Now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the launch of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, the White House has decided to release the transcripts of a controversial phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The transcript is coming out after Trump already confirmed he urged Zelensky to probe former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, and Trump has admitted he slowed down a much-needed aid package to Ukraine, but he claims the two acts were unrelated. The Democrats believe that Trump tried to strong-arm a foreign leader into launching an investigation into a political rival.
Trump said Tuesday the transcript would reveal it was a “very friendly and totally appropriate call.”
“No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!” the president tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
He suggested the next day that Democrats should apologize after seeing what was said on the call. Democrats allege, though, that the phone call is just one part of a whistle-blower complaint that the White House has yet to produce. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted Tuesday that the whistle-blower wants to testify before his committee, although the White House has not had a problem ignoring Congressional subpoenas to testify.
You can read the call summary the Justice Department released here:
Of course, journalists and White House watchers are already noting that the transcript released by the White House is shorter than it should be and is very clearly not a transcript. The White House even admits that this “is the record of the notes and recollections of the officers and National Security Council policy staff ‘assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form,'” according to CBS News. Now the phrase “not a transcript” is trending on Twitter, which shows that many people are questioning whether the White House will ever release the full transcript of the phone call.
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) September 25, 2019