The potentially incendiary whistleblower complaint that reportedly involves President Trump, also at least partially centers on Ukraine, the Washington Post and the New York Times reported Thursday evening.
While the contents of the complaint are still largely shrouded in mystery, multiple reports indicate that the complaint focuses on President Trump and an apparent “promise” he made during a phone call with a foreign leader. A member of the intelligence community who was aware of the call was so disturbed by the conversation that he filed a whistleblower complaint, the Post was first to report earlier this week.
During a closed-door briefing with the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, the intelligence community inspector general revealed that the whistleblower complaint centers on a series of actions, not just a single phone call. Inspector general Michael Atkinson did not answer questions about who was referenced in the complaint.
It’s unclear whether all of the actions allegedly mentioned in the complaint involve President Trump. CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported that Atkinson confirmed the complaint focused on multiple instances involving the President. Yet, the New York Times reported that Atkinson declined to confirm whether the complaint involved Trump. Atkinson also revealed in the Thursday session that he was unhappy with the way the Justice Department and the director of national intelligence handled the complaint.
After the briefing on Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff threatened to take the matter to court in order to access the contents of the complaint, which Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to reveal to Congress.
According to the Times and the Post’s new reports, it’s unclear how Ukraine fits into the allegations in the whistleblower complaint. However, a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that took place two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed is already under investigation by House Democrats.
Democrats have requested a full transcript of the phone call and a list of people who were part of the discussion. They hope to examine whether Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani are working to manipulate the Ukrainian government to help Trump’s reelection.
During an unhinged interview on CNN Thursday evening, Giuliani admitted willingly that he did ask the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who many believe will be the frontrunner in 2020.
President Trump's attorney says he had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden's son. pic.twitter.com/FTaLGBV1zO
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) September 20, 2019