspector general has interviewed some of the people and found the whistle-blower’s claims credible.

Agents, officers and analysts from the military, intelligence and law enforcement communities routinely work at the White House. Often, they work on the National Security Council or help manage secure communications, like calls between the president and foreign leaders.

The C.I.A. officer did not work on the communications team that handles calls with foreign leaders, according to the people familiar with his identity. He learned about Mr. Trump’s conduct “in the course of official interagency business,” according to the complaint, which was dotted with footnotes about machinations in Kiev and reinforced with public comments by senior Ukrainian officials.

Officials regularly shared information to “inform policymaking and analysis,” the complaint said. It raises the prospect that the whistle-blower was not detailed to the White House either during the events in question or when he learned about them.

After the call, multiple officials told the whistle-blower that future talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky would depend on whether the Ukranians would “play ball” on the investigations.

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

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_161536872_e2f1a6cc-83ed-47eb-9f37-00f53ae437da-threeByTwoSmallAt2X White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency
Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower’s Sources and Alludes to Punishment for Spies

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-trump-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency
Document: Read the Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v6 White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency
8 Takeaways From the Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-takeaways-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

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In Ukraine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble

WASHINGTON — No one bothered to put special limits on the number of people allowed to sit in the “listening room” in the White House to monitor the phone call because it was expected to be routine. By the time the call was over 30 minutes later, it quickly became clear that it was anything but.

Soon after President Trump put the phone down that summer day, the red flags began to go up. Rather than just one head of state offering another pro forma congratulations for recent elections, the call turned into a bid by Mr. Trump to press a Ukrainian leader in need of additional American aid to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats.

The alarm among officials who heard the exchange led to an extraordinary effort to keep too many more people from learning about it. In the days to come, according to a whistle-blower complaint released on Thursday, White House officials embarked on a campaign to “lock down” the record of the call, removing it from the usual electronic file and hiding it away in a separate system normally used for classified information.

But word began to spread anyway, kicking off a succession of events that would eventually reveal details of the call to the public and has now put Mr. Trump at risk of being impeached by a Democrat-led House for abusing his power and betraying his office. The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him.

“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. official who once worked at the White House, wrote in his complaint, which was declassified and made public by the House Intelligence Committee.

“They told me,” he added, “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 president and his Republican allies rejected that characterization, saying he made no quid-pro-quo demands of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who himself told reporters in New York on Wednesday that he did not feel like he was being pushed.

Mr. Trump dismissed the complaint as part of “another Witch Hunt” against him and suggested the whistle-blower was “close to a spy.”

But while the White House disparaged the whistle-blower’s complaint as full of secondhand information and media-reported events, it did not directly deny the sequence of events as outlined.

Moreover, other officials amplified the narrative on Thursday with details that were not in the complaint. For instance, they said, at one point an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call electronically, as would be typical. Instead, copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group.

During the call on the morning of July 25, Mr. Zelensky talked about how much Ukraine had come to depend on the United States to help in its grinding, five-year war with Russian-sponsored separatists in the eastern part of the country. Without missing a beat, Mr. Trump then segued directly to his request for help in his own domestic politics.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” he said. Ukraine, he said, should look into conspiracy theories about Democratic emails hacked during the 2016 election as well as the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

While the president saw nothing wrong with his request, officials who heard it quickly worried that it would be problematic at best and set about finding ways to keep the conversation hidden.

The electronic version of the reconstructed transcript produced from notes and voice recognition software was removed from the computer system where such documents are typically stored for distribution to cabinet-level officers, according to the complaint. Instead, it went into a classified system even though the call did not contain anything especially sensitive in terms of national security information.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158446377_98d268bd-e1fd-4b36-8b69-6c5fcfc0c417-articleLarge In Ukraine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

President Trump at the White House on July 25, the day he spoke to the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The actions were unusual in a normal national security process but not unheard-of in Mr. Trump’s administration. Since early in his tenure, when transcripts of his telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia leaked, Mr. Trump has been sensitive to preventing such records from getting out.

He has proved particularly attuned to guarding the confidentiality of other conversations involving the former Soviet Union. After his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia after taking office, Mr. Trump took his interpreter’s notes and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone.

The specifics of Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky would be one thing by itself, but it came during a period of other events that provide a context. For months leading up to the call, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had been vigorously lobbying Ukrainian officials to investigate Democrats over the 2016 election and Mr. Biden’s dealings with the country.

Starting in mid-May, the whistle-blower wrote, he began hearing from other American officials “that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between” Kiev and the president.

Other people close to the situation have said that among those angry at Mr. Giuliani’s activities was John R. Bolton, who was then the president’s national security adviser before leaving this month amid disagreements with Mr. Trump over Russia as well as other issues.

But State Department officials, including Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, were left to try to “contain the damage” by advising Ukrainians how to navigate Mr. Giuliani’s campaign, according to the complaint.

The Ukrainians, it added, were led to believe that arranging a meeting or phone call between their president and Mr. Trump would depend on whether Mr. Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on Mr. Giuliani’s wishes. Indeed, it said, Mr. Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence to cancel plans to travel to Ukraine for Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration on May 20.

As Mr. Giuliani continued to seek action by the Ukrainians, the White House Office of Management and Budget informed national security agencies on July 18 that the president had ordered the suspension of $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine. In the days that followed, officials said they were unaware of the reason for the freeze.

American help has been a vital tool for checking Russian aggression in Ukraine, with strong support in both parties. According to other officials, three rounds of interagency meetings were then held to try to “unstick” the blocked aid or at least figure out why it was being held up. When the White House still would not explain, some administration officials began enlisting staff members in the Senate to help.

The day after the agencies were notified about the aid freeze, Mr. Giuliani had breakfast with Mr. Volker about connecting with Ukrainian officials to seek information about the president’s Democratic opponents.

“Mr. Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning,” Mr. Volker wrote in a text later that day that Mr. Giuliani posted on Twitter on Thursday. Mr. Volker offered to connect Mr. Giuliani with Andriy Yermak, an aide to Mr. Zelensky, according to the text message.

Six days later came the phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky. The White House readout released to the news media afterward made no mention of the discussion about Democrats, but a Ukrainian statement alluded to it by saying they discussed the completion of “investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

The next day, according to the complaint, Mr. Volker and Mr. Sondland visited Kiev and met with Mr. Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, offering them guidance on how to respond to Mr. Trump’s demands. Mr. Giuliani then met in Spain with Mr. Yermak on Aug. 2.

