We have something released by the White House. It is labeled as a transcript, but MSNBC just called it a “summary,” though it doesn’t read as a summary, it reads like a transcript. It does seem short, and it’s possible that certain talk was left out. I doubt it, but anything’s possible with this White House. I cannot cut and paste from the pdf document that you can find here:
I didn’t find eight instances – depending upon what one counts, I guess – of pressure to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter.
But Trump certainly did put pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden. It is explicit, not a shadow of a doubt. Trump characterized it as a “favor” that he needed the Ukrainian president to do.
Something not getting any coverage is the fact that Trump also referenced Mueller, talking about Mueller performing “poorly,” something about “Crowdstrike” and the need to speak to Attorney General Barr. Clearly, Trump wanted help in closing up something to do with Mueller, it is near impossible to tell.
Interestingly, the Ukrainian president said that he had already spoken to Rudy Giuliani the week prior. So, this was in the works even prior to the phone call. Moreover, the Ukrainian president references an earlier call between him and Trump. We do not have the transcripts of that call, and I find it very possible that Trump would release one transcript, but keep context hidden in another transcript.
Trump also mentioned that the United States does a tremendous amount to support Ukraine, much more than Europe. He did not make that support contingent upon investigating Biden, not in this phone call, anyway. But, we must keep in mind two things; One, it doesn’t matter. The demand that a foreign power investigate his political opponent is plenty to fit an abuse of office. and Two, we know that the money got held-up, behind the scenes. with lies to congress and people in the White House left in the dark. That’s plenty, right there. It is also something that the Whistleblower complaint might shed light upon.
Right wingers are pounding upon the “No quid pro quo” theory. The release of the transcript is clearly the latest attempt to “Barr-up” the Report, put out the White House spin first, hoping it sticks.
The other thing that is of interest to me is that near every time Trump mentions speaking to Rudy Giuliani, Trump includes a request to speak to Attorney General Barr. Barr is a U.S. official, so it isn’t as damning as the request to speak to Giuliani, who was nothing but Trump’s personal attorney. But it does make one wonder whether Barr also pressured the Ukraine into investigating Biden. It is an open question, and something I find interesting.
One thing that I “feel” coming. The White House strategy is to rely wholly upon the fact that Trump didn’t explicitly state it would withhold the money. If and when evidence comes out that Trump did hold the money contingent upon the Ukraine investigating Biden, I suspect the White House will lay it all at Rudy’s feet. They will allege that Rudy mentioned withholding the money without authorization by Trump.
There will be much more throughout the day.
One, it is a summary. According to an expert on MSNBC, it is not a complete transcript. Not sure how he can tell, but he’s the expert. This is developing.
Two, Chris Hayes believes the “Crowdstrike” reference was to the DNC server, which is flat bizzare.
Three, this is an excellent point:
If this "transcript" is supposed exoneration of Trump, can't imagine what the inculpatory evidence looks like
Bottom of p2–Ukraine Pres says Ukraine ready to buy more Javelins (weapons). Very next line: "I would like you to do a favor THOUGH" & then goes into his Biden request
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) September 25, 2019
UPDATE 2: The fact that Barr is referenced at least three times, he is now a subject in the matter, and MUST recuse himself from overseeing any part of this, but especially overseeing the suppression of the whistleblower complaint. There is no excuse at all for Barr to stay in this matter. Barr recused himself from the Epstein matter (initially) for belonging to the same law firm. Now he’s named in a conversation that wreaks, and thinks he gets to oversee suppressing the WB complaint?
Barr refusing to recuse himself would be an impeachable offense, and possibly constitute obstruction of justice.
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