Memo: Trump Prodded Ukraine Leader On Biden Claims
President Donald Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine’s new leader to work with Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript summarizing the call released Wednesday.
In the call, Trump raised unsubstantiated allegations that the former vice president sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation of his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that,” Trump said to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The conversation between Trump and Ukraine's president is just one piece of a whistleblower's complaint made in mid-August.
The intelligence community's inspector general told the acting director of national intelligence that a call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's leader could have been a federal campaign finance violation.
But the Justice Department determined the president did not commit a crime after prosecutors reviewed a rough transcript of the July 25 call.
A Justice Department official says the inspector general suspected that the call could have been a violation of federal law if the president was soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreign government by asking the Ukraine leader to investigate a political opponent.
The official says that was based on the whistleblower's complaint and the inspector general didn't have access to a rough transcript of the call.
Prosecutors from the Justice Department reviewed a rough transcript of the call and determined the president did not violate campaign finance law.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal investigative deliberations.
The complaint is central to the impeachment inquiry announced Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump told the Ukrainian president "If you can look into it ... it sounds horrible to me." Trump was talking about unsubstantiated allegations that Biden sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor's investigation of his son, Hunter.
Trump also confirmed that he ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before the call.
The president says he did nothing wrong.