Photo:Wayne Partlow/AP

Some members of Congress on Wednesday gained access to the classified whistleblower report hours after the release of a summary of the Trump-Ukraine phone call that led to Democrats launching a formal impeachment probe.

The big picture: There is no explicit Trump promise to Ukraine in exchange for dirt or investigations in the phone call memo released today, but it's easy to read it and understand why a whistleblower would have been concerned by the conversation.

  • U.S. presidents don't normally ask other world leaders to intervene in American politics — especially immediately after being asked about next steps for securing military aid from the U.S.

In the call, President Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak with Rudy Giuliani — who works for Trump, not the U.S. government — and Attorney General Bill Barr.

  • Trump asked for Ukraine's help on 2016 election interference: "I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it."
  • And he urged investigation into the Biden family: "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great."

Sometime in August, the director of national intelligence referred a whistleblower complaint involving a conversation between Trump and Zelensky to the Justice Department to investigate as a possible campaign finance violation.

  • DOJ declined to further investigate, stating after a review that "there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted."
  • The Justice Department denies that Trump ever spoke with Barr about having Ukraine investigate Biden and says Barr has never discussed this matter with Giuliani.

Between the lines: Media reports last week said a whistleblower came forward in alarm after a "promise" was made on a phone call between Trump and a world leader, the WashPost first reported.

  • A promise isn't clear in the non-verbatim memo out today. But the whistleblower report isn't public and we don't know whether other calls or exchanges happened that are in the report.
  • We also don't know the extent of exchanges between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials — although Ukraine's president noted their existence in the call.

What they're saying:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "The transcript and the Justice Department's acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry."
  • Trump on Pelosi: "As far as I’m concerned, unfortunately, she’s no longer the speaker of the House."

Go deeper: Read the memo

Go deeper

Hundreds gather to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg along Supreme Court steps

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

At the Supreme Court steps Friday night hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — singing in a candlelight vigil, with some in tears.

Details: If there is a singular mood at the Supreme Court tonight, it’s some kind of a daze manifested by silence. 

A court fight for the ages

The flag flies at half-staff as people mourn on the Supreme Court steps last night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — feminist icon, legal giant, toast of pop culture — left this statement with granddaughter Clara Spera as cancer closed in: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The big picture: For all that the nation owes "Notorious RBG" — the hip-hop-inspired nickname she enjoyed and embraced — Republicans are planning to do their best to be sure her robe is quickly filled, despite that last wish, with her ideological polar opposite.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:15 a.m. ET: 30,539,903 — Total deaths: 952,629— Total recoveries: 20,800,482Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:15 a.m. ET: 6,726,353 — Total deaths: 198,603 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.