A week later, on Aug. 9, Mr. Trump publicly embraced Mr. Zelensky, telling reporters that he planned to invite the Ukrainian to the White House. “He’s a very reasonable guy,” Mr. Trump said. “He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

In fact, Ukrainian officials had been trying to lock down a date for such a meeting for months but kept getting put off by White House aides. At this point, Ukrainian officials have said, they still did not know that Mr. Trump had suspended American aid but they were hearing that it might be at risk.

All of this was taking place at a time of flux among key national security officials. Fiona Hill, the senior director for Europe at the National Security Council, was stepping down and had turned over her duties in July before the call. Three days after the call, Mr. Trump announced that Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, would be resigning.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The whistle-blower, employing an anonymous process, brought his concerns to the C.I.A.’s general counsel, Courtney Simmons Ellwood, according to multiple people familiar with the events. As she sought to determine whether a reasonable basis existed for the accusation, she shared the matter with White House and Justice Department officials, meaning that the same institution he was complaining about had advance notice of the issue.

Concerned that his allegations were not being taken seriously, he filed a formal complaint on Aug. 12 with the office of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, a process that granted whistle-blower protections under law. The complaint was addressed to Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, with the understanding that, under the law, it would be provided to them.

“In the course of my official 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 election,” the whistle-blower wrote.

He acknowledged that he “was not a direct witness to most of the events described” but said he had gathered it from multiple officials and was “deeply concerned” that the actions constituted a flagrant abuse or violation of law.

Ten days later, Senate staff members sought an explanation for the aid freeze during a briefing by State and Defense Department officials but received no further information. By this time, however, they had begun hearing reports that the delays might be tied to reports about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Mr. Atkinson forwarded the whistle-blower complaint on Aug. 26 to Joseph Maguire, who took over from Mr. Coats as the acting director of national intelligence, and declared that he had determined the complaint “appears credible.” Mr. Maguire brought the issue to the White House rather than Congress, arguing that he was obliged to do so, a decision that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

The next day, Aug. 27, Mr. Bolton, then still the national security adviser, met with Mr. Zelensky in Kiev, the first personal visit by such a high-ranking member of the administration since Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration. Mr. Bolton, who holds deeply skeptical views of Russia, assured the Ukrainians that the United States stood behind them. He also was preparing for what was expected to be a meeting a few days afterward in Warsaw between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

Ukrainian officials have said the aid holdup was not discussed during this visit and that they only learned about it afterward. The first report of the frozen money appeared in Politico on Aug. 28, the day after Mr. Bolton’s visit, and congressional aides were finally informed the next day.

As it happened, Mr. Trump canceled his trip to Warsaw to monitor Hurricane Dorian, which was bearing down on the East Coast. Instead, he sent Mr. Pence, who met with Mr. Zelensky.

Three House committees opened an inquiry on Sept. 9 to examine whether the aid to Ukraine was being held up for political reasons. On the same day, Mr. Atkinson, the inspector general, sent a letter to the intelligence committees informing them of the existence of the whistle-blower complaint but withholding details, including the subject.

Senators from both parties increased the pressure on the White House to release the frozen aid to Ukraine. On Sept. 11, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, spoke to Mr. Trump about the matter and urged him to lift the freeze. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, informed the White House that he would support a Democratic amendment meant to penalize the White House to prod the funds loose.

Administration officials informed senators that night that the money would be released and the decision was announced the next day without any explanation for why it had been held up in the first place.

Mr. Trump has since given conflicting explanations. First, he said he held it up because of concerns about corruption in Ukraine and cited Mr. Biden in particular. Then he shifted the rationale to say he blocked it because he thought European countries should shoulder more of the burden.

Angry at not being informed about the topic of the whistle-blower complaint, Mr. Schiff issued a subpoena the next day to Mr. Maguire. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 18 that the complaint involved Mr. Trump, and The Post and The New York Times reported the next day that it involved Ukraine.

Mr. Schiff said on Thursday that the whole episode had not been in the interest of the United States. “It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy,” he said, “for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.”

Mr. Maguire captured the unique nature of the episode that has begun unveiling itself for the public to see. “I believe that everything here in this matter,” he said, “is totally unprecedented.”

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

In a Routine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble

WASHINGTON — No one bothered to put special limits on the number of people allowed to sit in the White House “listening room” to monitor the phone call because it was expected to be routine. By the time the call was over 30 minutes later, it quickly became clear that it was anything but.

Soon after President Trump put the phone down that summer day, the red flags began to go up. Rather than just one head of state offering another pro forma congratulations for recent elections, the call turned into a bid by Mr. Trump to press a Ukrainian leader in need of additional American aid to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats.

The alarm among officials who heard the exchange led to an extraordinary effort to keep too many more people from learning about it. In the days to come, according to a whistle-blower complaint released on Thursday, White House officials embarked on a campaign to “lock down” the record of the call, removing it from the usual electronic file and hiding it away in a separate system normally used for classified information.

But word began to spread anyway, kicking off a succession of events that would eventually reveal details of the call to the public and has now put Mr. Trump at risk of being impeached by a Democrat-led House for abusing his power and betraying his office. The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him.

“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. official who once worked at the White House, wrote in his complaint, which was declassified and made public by the House Intelligence Committee.

“They told me,” he added, “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 president and his Republican allies rejected that characterization, saying he made no quid-pro-quo demands of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who himself told reporters in New York on Wednesday that he did not feel like he was being pushed.

Mr. Trump dismissed the complaint as part of “another Witch Hunt” against him and suggested the whistle-blower was “close to a spy.”

But while the White House disparaged the whistle-blower’s complaint as full of secondhand information and media-reported events, it did not directly deny the sequence of events as outlined.

Moreover, other officials amplified the narrative on Thursday with details that were not in the complaint. For instance, they said, at one point an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call electronically, as would be typical. Instead, copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group.

During the call on the morning of July 25, Mr. Zelensky talked about how much Ukraine had come to depend on the United States to help in its grinding, five-year war with Russian-sponsored separatists in the eastern part of the country. Without missing a beat, Mr. Trump then segued directly to his request for help in his own domestic politics.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” he said. Ukraine, he said, should look into conspiracy theories about Democratic emails hacked during the 2016 election as well as the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

The electronic version of the reconstructed transcript produced from notes and voice recognition software was removed from the computer system where such documents are typically stored for distribution to cabinet-level officers, according to the complaint. Instead, it went into a classified system even though the call did not contain anything especially sensitive in terms of national security information.

