The White House transcript of the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – mentioning Joe Biden and allegations of corruption – was released today following an intelligence community whistleblower complaint focused around the conversation.
A complaint was made by a whistleblower, with knowledge of the phone call, to Trump-appointed intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson.
Atkinson deemed the complaint “serious” and “urgent,” but acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire declined to release the contents of the whistleblower complaint to Congress after consulting with the Department of Justice.
This set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, and lawmakers called for President Trump to be impeached, following claims that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Former Vice President Biden bragged in 2018 that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleged for months that Biden wanted Shokin fired because Giuliani says Shokin undertook an investigation into Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma Holdings, which employed Biden’s son as a board member starting in 2014, reportedly paying him $50,000 a month.
Democrats and others countered the claims made by Giuliani and Trump’s allies by pointing out that the governments in the United States and many European countries saw Shokin as a hindrance to Ukraine’s anti-corruption investigations and called for his ouster, and Ukraine removed Shokin in 2016.