The Intelligence Community Inspector General’s report released Thursday said the whistleblower complaint against President Trump “appears credible” and identified three possible violations of law.
The report can be read HERE.
Mr. Trump could have violated two campaign finance laws and potentially exposed himself to blackmail by foreign powers by asking Ukraine in a July 25 call to investigate corruption by a political foe, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
The intelligence community inspector general said the complaint had to be forwarded to Congress quickly because it was both “urgent” and “credible.”
Michael K. Atkinson, the inspector general, said in the report that President Trump‘s own executive order highlighting the danger of foreign influence in elections fed the determination that the whistleblower complaint was urgent enough to be flagged for Congress.
That September 2018 executive order declared foreign influence in elections an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
Mr. Atkinson said given that, the complaint needed to be shared with Congress.
The whistleblower’s Aug. 12 complaint and the IG report were released Thursday by the House Intelligence Committee.
The whistleblower complaint has reinvigorated House Democrats’ efforts to impeach Mr. Trump.
However, the Justice Department on Wednesday said it had cleared Mr. Trump of violating campaign finance laws, saying the request for a corruption probe did not amount to an item of value provided to the Trump reelection campaign.
In the complaint, the whistleblower describes having “urgent concern” about Mr. Trump‘s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and what the complaint describes as White House attempts to cover it up.
“In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript for eh call that was proceeded — as is customary — by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” the complaint said.
Mr. Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate alleged corruption stemming from Mr. Biden‘s visit as vice president to Kyiv in 2016. During the visit, Mr. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless the country’s leaders fire Ukraine‘s top prosecutor.
In the complaint, the whistleblower describes Mr. Trump‘s actions as “pressuring a foreign county to investigate one fo the President’s main domestic political rivals.”
The complainant said the president’s conduct potentially posed “risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”
Many of the details in the complaint have already been leaked to the news media. The White House also released a transcipt of the July 25 call in which Mr. Trump asks for the investigation but does not suggest a quid pro quo for U.S. military aid.
The whistleblower, who did not have first-hand knowledge of the phone call or related events, said the information was passed on by a half dozen administration officials who were alarmed by the goings ons at the White House.
The complainant says he gained knowledge of the events as follows:
“Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business. It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.”
“I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ account of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patters that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly,” wrote the whistleblower.
Mr. Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate alleged corruption stemming from Mr. Biden‘s visit as vice president to Kiev in 2016. During the visit, Mr. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless the country’s leaders fire Ukraine‘s top prosecutor.
• Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.
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