White House Tried To Cover Up Transcript Of Trump’s Call With Ukraine’s President In Whistleblower Complaint
The whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump allegedly pressuring a foreign government to investigate his opponent in the 2020 election said the U.S. leader abused his power. The unnamed intelligence official also claimed the White House attempted to cover up Trump’s actions in the controversy, a redacted version of the complaint released Thursday revealed.
The complaint notes that multiple Trump administration officials were “deeply disturbed” by the president’s phone conversation with Ukraine’s president in July. The declassified version of the report also alleges that White House staff attempted to “lock down” all documentation of the discussion between the two leaders, including the transcript of the call that has now been made public.
According to the whistleblower, White House lawyers ordered officials to remove records of the July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky from a computer system that maintains documentation of calls for Cabinet-level officials only. The complaint added that administration officials placed the transcript of the phone call in a special system designed specifically for storing national security files and other sensitive information.
“One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective,” reads the complaint, which was addressed to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (D-North Carolina). “I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call, such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.
The transcript of Trump’s interaction with Zelensky reveals the former repeatedly urged the latter to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for alleged corrupt practices in Ukraine. Trump’s request came just days after his administration froze $250 million in planned military aid to the Eastern European country, a move that reportedly caught many White House officials by surprise.