Justice Department Refused To Act On Criminal Referrals Of Trump For Call With Ukrainian President
The Justice Department ignored two criminal referral regarding a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump‘s interactions with Ukraine’s government, a DOJ spokesperson said Wednesday.
According to The New York Times, the inspector general and the director of national intelligence sent a referral to the Justice Department in August that said Trump’s remarks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may have violated campaign finance law. However, a spokeswoman for the department said the DOJ disputed the fact that there was any such violation and that “no further action was warranted.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Justice Department officials who were evaluating the criminal referral did not mention in their report about Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine that the president pulled military funding to the country as part of his attempt to get the nation’s president to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The Justice Department claimed it could not name a “thing of value,” a key aspect of defining a campaign finance violation.
Even more damning is the fact that the transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky — which the White House released Wednesday after initially refusing to make it public — shows that the president asked his Ukrainian counterpart to collaborate with Attorney General William Barr to probe Biden. The transcript also reveals Trump urged Zelensky to contact his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to obtain damaging information about Biden, Trump’s opponent in the 2020 election.
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Asha Rangappa, an former FBI special agent and CNN analyst, noted in a tweet the irony of Trump directly implicating Barr in his discussions with Ukraine while the attorney general was evaluating the referral into the president’s behavior:
Correction: ALREADY evaluated a criminal referral…
AT THE SAME TIME was providing the legal rationale to the ACTUNG DNI to justify withholding a WB complaint *in which he himself is referenced* from the reaching the eyes of Congress
I can’t even.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) September 25, 2019
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