Impeachment inquiry latest: Whistleblower’s memo reveals new details of Trump-Ukraine call — live updates

Impeachment inquiry latest: Whistleblower’s memo reveals new details of Trump-Ukraine call — live updates




Whistleblower’s full memo described to CBS News


Key facts and latest news

  • CBS News has learned the full contents of what appears to be a memo written by the whistleblower one day after Mr. Trump spoke with the Ukrainian president in July.
  • On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
  • Soon after the July call, White House officials moved a record of the call to a highly classified computer system, severely restricting who could access it.
  • In the memo, a White House official is quoted as saying it was “crazy,” “frightening,” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.”

Washington — CBS News has learned the full contents of what appears to be a memo written by the whistleblower one day after President Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July.

The memo, dated July 26, is based on a conversation the whistleblower had with an unnamed White House official who listened to the call.

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“The official described the call as ‘crazy,’ ‘frightening’ and ‘completely lacking in substance related to national security,'” the memo states. “The official asserted that the President used the call to persuade Ukrainian authorities to investigate his political rivals, chiefly former Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter.”

According to a source familiar with the matter, the memo was among the factors that led the intelligence community inspector general to determine the whistleblower’s formal August 12 complaint was credible. The inspector general testified Friday behind closed doors before the three House committee leading the impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday, the whistleblower’s lawyers pushed back on reports of their client’s political leanings.

“First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party,” a statement from Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj said. “Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch. Third, in these positions our client has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials — not as candidates.”


House Democrats request testimony from Fiona Hill, former top NSC Russia adviser

Wednesday, 11:11 p.m.: The Democratic chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees have requested Fiona Hill provide a deposition to the committees on October 14 at 10 a.m. Hill served on the National Security Council from 2017 until this past August, and she specializes in European and Russian affairs.

This is not a subpoena, but a request for her appearance and documents related to her time as the National Security Council (NSC) senior director for Russia. The chairmen have asked for materials related to the phone call between Mr. Trump and Zelensky, for the identities of people involved in the call, including those who listened to it and those who transcribed it.

Hill left NSC for the private sector in June. She was replaced by Tim Morrison. — Arden Farhi


Trey Gowdy joining Trump’s outside legal team

Former FBI Counterintelligence Division Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok Testifies At House Hearing On 2016 Election
Congressman Trey Gowdy questions Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok during a hearing on Capitol Hill July 12, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images


Wednesday, 7:39 p.m.: Former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy is joining the president’s outside legal team as “counsel to the president,” attorney Jay Sekulow said Wednesday.

“His legal skills and his advocacy will serve the President well,” Sekulow said. “Trey’s command of the law is well known and his service on Capitol Hill will be a great asset as a member of our team.”

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, was a key figure in House Republicans’ years-long probe into the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He decided against running for reelection in the 2018 midterm elections. — Paula Reid


​Giuliani argues whistleblower memo discredits complaint

Wednesday, 6:03 p.m.: Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, told CBS News he believes the whistleblower’s memo discredits the complaint and the White House official who discussed the Ukraine call.

“This poor little sissy was all worried. This guy was ‘visibly shaken.’ I think a 5-year-old child wouldn’t be visibly shaken by it. Nobody was threatening anyone,” Giuliani said. “I hope he’s in a mental hospital.”

He also criticized the description of the call as “lacking in substance related to national security,” saying, “Half of the call was about European relations and how much Europe pays. Maybe he listened to a different conversation.” — Weijia Jiang


​Whistleblower’s lawyers say client has spent career in “apolitical” roles

Wednesday, 5:17 p.m.: The whistleblower’s legal team issued a statement clarifying their client’s background and professional career in response to reports about the person’s political leanings.

“First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party,” the statement from Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj said. “Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch. Third, in these positions our client has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials – not as candidates.”

A source familiar with the matter earlier told CBS News the whistleblower had a “prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential contender.” — Stefan Becket


​Trump says Schiff should be “prosecuted” and “impeached”

Trump
President Trump listens during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.

Evan Vucci / AP


Wednesday, 4:22 p.m.: Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr. Trump repeated several claims about his call with Zelensky, saying the call was “perfect.” He also continued his criticism of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

“There are those that say he should be prosecuted for what he did … he certainly should be impeached,” Mr. Trump said of Schiff. House members are not subject to impeachment.

Mr. Trump also suggested that details of his call with Zelensky were kept secret because of the threat of leaks to the press.

“I assume it was for leaks,” Mr. Trump said. “Because this city is like the leaking capital of the world.” The transcript of the call was moved to a more secure server than is typical for most calls between the president and foreign leaders.

Mr. Trump also repeated his concern about a “spy” listening in on important calls.

“We could have a spy, and I don’t want to have spies when I’m negotiating with China and Syria,” he said. “I don’t want to have spies in the White House.” — Grace Segers


​Whistleblower had “prior working relationship” with current Democratic candidate, source says

Wednesday, 4:20 p.m.: The whistleblower is a registered Democrat who had a “prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential contender,” a source familiar with the matter tells CBS News.

The person said the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, told Congress the whistleblower’s political affiliation, but would not disclose to lawmakers which 2020 candidate the whistleblower was connected to, out of fear that doing so might expose the whistleblower’s identity.

The nature of the “prior working relationship” remains unclear. The Washington Examiner first reported the whistleblower had a “professional relationship” with a Democratic candidate.

Read the full story here. — Arden Farhi and Kathryn Watson


Read the whistleblower’s memo about Trump’s Ukraine call, as described to CBS News

Wednesday, 3:06 p.m.: CBS News has learned the full contents of what appears to be a memo written by the whistleblower one day after Mr. Trump spoke with the Ukrainian president in July.

The memo, dated July 26, is based on a conversation the whistleblower had with an unnamed White House official who listened to the call.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the memo was among the factors that led the intelligence community inspector general to determine the whistleblower’s formal August 12 complaint was credible. The inspector general testified Friday behind closed doors before the three House committee leading the impeachment inquiry.

Read the full memo as described to CBS News here. — Arden Farhi


​Biden calls for Trump’s impeachment for the first time

Wednesday, 1:50 p.m.: The former vice president, speaking in New Hampshire, said for the first time that the president “should be impeached.”

“Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts,” Biden said. “He should be impeached.”

Read the full story here.







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