The whistleblower complaint at the heart of allegations that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden was released Thursday morning, the latest development in the exploding scandal that led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week to launch formal impeachment proceedings.
The public release comes one day after lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees reviewed the complaint. Democrats have described it as nothing short of damning. “What this courageous individual has done has exposed serious wrongdoing,” Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters after reading the complaint on Wednesday. “I think it a travesty that this complaint was withheld as long as it was because it was an urgent matter. It is an urgent matter.” Some Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse, have also expressed concern.
Since reports of the whistleblower complaint surfaced earlier this month, Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “When you see the call, when you see the readout of the call, which I assume you’ll see at some point, you’ll understand that call was perfect,” he insisted on Tuesday.
Instead, when the White House released a non-verbatim transcript of the call on Wednesday, it showed Trump leaning on Zelensky to do him a “favor” and investigate matters related to the origins of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe and probe Biden. Among other troubling details, the memo confirmed that Trump suggested Zelensky get in touch with Attorney General William Barr and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani about launching a Biden probe.
Acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire is set to testify on the whistleblower’s complaint later this morning.
Read the declassified complaint below: