Washington, Sep 25 (IANS) The Trump administration on Wednesday released the transcript of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. A memo summarizing the call shows that the President urged Zelensky to probe former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.
The transcript released by the Justice Department is not, according to the administration, a verbatim transcript, CBS news reported.
The text, according to the document released by the administration, is the record of the notes and recollections of the officers and National Security Council policy staff “assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form.”
According to the document, the President said on the call that he would like to find out what happened with “this whole situation with Ukraine” and he said his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani would be traveling to Ukraine. Zelensky said he would meet Giuliani when he visited.
Zelensky pledged that his new prosecutor would look into the case, and he asked for additional information.
Trump told Zelensky in the call that he would have Giuliani give him a call, and also have Attorney General William Barr call to get “to the bottom of it.”
“I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out,” Trump said.
Trump asked Zelensky to “do us a favor” and “find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine” with regards to Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity company which helped investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump also asked Zelensky about the Bidens. The President has claimed without offering evidence that Biden, as Vice President, had worked to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor specifically because he was investigating a company where Hunter Biden sat on the board of directors. That prosecutor was seen by the US and by many European allies as corrupt.
“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. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me,” Trump told Zelensky, in reference to Biden.
At the United Nations on Wednesday, Trump remarked: “I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time.” Until earlier this month, Trump had temporarily frozen $391 million in aid to Ukraine. Ultimately, the White House released the funds in September, after withholding the aid for about two months.
In a statement, Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said that the Justice Department had determined that “there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted”.
Trump said on Tuesday the transcript would reveal it was a “very friendly and totally appropriate call”.
“No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!” the President tweeted Tuesday afternoon. He suggested the next day that Democrats should apologize after seeing what was said on the call.
“They should, a perfect call – got them by surprise!” he tweeted Wednesday before its release.
Biden, who called for the release of the transcript, insisted on Tuesday that Trump should be impeached if he continues to stonewall Congress.
“If the President doesn’t comply with such a request from the Congress, he continues to obstruct Congress and flout the law, Donald Trump will leave Congress in my view no choice but to initiate impeachment,” Biden said in a brief statement Tuesday afternoon. “That would be a tragedy but a tragedy of his own making.”
But Democrats still aren’t satisfied. That phone call is just one part of a whistle-blower complaint Democrats want to see. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted Tuesday that the whistle-blower wants to testify before his committee.