The actions were unusual in a normal national security process but not unheard-of in Mr. Trump’s administration. Since early in his tenure, when transcripts of his telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia leaked, Mr. Trump has been sensitive to preventing such records from getting out.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158446377_98d268bd-e1fd-4b36-8b69-6c5fcfc0c417-articleLarge In a Routine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

President Trump at the White House on July 25, the day he spoke to the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

He has proved particularly attuned to guarding the confidentiality of other conversations involving the former Soviet Union. After his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia after taking office, Mr. Trump took his interpreter’s notes and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone.

The specifics of Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky would be one thing by itself, but it came during a period of other events that provide a context. For months leading up to the call, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had been lobbying Ukrainian officials to investigate Democrats over the 2016 election and Mr. Biden’s dealings with the country.

Starting in mid-May, the whistle-blower wrote, he began hearing from other American officials “that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between” Kiev and the president.

Other people close to the situation have said that among those angry at Mr. Giuliani’s activities was John R. Bolton, who was then the president’s national security adviser before leaving this month amid disagreements with Mr. Trump over Russia as well as other issues.

But State Department officials, including Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, were left to try to “contain the damage” by advising Ukrainians how to navigate Mr. Giuliani’s campaign, according to the complaint.

The Ukrainians, it added, were led to believe that arranging a meeting or phone call between Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump would depend on whether Mr. Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on Mr. Giuliani’s wishes. Indeed, it said, Mr. Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence to cancel plans to travel to Ukraine for Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration on May 20.

As Mr. Giuliani continued to seek action by the Ukrainians, the White House Office of Management and Budget informed national security agencies on July 18 that the president had ordered the suspension of $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine. In the days that followed, officials said they were unaware of the reason for the freeze.

According to other officials, three rounds of interagency meetings were then held to try to “unstick” the blocked aid or at least figure out why it was behind held up. When the White House continued to not explain, some administration officials began enlisting staff members in the Senate to help.

The day after the agencies were notified about the aid freeze, Mr. Giuliani had breakfast with Mr. Volker about connecting with Ukrainian officials.

“Mr. Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning,” Mr. Volker wrote in a text later that day that Mr. Giuliani posted on Twitter on Thursday. Mr. Volker offered to connect Mr. Giuliani with Andriy Yermak, an aide to Mr. Zelensky, according to the text message.

Six days later came the phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky. The White House readout released to the news media afterward made no mention of the discussion about Democrats, but a Ukrainian statement alluded to it by saying they discussed the completion of “investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

The next day, according to the complaint, Mr. Volker and Mr. Sondland visited Kiev and met with Mr. Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, offering them guidance on how to respond to Mr. Trump’s demands. Mr. Giuliani then met in Spain with Mr. Yermak on Aug. 2.

A week later, on Aug. 9, Mr. Trump publicly embraced Mr. Zelensky, telling reporters that he planned to invite the Ukrainian to the White House. “He’s a very reasonable guy,” Mr. Trump said. “He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

In fact, Ukrainian officials had been trying to lock down a date for such a meeting for months but kept getting put off by White House aides. At this point, Ukrainian officials have said, they still did not know that Mr. Trump had suspended American aid but they were hearing that it might be at risk.

All of this was taking place at a time of flux among key national security officials. Fiona Hill, the senior director for Europe at the National Security Council, was stepping down and had turned over her duties in July before the call. Three days after the call, Mr. Trump announced that Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, would be resigning.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

On Aug. 12, the whistle-blower filed his complaint with the office of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community. The complaint was addressed to Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, with the understanding that, under the law, it would be provided to them.

“In the course of my official 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 election,” the whistle-blower wrote.

He acknowledged that he “was not a direct witness to most of the events described” but said he had gathered it from multiple officials and was “deeply concerned” that the actions constituted a flagrant abuse or violation of law.

Ten days later, Senate staff members sought an explanation for the aid freeze during a briefing by State and Defense Department officials but received no further information. By this time, however, they had begun hearing reports that the delays might be tied to reports about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Mr. Atkinson forwarded the whistle-blower complaint on Aug. 26 to Joseph Maguire, who took over from Mr. Coats as the acting director of national intelligence, and declared that he had determined the complaint “appears credible.” Mr. Maguire brought the issue to the White House rather than Congress, arguing that he was obliged to do so, a decision that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

The next day, Aug. 27, Mr. Bolton, then still the national security adviser, met with Mr. Zelensky in Kiev, the first personal visit by such a high-ranking member of the administration since Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration. Mr. Bolton, who holds deeply skeptical views of Russia, assured the Ukrainians that the United States stood behind them. He also was preparing for what was expected to be a meeting a few days afterward in Warsaw between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

Ukrainian officials have said the aid holdup was not discussed during this visit and that they only learned about it afterward. The first report of the frozen money appeared in Politico on Aug. 28, the day after Mr. Bolton’s visit and congressional aides were finally informed the next day.

As it happened, Mr. Trump canceled his trip to Warsaw to monitor Hurricane Dorian, which was bearing down on the East Coast. Instead, he sent Mr. Pence, who met with Mr. Zelensky.

Three House committees opened an inquiry on Sept. 9 to examine whether the aid to Ukraine was being held up for political reasons. On the same day, Mr. Atkinson, the inspector general, sent a letter to the intelligence committees informing them of the existence of the whistle-blower complaint but withholding details, including the subject.

Senators from both parties increased the pressure on the White House to release the frozen aid to Ukraine. On Sept. 11, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, spoke to Mr. Trump about the matter and urged him to lift the freeze. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, informed the White House that he would support a Democratic amendment meant to penalize the White House to prod the funds loose.

Administration officials informed senators that night that the money will be released and the decision was announced the next day without any explanation for why it had been held up in the first place.

Mr. Trump has since given conflicting explanations. First, he said he held it up because of concerns about corruption in Ukraine and cited Mr. Biden in particular. Then he shifted the rationale to say he blocked it because he thought European countries should shoulder more of the burden.

Angry at not being informed about the topic of the whistle-blower complaint, Mr. Schiff issued a subpoena the next day to Mr. Maguire. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 18 that the complaint involved Mr. Trump, and The Post and The New York Times reported the next day that it involved Ukraine.

Mr. Schiff said on Thursday that the whole episode had not been in the interest of the United States. “It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy,” he said, “for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.”

The whistle-blower is expected to testify to Congress soon.

