Joe Biden demands Trump release transcript of Ukraine call
Biden on September 17, 2019. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Former Vice President Joe Biden called for President Trump to release a transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, amid reports that Ukraine is at the center of a whistleblower's complaint over Trump's contacts with a foreign leader.
"If these reports are true, then ... It means that he [Trump] used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation—a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia—pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor."— Biden's statement on Friday
Catch up quick: Three House committees — Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform — are investigating whether Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, "were misappropriating the American foreign policy apparatus for political gain," the New York Times reports.
- These investigations are in response to reports that the Trump administration "delayed a package of military assistance to the new government in Ukraine," as reported by the NYT.
- The committees say they will investigate whether that lack of military aid is part of an alleged effort by Trump "to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing politically-motivated investigations, including of former Vice President Joe Biden and his family."
What else Biden is saying:
"Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta. At minimum, Donald Trump should immediately release the transcript of the call in question, so that the American people can judge for themselves, and direct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to stop stonewalling and release the whistleblower notification to the Congress."