WH Launches Its Own Inquiry Into Why Ukraine Call Was Placed In Top-Secret Vault

US President Donald Trump speaks about a state of emergency for a border wall from the Rose Garden of the White House February 15, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
October 16, 2019 7:58 a.m.

The White House has launched its own fact-finding inquiry into the handling of the infamous July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, The New York Times reported.

Many White House aides believe the probe is more of an effort to find a scapegoat for the scandal that’s erupted around the call, which has become the basis of the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The review is being conducted by White House lawyers, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Times. White House counsel reportedly wants to get clarity on why deputy White House counsel John Eisenberg placed a memo on the call into a password-protected vault — a computer system typically used for highly classified information.

According to people who heard about Eisenberg’s reaction to the inquiry, the White House counsel is furious that his actions are under scrutiny. Eisenberg claims he placed the document, which is a rough transcript of the Ukraine call, in the secret system in order to prevent leaks, which have been a consistent problem for the Trump administration.

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While it is not immediately clear who ordered the review, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly supports the idea and has directed some of his aides to help out. The White House is also reportedly conducting a different review, interviewing staffers about how Trump’s calls with foreign powers are typically handled.

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