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Trump Said Ukraine Envoy Would ‘Go Through Some Things.’ She Has Already.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s words about Marie L. Yovanovitch, his former ambassador to Ukraine, were ominous. In a telephone conversation that has set off a political crisis for Mr. Trump, he told Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, that she was “bad news.”

“She’s going to go through some things,” he added.

In fact, she already has gone through quite a bit. Over the past several months, Ms. Yovanovitch, a decorated 33-year veteran of the State Department, has been vilified in the right-wing news media, denounced by the president’s eldest son as a “joker,” called a Democratic stooge by the president’s personal lawyer and then abruptly recalled from Kiev this May, months ahead of schedule.

Her supposed sin, never backed up by evidence, was that she had shown disloyalty to Mr. Trump, disparaging him behind his back. Her friends, who say her professionalism and history of diplomatic service make that highly unlikely, have another theory: She had turned into collateral damage in efforts by Mr. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, to damage the reputation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., perhaps Mr. Trump’s most prominent Democratic rival in 2020.

Among the apparent strikes against her: A former Ukrainian prosecutor claimed in an interview with The New York Times that Ms. Yovanovitch had blocked his team from getting visas to the United States to deliver damaging information about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter to the F.B.I.

In targeting Ms. Yovanovitch, former colleagues say, Mr. Trump and his allies underscored how profoundly suspicious they are of the career government professionals around them, leading the president to bypass the usual procedures and staff while outsourcing aspects of foreign policy to Mr. Giuliani and others.

Although largely unknown to the outside world, Ms. Yovanovitch has now become a sort of heroine to the State Department’s career staff — as well as a cautionary tale to many longtime American diplomats and national security officials. To them, she symbolizes an atmosphere in which dissenting, or even insisting on established procedures, can get them marked as outsiders, shut out of meetings, excluded from policymaking and in the end publicly hung out to dry as enemies of the administration.

At a news briefing on Thursday in New York, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to answer questions shouted by reporters about why Ms. Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington.

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-articleLarge-v3 Trump Said Ukraine Envoy Would ‘Go Through Some Things.’ She Has Already. Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Appointments and Executive Changes

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

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

The American Academy of Diplomacy reacted by demanding that the State Department protect Ms. Yovanovitch from reprisals, calling the “threatening tone” of Mr. Trump’s remarks about her “very troubling.” The American Foreign Service Association, which represents State Department employees, urged that the American diplomatic corps “not be dragged into partisan political battles.”

Now serving as a diplomat in residence at Georgetown University, Ms. Yovanovitch did not respond to requests for an interview.

While the abrupt end to her ambassadorship was widely seen as punitive, one former colleague said that it was possibly motivated by a genuine concern for her, and that State Department officials decided it was safer to bring her home.

Nonetheless, the level of suspicion and paranoia inside the foreign policy and national security agencies, already high since Mr. Trump’s arrival, has only risen since Ms. Yovanovitch’s saga has surfaced.

“It’s more than crazy — it’s ugly, it’s threatening,” said Daniel Fried, a former ambassador and 40-year State Department official who has long dealt with Russian and Ukrainian issues and retired at the beginning of the Trump administration. “Masha Yovanovitch is known as a straight arrow, disciplined, professional.”

“If you take out Masha Yovanovitch, you send the message to every ambassador that we will not have your back,” he said.

Ms. Yovanovitch was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut at age 3 and became a naturalized American citizen at 18. In congressional testimony, she said her father fled the Soviet Union and then the Nazis; her mother grew up “stateless” in Germany. She said that background gave her a special empathy for those who had endured poverty, war and displacement.

Westlake Legal Group trump-ukraine-timeline-promo-1569528528277-articleLarge-v2 Trump Said Ukraine Envoy Would ‘Go Through Some Things.’ She Has Already. Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Appointments and Executive Changes

Trump’s Efforts to Push Ukraine Toward a Biden Inquiry: A Timeline

A guide to the key figures and dates as President Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

She grew up speaking Russian, graduated from Princeton and joined the State Department six years later. Her specialty was Eurasia.

President George W. Bush appointed her ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, then to Armenia. President Barack Obama named her ambassador to Ukraine in 2016. There, she spoke out strongly against corruption in the Ukrainian government and pushed for a variety of reforms, including ending the immunity enjoyed by legislators accused of crimes.

John E. Herbst, a former ambassador to Ukraine, described her as a highly skilled and meticulous diplomat who would never share her personal political opinions with foreign officials — or even with her diplomatic colleagues. She was careful not to overstep her authority, he said.

“Masha is someone who is always very attentive to propriety and to instructions, and by nature, cautious,” he said. “She is uniformly held in high regard.”

The campaign against her by Trump allies began more than a year ago, with a letter from Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican member of the House at the time who lost his re-election bid in November. He wrote to Mr. Pompeo that Ms. Yovanovitch should be fired for privately and repeatedly expressing “disdain” for the current administration.

Then, this spring, Joseph E. diGenova, a former federal prosecutor and an ally of Mr. Trump’s, alleged on a Fox News broadcast that the ambassador had disparaged Mr. Trump to Ukrainian officials, telling them “not to listen to him or obey his policy because he was going to be impeached.”

Two days later, Donald Trump Jr. posted a link on social media to a conservative website that described her as an anti-Trump Obama loyalist, and one Mr. Trump had been trying to fire for a year. He said his father’s administration should have “less of these jokers as ambassadors.”

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-articleLarge-v5 Trump Said Ukraine Envoy Would ‘Go Through Some Things.’ She Has Already. Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Appointments and Executive Changes

Document: Read the Whistle-Blower Complaint

The complaint filed by an intelligence officer about President Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine.

About the same time, a Ukrainian-American named Lev Parnas, who has worked with Mr. Giuliani, told people in Republican circles in Washington of tape recordings of conversations in which Ms. Yovanovitch had supposedly disparaged the president, according to people he spoke with. The existence of those recordings has not been substantiated.

Her troubles mounted as Mr. Giuliani stepped up pressure on the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into whether Mr. Biden, as vice-president, had forced out a top prosecutor in order to shut down an inquiry that might have implicated Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

No evidence has emerged that Mr. Biden was actually trying to protect his son; in fact, many Western leaders viewed Ukraine’s top prosecutor as corrupt and were pressuring Ukraine’s leader to fire him.

But one former Ukrainian prosecutor, Kostiantyn H. Kulyk, told The New York Times in an interview in April that Ms. Yovanovitch had thwarted his efforts to meet with the F.B.I. to deliver damaging information about the Bidens by denying him a visa.

