White House prepares to release whistleblower complaint

CNN Politics 1 month ago

What we know so far

  • JUST IN: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
  • About the Ukraine drama: Trump pressed Ukraine's president in a call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, a person familiar with the situation said. Trump asked his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to put a hold on millions in military aid to Ukraine roughly one week before the call, two senior administration officials said.
  • The call transcript: Trump said he will release the "unredacted transcript" of his phone call with the Ukrainian president tomorrow.

White House prepares to release whistleblower complaint

The White House is preparing to release to Congress the whistleblower complaint as early as tomorrow, according to two sources familiar.

One source added it is under review and going through declassification and could be released within hours of the release of a transcript of President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to a person familiar with the situation, Trump pressed Zelensky in a phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

What we know about the whistleblower complaint: CNN had earlier reported, citing a source familiar with the case, that the complaint was prompted by concerns over communications between the President and a foreign leader. The alleged whistleblower didn't have direct knowledge of the communications that partly prompted the complaint to the inspector general, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Thursday. Instead, the whistleblower's concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration's determination that the complaint didn't fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Rep. Adam Schiff: "I fully support the impeachment inquiry"

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted his support for the House's formal impeachment inquiry.

His support comes hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formal inquiry, a dramatic and historic move that comes as the President faces outrage over reports that he pressured a foreign leader in an effort to target a political rival.

Rep. Ilhan Omar says Ukraine call is "the straw that broke the camel's back" on impeachment

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar told CNN that President Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president was "the straw that broke the camel's back" for the House deciding to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.

Calls for an impeachment inquiry have grown louder amid a growing controversy over Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden.

Of the 235 Democrats in the House, there are at least 172 who've made clear they support starting the impeachment inquiry process, while some have gone further, according to a CNN count.

Democrats moving "full speed ahead" with formal impeachment inquiry

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS,SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus today that the impeachment inquiry will be done "expeditiously," but wasn't specific in her timeframe, according to a source in the room during the meeting.

Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN that the President’s actions in regards to Ukraine were so egregious, that there has been a “dramatic” shift by Pelosi.

Asked what the timeline is for this, she said, “swiftly.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said today after Pelosi’s remarks, “I only have one thing to say, full speed ahead.”

Some vulnerable Democrats in 2020 are treading cautiously on the issue of impeachment

Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah told CNN today that he's "considering" impeachment, but didn't want to discuss the issue further.

Rep. Max Rose, another endangered House Democrat, told CNN that he has not moved off his opposition to impeachment, but argued that "we have to get to the facts" of the allegations.

"It is impossible to not take these allegations seriously. It is a national security matter," the New York Democrat said Tuesday on Capitol Hill, adding, "It's incredibly serious ... what I'm not going to do is jump to make another declaration."

Asked if that meant he is opposed to moving ahead on impeachment, Rose said, "My current position right now is clear, but that is not a justification to not take these points as seriously as possible."

Ukraine's president says his conversations with Trump are "private and confidential"

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his conversations with President Trump are “private and confidential.”

Asked if he wanted the transcript of his phone call with Trump to be released, Zelensky said “We’ll see.”

About the call: According to a person familiar with the situation, Trump pressed Zelensky in a call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

Trump says Ukraine has given permission for the call transcript to be released

President Trump tweeted just now that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received permission from Ukraine to release a transcript of his call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"They don’t know either what the big deal is," Trump said.

Mitch McConnell criticizes "Washington Democrats" opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called today's announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry a "rush to judgment" by "Washington Democrats" who are determined to impeach President Trump.

"It simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment," he said.

Read McConnell's full statement:

House GOP leader blasts Pelosi's decision: "It's time to put the public before politics"

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

He criticized Democrats for going after Trump, saying, "This election is over."

"It's time to put the public before politics," McCarthy said.


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