On Wednesday morning, the White House released a partial transcript of President Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine and it reveals that Attorney General Bill Barr is deeply involved in his newest request for illegal foreign election assistance.
In the past week, President Trump admitted that he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings, an admission that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed during a wild CNN appearance.
The White House had dug in their heels about not releasing any information about an intelligence agency whistleblower’s complaint about the Trump’s conversation with the President Zelensky until Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) laid down an ultimatum Sunday night and announced the start of impeachment proceedings yesterday.
Today’s partial transcript clearly shows Trump requested “a favor” from Zelensky and plainly entangles Attorney General Bill Barr in the president’s illegal request for a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian leader.
The relevant parts of White House official readout say in part (attached below):
President Zelenskyy: We would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically, we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… [Note: The ellipses denote a gap in the official notes of this call.]
The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very·good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor bf New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.
The former ambassador from the United States, the woman was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the [sic] Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that, the other thing, 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 transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” said Speaker Pelosi in an official statement reacting to the transcript notes. “Clearly, Congress must act.”
Based on the evidence provided by the Trump administration itself, Attorney General Bill Barr is clearly implicated in Trump’s dirty dealings with Ukraine.
Just as his predecessor, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was forced to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia probe after being caught lying about his secret meetings with the Russian ambassador, Barr’s actual conflict of interest as the subject of an impeachment investigation should force him to promptly recuse himself from taking any further official actions about the growing Ukraine scandal and the accompanying whistleblower complaint.
Trump believed that he found his new “Roy Cohn” in Bill Barr after being backstabbed by Jeff Sessions. Desperate for someone in the Justice Department to do his bidding and keep law enforcement out of his business, Trump put his trust in a man who honed his skill in covering up Republican crimes on the international stage during the Iran-Contra scandal. But today’s release of official records is probably going to force the Attorney General to hire a criminal defense counsel.
“Whether it’s a quid pro quo or not is not material,” Democratic pollster and MSNBC contributor Fernand Amandi tells Occupy Democrats, discussing the implications of the call readout. “Trump has committed an impeachable offense. Period. The readout is now a smoking gun.”
Amandi mentioned that it is important to note that the White House official readout of President Trump’s July 25th, 2019 call is not a complete transcript of the discussion.
When asked if there is expected to be even more damning information in the whistleblower’s complaint, a senior Democratic official told Occupy Democrats that “If the notes from the phone call were damning, can you imagine what the complaint will look like?”
What has become clear in the last twenty-four hours is that House Democrats have seized on a crystal clear impeachable offense which President Trump has committed right under our noses in the course of the last three months.
Now both Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his AG fixer are deeply implicated in an undeniable corruption scandal which is rapidly becoming a historic presidential impeachment inquiry.
Here is the complete White House call readout of Trump’s attempts to extort Ukraine for campaign help:
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.