Mr. Giuliani also accused her of being a pawn of the New York financier George Soros, a major Democratic donor who backed a nonprofit anti-corruption group that worked in Ukraine. “The ambassador there is in the pocket of Soros,” he said in a March interview with The New York Times.

The critiques of Ms. Yovanovitch clearly reached Mr. Trump’s ears. In the July 25 phone call, Mr. Zelensky, Ukraine’s newly elected president, told Mr. Trump: “You were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador,” adding that “I agree with you 100 percent.”

The premature end to Ms. Yovanovitch’s tenure in Kiev was all the more remarkable because Ukraine’s government had just turned over with the surprise election of Mr. Zelensky in April.

“She’s capable and she’s tough, and why would you want to lose your ambassador right at the moment when there is a big change in the government?” asked Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for the region that includes Ukraine.

Mr. Trump has not yet chosen a replacement.

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Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction

Here’s what you need to know:

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Westlake Legal Group 26dc-complaint1-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

The acting director of national intelligence testified. Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the White House of a cover-up and President Trump suggested punishing the sources used in a whistle-blower’s complaint against him.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“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.” Thus began an explosive criminal complaint drafted by an American intelligence officer and released by the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

At the center of the whistle-blower’s complaint is a July call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Mr. Trump brought up American aid to that country — without explicitly mentioning that he had just frozen a military aid package of hundreds of millions of dollars — and then pressed the Ukrainian leader to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The whistle-blower, who did not listen directly to the call, also said that in an attempt to “lock down” all records of the call, White House lawyers told officials to move the transcript into a separate system reserved for classified information that is especially sensitive. These actions, the whistle-blower suggested, showed that those involved “understood the gravity of what had transpired.”

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.”

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.”

Document: Read the Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v6 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )
ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161542140_f6b07da6-c108-4fbf-834d-78f15e24c93b-articleLarge Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

A view of the West Wing of the White House. The whistle-blower was a C.I.A. employee detailed to work at the White House.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

The man has since returned to the C.I.A., according to three people familiar with his identity. Little else is known about him. His complaint suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law.

The whistle-blower’s expertise will likely add to lawmakers’ confidence about the merits of his complaint, and tamp down allegations that he might have misunderstood what he learned about Mr. Trump.

Lawyers for the whistle-blower refused to confirm that he worked for the C.I.A. and said that publishing information about him was dangerous.

“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” said Andrew Bakaj, his lead counsel. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.”

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said The Times was right to publish information about the whistle-blower. “The role of the whistle-blower, including his credibility and his place in the government, is essential to understanding one of the most important issues facing the country — whether the president of the United States abused power and whether the White House covered it up.”

[Our executive editor, Dean Baquet, addressed readers’ concerns about the decision to publish limited information about the whistle-blower.]

— Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Julian E. Barnes

Read on: Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House

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Westlake Legal Group 26dc-transcript-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

President Trump made remarks to the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday, the same day a House committee released a declassified version of a complaint.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Mr. Trump on Thursday morning told staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

The remark stunned the audience, according to a person briefed on what took place, who had notes of the president’s comments. Mr. Trump condemned Mr. Biden’s role in Ukraine at a time when his son Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, and said the whistle-blower never heard the call in question.

When he returned from New York, Mr. Trump resumed his diatribe against Democrats. “There should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts,” he said.

Republicans largely stayed in line behind Mr. Trump. In a statement to Politico, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, dismissed as “laughable” the Democrats’ assertion that Mr. Trump’s behavior in the Ukraine matter should lead to his impeachment.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, complained that the whistle-blower “has no primary sources,” even though the complaint makes clear that the author spoke to numerous people with direct knowledge of the call.

Some Republicans sounded more cautious. Representative Will Hurd, a moderate Texas Republican who has announced he will not run for re-election, wrote on Twitter that the complaint was “concerning” and needs to be fully investigated.

Read on: Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower’s Sources and Alludes to Punishment for Spies

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Westlake Legal Group 26dc-impeach-video-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, appeared before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss the handling of a whistle-blower complaint against President Trump.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence 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 that “everything here in this matter is totally unprecedented.”

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.”

The White House did not order him to keep the complaint from Congress, he said. His delay was about sorting through possible claims of executive privilege.

As the hearing wound down, the spy chief said the matter was in Congress’s hands. “My responsibility was to get you the whistle-blower letter and get the other information released. I have done my duty,” he told the committee. Whether to investigate further “is on the shoulders of the legislative branch and this committee.”

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Westlake Legal Group 26dc-pelosi-vid-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters after new details emerged from a whistle-blower’s complaint against President Trump related to his phone call with Ukraine’s leader.CreditCreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, echoing the language of Watergate, 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,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference.

The speaker refused to discuss a timeline for the impeachment inquiry she only embraced this week, but she did indicate that the consensus in the House Democratic Caucus is that the inquiry should concentrate on Ukraine.

“The inquiry and the consensus in our caucus is that our focus now is on this allegation,” 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 five candidates — Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and the former housing secretary Julián Castro — all accused Mr. Trump of a “cover-up.”

Read on: How the Impeachment Process Works

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington and Maggie Haberman, 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-v6 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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 Trump Impeachment Inquiry Updates: The Complaint, the Testimony, the Reaction Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

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‘Spies and Treason’: Read a Transcript of Trump’s Remarks Related to the Whistle-Blower

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-transcript-facebookJumbo ‘Spies and Treason’: Read a Transcript of Trump’s Remarks Related to the Whistle-Blower Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry impeachment

President Trump addressed a crowd from the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday. Mr. Trump discussed a range of topics, including a whistle-blower complaint against him that says he tried to compel the president of Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election.

The following is a partial transcript of Mr. Trump’s remarks that was shared with The New York Times. Portions related to the whistle-blower and the Ukraine matter are in bold.

[For more coverage of the remarks and Mr. Trump’s reaction the complaint, read here.]

_____________

PRESIDENT TRUMP: The same letter that we announced yesterday, which was perfect, I couldn’t have written it better if I wrote it myself. I could not have said or had a better conversation. And we had a really nice gentleman in the president of Ukraine yesterday.

And he was great. They said: “Was he pressured you?” These animals in the press. They’re animals actually. Some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fake news!

TRUMP: Fake news, fake news. They’re scum, many of them are scum. You have some good reporters but not many, I’ll be honest with you. And that’s one of the things we battle. You’ll find out, but they’ll probably like you better than they like me, but I had to get us here right? But they’re total — just terrible dishonest people — and they couldn’t figure out — “What do we say bad about this conversation?”

