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Trump sought foreign meddling in next polls: Whistleblower complaint

trump, polls, ukraine, whistleblower, complaint

Washington - The document, with its precise detail and clear narrative, will likely accelerate the impeachment process.



By AP

Published: Fri 27 Sep 2019, 9:07 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Sep 2019, 8:32 AM

The secret whistleblower complaint at the centre of Congress' impeachment inquiry alleges that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office to "solicit interference from a foreign country" in next year's US election. The White House then tried to "lock down" the information to cover it up, the complaint says.
The 9-page document was released on Thursday ahead of testimony to House investigators from Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, who acknowledged that the complaint alleged serious wrongdoing by the president but insisted that it was not his role to judge whether the allegations were credible or not.
Maguire said he was unfamiliar with any other whistleblower complaint in American history that "touched on such complicated and sensitive issues."
"I believe that this matter is unprecedented," he said.
The document, with its precise detail and clear narrative, will likely accelerate the impeachment process and put more pressure on Trump to rebut its core contentions and on his fellow Republicans to defend him. Trump insisted anew that it is all political. After the complaint was released, he immediately tweeted, "The Democrats are trying to destroy the Republican Party and all that it stands for. Stick together, play their game and fight hard Republicans. Our country is at stake."
The whistleblower complaint centres in part on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump prodded Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden. The White House released a rough transcript of that call on Wednesday.
"In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple US officials that senior White House officials had intervened to 'lock down' all the records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House situation room," the complaint says.
Those officials told the whistleblower that "this was 'not the first time' under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive - rather than national security sensitive - information," the complaint said. The whistleblower said that White House officials had tried to suppress the exact transcript of the call that was produced - as is customary - by the White House Situation Room, according to the complaint.
The officials told the whistleblower they were "directed" by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.


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