Sep 20, 2019

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."

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Report: Whistleblower complaint involves Trump's push to investigate Biden

Trump walks to the Oval Office on Sept. 20. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s reported request for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden is part of a secret whistleblower complaint over an alleged "promise" made between the president and an unnamed foreign leader, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Many details about the whistleblower report, "submitted by a member of the intelligence community," per the Times, are still unknown. The Trump administration "has not shared the complaint with Congress, as is generally required by law," the Times reports.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House's impeachment inquiry has been driven forward by new disclosures of what exactly President Trump wanted the government of Ukraine to do — revealed in 3 key documents, but nonetheless distorted and disputed along the way.

We've gathered the key players, events and disclosures of the Trump-Ukraine saga in one place to clear up what's happened so far and examine where we go from here.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Trump's defiance on Ukraine

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump is pushing the limits on how much Congress will tolerate of a president using his office to target political rivals.

Why it matters: Ukraine is reportedly at the center of a whistleblower's concerns over Trump's contact with a foreign leader, the WashPost and N.Y. Times report.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019