Then it turns out that they had senators, Democrat senators went over there and strong-armed the guy. “You better damn well do this or you’re not going to get any money from Congress.” Oh I see, that’s O.K.? And then you have Sleepy Joe Biden, who’s dumb as a rock.

(Laughter)

This guy was dumb on his best day, and he’s not having his best day right now. He’s dumb as a rock. So you have Sleepy Joe, and he goes up, and his kid, who’s got a lot of problems, he got thrown out of the Navy. I mean look I’m not going to — it’s a problem, that’s a problem, so we won’t get into why and all that. But he got thrown out of the Navy, and now this kid goes into Ukraine, walks away with millions of dollars, and he becomes a consultant for $50,000 a month. And he doesn’t know anything compared to anybody in this room. He’s a stiff, he knows nothing. He’s walking away with $50,000, or as you would say in the old days 50K a month. Not bad. Would anybody else in this room like to represent Ukraine just like —

(Crowd cheers)

TRUMP: That’s on top — you got the job — that’s on top of hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. But that’s not the best one. The best one was China. This came up. So now he goes to China, and I was with the head of Blackstone which is the big deal. Steve Schwarzman. I said, “Steve, is that possible?” “No, why? Who got that?” I said. “Biden’s son.” “Ooh,” Well then you know he says, “Maybe I shouldn’t get involved, you know it’s very political.” I say, “Steve, what happens when you come off a vice presidential plane, it’s called Air Force Two, your father’s with you, you walk into a room in China and they give you a fund of $1.5 billion, billion, you make hundreds of thousands of dollars and millions of dollars off that. And that’s probably not all they gave him. They gave him plenty more, I’m sure. We might never find out.

DO NOT USE THIS

President Trump spoke on Thursday to a crowd of staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations.

And then they talk about me, and I didn’t do anything. I don’t know if I’m the most innocent person in the world.

(Laughter)

TRUMP: But you know you look at that — most presidential, I just said I’m the most presidential except for possibly Abe Lincoln when he wore the hat — that was tough to beat.

(Laughter)

Honest Abe, when he wore that hat, that was tough to beat. But I can’t do that, that hat wouldn’t work for me. Yeah, I have better hair than him. But Honest Abe was tough to beat. Remember we used to do that during the campaign. They used to say, when I speak, the crowd would be crazy, I’d go crazy — we would all go crazy. We had a lot of fun together. We had 25,000 — We’ve never had an empty seat. From the day I came down the escalator, with a potential — unbelievable woman who became a first lady.

(Applause)

The crowds loved her, the people love her.

But we’ve never had an empty seat, not one. I really believe that. There was one case where we had a tremendous snowstorm, and it was just about frozen. It was like a monster storm, I don’t even know how it got there. I said, “how’s the crowd?” “It’s just not full, sir.” I said what does that mean. There’s like two seats on top. Thousands and thousands of people couldn’t get there. So they show pictures of the empty seats. The worst storm they’ve had in years. They show pictures of like nine empty seats. They could have been people just went to the bathroom together.

(Laughter)

I always say just get the biggest arena. Good location if you can, but get the biggest arena. We did it the other night, Tuesday night. We had two congressmen, one who was possibly going to win, he was up by two, he won by about 27, I think, or something like that. A lot. The other one was down by 17. And they said, “Sir, don’t campaign for him please.” “Why?” “Because if he loses, they’re going to kill you, the press.” I said they’re going to kill me whether I campaign or not. It’ll make it a little bit worse. They’ll say he worked and he failed. Trump failed. The guy was down 17 points and he ended up winning by a lot. In fact, the whole night, CNN. . . (inaudible)

TRUMP: The studio was going to stay up for weeks, and toward the end of the night they were taking it down. Their so-called stars were leaving. They don’t have many stars. But they were taking — the stars were leaving. The candidate Dan Bishop won by a lot. He was down by 17, and they had lines a mile long. I mean the lines going into those voting booths were unbelievable. And without the rally speech, and a couple of tweets and Twitter stuff is good. We have like way over 100 million people on six or seven different platforms. It’s actually much higher than that, higher than just about everybody. And it helps. It helps. They have signs oftentimes when I speak. This woman the other night, beautiful woman, she’s got a son: “Please keep tweeting sir, it matters.” And it does matter, because we get our voice out. If we don’t do that, we don’t get the voice out.

I can’t say what a great job Kelly []Kraft] is doing, and I can’t say what a wonderful husband he is. Look at how devoted he is. He’s a rich man, too. He’s loaded. What are you doing here? Why are you working? He’s so proud of his wife he can’t leave his office. That’s really great though, huh? Are you all proud of her? He said very much. And he’s really a fantastic guy, he’s been a friend of mine for a long time. Before I met Kelly, I met Joe [Kraft]. And Joe impressed me because of his knowledge of energy. Now he could be paid — O.K., you’re going to pay a guy 50 — for him that’s not quite good enough, although he might. He might. It’s easy money, Joe, you have to say. But he would be an expert on energy, he would be a real expert. He would be somebody you would pay a lot of money to, but not Joe Biden’s son.

So the whistle-blower came out and said nothing. Said “a couple of people told me he had a conversation with Ukraine.” We’re at war. These people are sick. They’re sick. And nobody’s called them out like I do. I don’t understand. People are afraid to call them out. They’re afraid to say that the press is crooked. We have a crooked press. We have a dishonest media. So now they’re devastated, but they’ll always find something. I’m sure there’ll be something they’ll find in this report that will suit their lie. But basically that person never saw the report, never saw the call. Never saw the call. Heard something, and decided that he or she or whoever the hell it is — sort of like almost a spy.

I want to know who’s the person that gave the whistle-blower the information, because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now. Now you have guys like little Adam Schiff defending you. He says “pencil neck.” That name stuck. He’s got shirts that are too big, because you can’t buy shirts that small. He was never a coal miner, Joe, let’s put it that way. I don’t think he worked in the mines. Do you think? I don’t think so.

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Eugene Scalia Confirmed by Senate as Labor Secretary

Westlake Legal Group 00scalia1-facebookJumbo Eugene Scalia Confirmed by Senate as Labor Secretary United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Scalia, Eugene Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Labor Department (US) Labor and Jobs Appointments and Executive Changes

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Eugene Scalia, a longtime lawyer representing corporations, to be labor secretary.

Mr. Scalia, a son of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, was chosen by President Trump in July, days after Mr. Trump’s first labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced that he would resign.

