Biden urges information disclosure regarding Trump whistleblower complaint

Ruben Fields
September 21, 2019

The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets on Friday said Trump repeatedly asked Zelenskiy to investigate unsubstantiated charges that Biden, while vice president, threatened to withhold US aid unless a prosecutor who was looking into a gas company in which Biden's son was involved was sacked.

Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has accused Biden of ordering Ukraine to fire its prosecutor-general to halt an investigation into gas producer Burisma Holdings.

It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent risky foreign meddling in the United States election similar to the interference blamed on Russian Federation in 2016 when Trump defeated Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

"Nothing was said that was in any way wrong", Trump tweeted of his July cellphone dialog with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The call featured in a classified whistleblower complaint that has sparked a political battle between Democrats warning of a national security threat and Republicans turning it into an attack on Biden, a frontrunner in the field of Democrats seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump said there was nothing inappropriate in his contacts with foreign leaders.

Trump was asked Friday if be brought up Biden in the call with Zelensky, and he answered, "It doesn't matter what I discussed".

Trump urged Zelensky to launch an investigation into Vice President Joe Biden's son on eight separate occasions during the July call but did not make an offer of foreign aid in exchange for the opening of a probe, as has been widely speculated.

On Friday, Joe Biden called on the president to release the transcript of the call in question and dismissed concerns about his son.

In an interview with Ukrainian outlet Hromadske that was published Friday evening, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said his country was not interested in taking sides in USA politics, but that Zelenskiy had the right to keep the contents of his conversation with Trump secret. He said Trump should release the telephone transcript "so that the American people can judge for themselves".

The Washington Post reports that a mysterious whistleblowing complaint about a promise Trump made to a foreign leader is linked to the alleged Biden request, which was reportedly followed by a cutoff in aid to Ukraine.

Trump defends himself as whistleblower controversy focuses on Ukraine – live

There has yet to be any evidence of any wrongdoing by Mr Biden or his son regarding Ukraine.

But what we know at this point about this whole saga is that a USA intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community's inspector general on August 12.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was prepared to go to court to try to force the Trump administration to open up about the complaint.

"The inspector general has said this can not wait", said Mr Schiff, describing the administration's blockade as an unprecedented departure from the law.

Trump is due to meet Zelensky next week in NY.

Democrats say the administration is legally required to give Congress access to the whistleblower's complaint.

"Everybody looked at this, and everybody's looked at it and said there's nothing there", Biden said, and told Doocy to "Ask the right questions!" He said his talks with foreign leaders "are always appropriate" and accused the whisteblower of being 'partisan'.

"I want to see this investigated", he said. Moments earlier he denied that he asked Ukraine about Biden.

The White House appears to have stepped in to block Congressional oversight, according to the Post.

Trump addressed the whistleblower complaint during the press conference, saying he didn't know the identity of the person who filed the complaint.

FIFA boss hopeful Iran will lift stadium ban on women football fans
FIFA's statutes prohibit discrimination by member federations, and could allow for Iran to be suspended from global football. Female fans, however, have been denied access to matches since.

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