The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the declassified whistleblower complaint on President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said he was initially “anxious” before reading it, but is now is “much more confident than I was this morning that this is going to go nowhere. … there are just no surprises there.” He added, “The entirety of it is focused on this one thing, and that’s the transcript of one phone call, the transcript that was released [Wednesday] morning.”
According to the anonymous whistleblower, “I was not a direct witness to most of these events described,” but instead based the complaint on “various facts” he or she was informed of by “more than half a dozen officials.” The whistleblower claims to have learned from “multiple U.S. officials” that “senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call.”
Here’s another interesting part:
During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
This sounds eerily similar to the fake news that ABC reported that discussing the Biden probe was a precondition of the two leaders having the phone call.
Overall, the complaint centers around the July 25th phone call, and uses anonymous sources and media reports to substantiate the complaint.
President Trump reacted to the release on Twitter:
Fred Fleitz, former NSC Chief of Staff, CIA analyst and House Intelligence Committee staff member, read and reacted to the complaint on Twitter. “As a former CIA analyst and former NSC official who edited transcripts of POTUS phone calls with foreign leaders, here are my thoughts on the whistleblower complaint which was just released… This is not an intelligence matter. It is a policy matter and a complaint about differences over policy. Presidential phone calls are not an intelligence concern. The fact that IC officers transcribe these calls does not give the IC IG jusrisdiction [sic] over these calls.”
Fleitz also believes that this whistleblower didn’t act alone in generating the complaint. “The way this complaint was written suggested the author had a lot of help. I know from my work on the House Intel Commitee [sic] staff that many whistleblowers go directly to the intel oversight committees. Did this whistleblower first meet with House Intel committee members?” Fleitz believes Congress needs to investigate where this complaint came from and whether Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees know about it in advance and if they helped orchestrate it. Fleitz expects this complaint will further damage intelligence community relations for years to come because intelligence officers “appear to be politicizing presidential phone calls with foreign officials and their access to the president and his activities in the White House.”
You can read the entire whistleblower complaint here:
This story is developing.