Sep 20, 2019

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.

Background: Biden called for 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.

  • Last month, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani held an in-person meeting in Madrid with one of Zelensky's top representatives to encourage Ukraine to investigate potential conflicts of interest involving the Biden family, the NYT reports.

Go deeper: Trump's defiance on Ukraine

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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
Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

WaPo: Trump "promise" reported by whistleblower involves Ukraine

President Trump. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

An alleged promise made between a foreign leader and President Trump recently reported by a whistleblower is said to involve Ukraine, 2 people familiar with the issue said, per a Washington Post report confirmed by the New York Times.

The state of play: On Aug. 12, a whistleblower filed a complaint with intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, which he deemed "credible and urgent within the definition of the law." While the nature of Trump's alleged "promise" remains unclear, he spoke with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky roughly 2 weeks before the complaint was submitted. Per the Post, that conversation is being investigated by House Democrats.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 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