The Senate confirmed Mr. Scalia by a 53-to-44 margin.

Since Mr. Scalia’s nomination, Democrats and labor groups have questioned whether his background is consistent with the interests of American workers.

Mr. Scalia, 56, has spent much of his career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a prominent corporate law firm, where perhaps his best-known client was SeaWorld. He helped represent the company after a killer whale attacked and killed a trainer in 2010 and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that SeaWorld should have taken additional steps to protect its workers.

Mr. Scalia and his team argued unsuccessfully in federal appeals court that the company had sufficient training and safety measures and that it was up to its trainers to manage the remaining risks they faced on the job.

Mr. Scalia also took a leading role opposing a Clinton administration regulation known as the “ergonomics rule,” which was intended to protect workers against repetitive stress injuries. He dismissed the basis for the rule as “unreliable science” and contended that labor unions had promoted it in order to “force companies to give more rest periods, slow the pace of work and then hire more workers (read: dues-paying members).”

Democrats blocked Mr. Scalia’s nomination to serve as the Labor Department’s top lawyer in 2001 largely as a result of his efforts to oppose the rule. George W. Bush eventually installed him at the department through a recess appointment, but he served for only about a year before returning to private practice.

Mr. Scalia also represented Walmart in a fight against a Maryland law that would have required it to spend more on health care and Boeing in a case involving a union that accused it of violating labor law.

He helped represent a coalition of financial services industry groups that sued to block an Obama administration rule requiring brokers to act in their clients’ best interest when advising them on retirement accounts.

During his Senate confirmation hearing this month, Mr. Scalia acknowledged his long track record representing corporations but argued that he was working diligently on behalf of his clients rather than to advance his own views. He said he was capable of working just as hard on behalf of American workers, citing the issue of ergonomics, on which he said he worked closely with the Labor Department’s career staff during his tenure there.

“The lawyer who had the lead on the issue of ergonomics wrote a letter, joined a letter from former career officials supporting my nomination,” Mr. Scalia said.

In the letter, 13 former Labor Department officials wrote that Mr. Scalia “was very supportive of enforcement litigation to vindicate the rights of workers.”

Democrats also questioned Mr. Scalia at his confirmation hearing over his views on gay rights, citing a college newspaper column in which he wrote that parenting by a lesbian couple should not be treated “as equally acceptable or desirable as the traditional family life.”

Mr. Scalia implied that his views on the subject had changed in the nearly 35 years since he wrote the column. “I would not write those words today, in part because I now have friends and colleagues to whom they would cause pain,” he said.

The vacancy at the Labor Department arose after Mr. Acosta faced new questions about his role a decade ago as a federal prosecutor in Florida — specifically, a plea deal reached with the financier Jeffrey Epstein in a sex-crimes case.

The White House and employer groups had at times grown impatient with the pace at which Mr. Acosta advanced largely pro-business changes to regulations. But many of the department’s leading initiatives were either completed or close to being finalized before Mr. Scalia’s confirmation.

That includes a modest expansion in the ranks of those eligible for overtime pay after a federal judge struck down the more ambitious expansion the Obama administration had planned. The department has also put forward a rule making it harder to hold companies liable for employment law violations committed by their contractors or franchisees.

Businesses had been eager to see these measures completed so that a congressional review period would end before elections that could produce a Democratic Congress and president.

Mr. Scalia will help complete some of the department’s remaining regulatory initiatives. But his top priority as labor secretary may be to defend newly finalized rules against likely legal challenges from worker groups.

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

Eugene Scalia Confirmed by Senate as Labor Secretary

Westlake Legal Group 00scalia1-facebookJumbo Eugene Scalia Confirmed by Senate as Labor Secretary United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Scalia, Eugene Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Labor Department (US) Labor and Jobs Appointments and Executive Changes

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Eugene Scalia, a longtime lawyer representing corporations, to be labor secretary.

Mr. Scalia, a son of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, was chosen by President Trump in July, days after Mr. Trump’s first labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced that he would resign.

The Senate confirmed Mr. Scalia by a 53-to-44 margin.

Since Mr. Scalia’s nomination, Democrats and labor groups have questioned whether his background is consistent with the interests of American workers.

Mr. Scalia, 56, has spent much of his career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a prominent corporate law firm, where perhaps his best-known client was SeaWorld. He helped represent the company after a killer whale attacked and killed a trainer in 2010 and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that SeaWorld should have taken additional steps to protect its workers.

Mr. Scalia and his team argued unsuccessfully in federal appeals court that the company had sufficient training and safety measures and that it was up to its trainers to manage the remaining risks they faced on the job.

Mr. Scalia also took a leading role opposing a Clinton administration regulation known as the “ergonomics rule,” which was intended to protect workers against repetitive stress injuries. He dismissed the basis for the rule as “unreliable science” and contended that labor unions had promoted it in order to “force companies to give more rest periods, slow the pace of work and then hire more workers (read: dues-paying members).”

Democrats blocked Mr. Scalia’s nomination to serve as the Labor Department’s top lawyer in 2001 largely as a result of his efforts to oppose the rule. George W. Bush eventually installed him at the department through a recess appointment, but he served for only about a year before returning to private practice.

Mr. Scalia also represented Walmart in a fight against a Maryland law that would have required it to spend more on health care and Boeing in a case involving a union that accused it of violating labor law.

He helped represent a coalition of financial services industry groups that sued to block an Obama administration rule requiring brokers to act in their clients’ best interest when advising them on retirement accounts.

During his Senate confirmation hearing this month, Mr. Scalia acknowledged his long track record representing corporations but argued that he was working diligently on behalf of his clients rather than to advance his own views. He said he was capable of working just as hard on behalf of American workers, citing the issue of ergonomics, on which he said he worked closely with the Labor Department’s career staff during his tenure there.

“The lawyer who had the lead on the issue of ergonomics wrote a letter, joined a letter from former career officials supporting my nomination,” Mr. Scalia said.

In the letter, 13 former Labor Department officials wrote that Mr. Scalia “was very supportive of enforcement litigation to vindicate the rights of workers.”

Democrats also questioned Mr. Scalia at his confirmation hearing over his views on gay rights, citing a college newspaper column in which he wrote that parenting by a lesbian couple should not be treated “as equally acceptable or desirable as the traditional family life.”

Mr. Scalia implied that his views on the subject had changed in the nearly 35 years since he wrote the column. “I would not write those words today, in part because I now have friends and colleagues to whom they would cause pain,” he said.

