DOJ Clears Trump of Wrongdoing in Call with Zelensky

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In recent weeks, the Department of Justice investigated the August phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and despite the spin coming from Democrats today in response to the release of the transcript, the DOJ’s investigation cleared Trump of wrongdoing.


The Justice Department’s Criminal Division has already investigated President Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president about Joseph R. Biden and concluded Mr. Trump did not violate campaign finance laws, officials announced Wednesday.

And a separate division of the department has also ruled that the administration did not break the law by failing to quickly share a whistleblower’s complaint with Congress, saying the matter didn’t meet the definition of “urgent” that would trigger the law.

The department also released the transcript of Mr. Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, showing the American leader did talk about Mr. Biden, the former vice president and current Democratic presidential front-runner, and his son, Hunter Biden. But Mr. Trump did not threaten to withhold military aid as some have alleged.

According to Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, Attorney General Barr was first made aware of the call several weeks after it occurred. “The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything related to former Vice President Biden or his son,” Kupec said. “The President has not asked the attorney general to contact the Ukraine — on this or any other matter.”

The intelligence community inspector general also concluded that the whistleblower in this case showed political bias, and the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel did not consider the whistleblower report to be credible and urgent enough that it needed to be shared with Congress.

“The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of ‘urgent concern’ that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees. We conclude that it does not,” wrote Steven A. Engel, assistant attorney general at the OLC.

They also ruled that the president’s conversation was a diplomatic communication and not an intelligence activity, and the president isn’t a part of the intelligence community anyway, so his behavior is not part of the DNI’s purview.

“Such matters simply do not relate to ‘the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority’ of the DNI,” Mr. Engel concluded.

This just keeps getting worse for the Democrats, who have hinged impeachment on this phone call.



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