Donald Trump's 25 July conversation with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky released: Transcript shows president pushed for Joe Biden investigation

  • A newly released memo from the White House shows Trump discussed Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani and Robert Mueller with the Ukrainian president

  • The criminal division of the Justice Department declined to open an investigation into Trump's dealings with Ukraine after a whistleblower raised concerns about his communications

US president Donald Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with the US Attorney General William Barr to investigate the conduct of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, and offered to meet with the president at the White House after he promised to conduct the inquiry, according to a transcript released by the Trump administration.

The transcript of their conversation was released on Wednesday (25 September) by the Trump administration after the US president tweeted on Tuesday that he had authorised publishing the transcript. The justice department released the transcript but clarified that it is not a verbatim transcript. 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."

Trump's 25 July phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky

Unclassified09.2019.pdf by Devparna Acharya on Scribd

The Justice Department, Guardian reports, has released a statement asserting that Barr has not spoken with Trump about urging Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. According to the transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president, Trump repeatedly encouraged Zelensky to work with Barr and Giuliani on an investigation.

"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."

The call begins with Trump congratulating Zelensky on his poll victory, but quickly devolves into the US president pushing for an investigation of his political rivals and endorsing an apparent conspiracy theory. Trump seems to suggest Hillary Clinton's private email server is in Ukraine and asserts that special counsel Robert S Mueller III's investigation started with that country.

Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to rap Democrats in the most Trumpian style. The president even said that Democrats would "apologize" after seeing the transcript.

According to Washington Post, the Trump administration’s disclosures underscore how the president's phone call has consumed the federal government in recent days, and how the White House is now scrambling to defuse the situation by offering more details of what the president said.
The 2,000-word-long document shows that Trump wanted to find out what happened with "this whole situation with Ukraine" and he said his personal lawyer, Giuliani will be travelling to Ukraine. Zelensky said he will meet with Giuliani when he visited.

Speaking in New York, Trump appeared to stick to his argument that the memorandum of the Ukraine call reflected very well upon him. On how people were reacting to the memo, Trump said, "A lot of people said, 'I never knew you could be so nice.'"

He blamed coverage of the memo, which clearly shows that Trump brought up an investigation of Joe Biden with the Ukrainian president in a conversation about military aid to the country, on “corrupt” journalists.

Republican lawmakers are surprised that the White House chose to release this memorandum of the Ukraine call, particularly after Trump insisted it would exonerate him.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, reacted to the drama and said the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president is, in and of itself, a “smoking gun.”

Senator Bob Casey said, “The recent revelation that President Trump pressured a foreign government to investigate his political opponents is a textbook case of abuse of power which demands action. In order to hold President Trump fully accountable, I support a formal impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.”

Meanwhile, Eliot Engel of the foreign affairs committee slammed the abuse of power by Trump. "A President pressing a foreign government to investigate a political opponent is a severe abuse of power. Our country strongly rejected Trump’s pressure on Russia to dig up dirt on his opponent in 2016. For him to do it again, shows a complete disregard for the American people," he tweeted.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Sep 26, 2019 00:08:13 IST