The vacancy at the Labor Department arose after Mr. Acosta faced new questions about his role a decade ago as a federal prosecutor in Florida — specifically, a plea deal reached with the financier Jeffrey Epstein in a sex-crimes case.

The White House and employer groups had at times grown impatient with the pace at which Mr. Acosta advanced largely pro-business changes to regulations. But many of the department’s leading initiatives were either completed or close to being finalized before Mr. Scalia’s confirmation.

That includes a modest expansion in the ranks of those eligible for overtime pay after a federal judge struck down the more ambitious expansion the Obama administration had planned. The department has also put forward a rule making it harder to hold companies liable for employment law violations committed by their contractors or franchisees.

Businesses had been eager to see these measures completed so that a congressional review period would end before elections that could produce a Democratic Congress and president.

Mr. Scalia will help complete some of the department’s remaining regulatory initiatives. But his top priority as labor secretary may be to defend newly finalized rules against likely legal challenges from worker groups.

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

Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity.

The man has since returned to the C.I.A., the people said. Little else is known about him. His complaint made public Thursday suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law.

The whistle-blower’s expertise will likely add to lawmakers’ confidence about the merits of his complaint, and tamp down allegations that he might have misunderstood what he learned about Mr. Trump. He did not listen directly to a July call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the political firestorm over the president’s mixing of diplomacy with personal political gain.

Full Document: The Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v6 Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

Lawyers for the whistle-blower refused to confirm that he worked for the C.I.A. and said that publishing information about him was dangerous.

“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” said Andrew Bakaj, his lead counsel. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.”

A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, said that protecting the whistle-blower was his office’s highest priority. “We must protect those who demonstrate the courage to report alleged wrongdoing, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace,” Mr. Maguire said at a hearing on Thursday, adding that he did not know the whistle-blower’s identity.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said The Times was right to publish information about the whistle-blower. “The role of the whistle-blower, including his credibility and his place in the government, is essential to understanding one of the most important issues facing the country — whether the president of the United States abused power and whether the White House covered it up.”

Agents, officers and analysts from the military, intelligence and law enforcement communities routinely work at the White House. Often, they work on the National Security Council or help manage secure communications, like calls between the president and foreign leaders.

The C.I.A. officer did not work on the communications team that handles calls with foreign leaders, according to the people familiar with his identity. He learned about Mr. Trump’s conduct “in the course of official interagency business,” according to the complaint, which was dotted with footnotes about machinations in Kiev and reinforced with public comments by senior Ukrainian officials.

Officials regularly shared information to “inform policymaking and analysis,” the complaint said. The complaint raises the prospect that the whistle-blower was not detailed to the White House either during the events in question or when he learned about them.

Mr. Trump took aim at the whistle-blower’s credibility on Thursday, attempting to dismiss his revelations because they were secondhand.

He also obliquely threatened the whistle-blower or his sources with punishment. “I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Mr. Trump told staff members from the United States Mission to the United Nations before an event there.

“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right?” he added. “We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

On the call with Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Trump asked him to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son and other matters he saw as potentially beneficial to him politically.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161468745_3dcf0523-f760-4ffd-9965-3fdf83781ff8-articleLarge Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.CreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

Mr. Trump cajoled Mr. Zelensky to coordinate with Attorney General William P. Barr and the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, according to a reconstituted transcript of the call that the White House released on Wednesday. Mr. Zelensky, who was elected in April, agreed to help Mr. Trump. While Ukrainian prosecutors have moved to pursue an inquiry of an oligarch whose company paid Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, they did not allege wrongdoing by the Bidens.

The call with Mr. Zelensky was originally thought to be a routine matter, the complaint said, and the White House did not restrict it, meaning a number of officials and note takers listened.

But the whistle-blower said that afterward, White House officials “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call,” putting them in a highly classified system meant for discussing covert actions. One White House official called that an abuse because the transcript contained no classified material.

Notes and rough transcripts of White House calls are typically stored on a computer system that allows senior officials in different departments and agencies to access them, to better coordinate policy.

Some White House colleagues told the whistle-blower that they were concerned they had witnessed “the president abuse his office for personal gain,” according to the complaint.

His complaint went beyond the call. During his time at the White House, the whistle-blower became deeply unnerved about how he believed Mr. Trump was broadly seeking to pressure the Ukrainian government to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically.

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

After the call, multiple officials told the whistle-blower that future talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky would depend on whether the Ukranians would “play ball” on the investigations he sought.

The whistle-blower, who lodged his concerns with the inspector general for the intelligence community, has identified at least a half-dozen government officials — including several who work for the White House — who he believes can substantiate his claims. The inspector general has interviewed some of them and found the whistle-blower’s claims credible.

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Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing2-articleLarge Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, prepared to testify before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

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.”

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,” Mr. Maguire said under questioning from the panel’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.

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 did not really answer, saying he spoke frequently with Mr. Trump.

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.

As the hearing wound down, he said the matter was in Congress’s hands. “My responsibility was to get you the whistle-blower letter and get the other information released. I have done my duty,” he told the committee. Whether to investigate further “is on the shoulders of the legislative branch and this committee.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-impeach-briefing-maguire-new-videoSixteenByNine3000 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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 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.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke during a press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

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 five candidates — Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and the former housing secretary Julián Castro — used similar language to describe the situation, calling it a “cover-up.”

Full Document: The Whistle-Blower Complaint

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group whistleblower-complaint-promo-1569502500532-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v5 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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.”

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

Mr. Trump, returning from New York, resumed his diatribe against Democrats, saying “what these guys are doing, Democrats are doing, to this country is a disgrace.”

“It shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts,” he continued.

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.

But 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, “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.”

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.

Republicans appear to be moving on three tracks: discredit the whistle-blower, focus on the reconstructed transcript, not the whistle-blower’s account, and focus on the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, complained that the whistle-blower “has no primary sources,” even though the complaint makes clear that the author spoke to numerous people with direct knowledge of the call between Mr. Trump and the leader of Ukraine. He repeatedly referred to the call reconstruction that the White House released.

“There is nothing in that transcript that rises to impeachment,” he said.

Mr. McCarthy did say he would be open to the whistle-blower testifying, so long as the relationship between Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s son, and an energy company that did business in Ukraine was also investigated

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 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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-v6 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W 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 Whistle-Blower Complaint Fuels Impeachment Fight but Not Consensus: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Committee on Intelligence Senate Republican Party Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Barr, William P Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

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