President Donald Trump repeatedly pushed for Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, during a July 25 phone call, according to a memorandum of the phone conversation released by the White House.
Trump also asked the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US Attorney General William Barr on the issue, the memo reveals.
“I would like you to do us a favor,” Trump said to the Ukranian president, according to the memo. “… There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me.”
The document, which is presented as a script of the conversation, is not a verbatim transcript of the conversation, according to a footnote. Instead, it is a record of notes and recollections of situation room duty officers and National Security Council policy staff.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, a dramatic and historic move that came as the President faces outrage over reports that he pressured the foreign leader in an effort to target a political rival.
The announcement marks the most direct step taken by the House Democratic leader to embrace impeachment proceedings and is a significant escalation in the fight between House Democrats and the President.
“Today, I am announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi said in a brief speech in the Capitol, adding, “The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
“Actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution,” the House speaker said.
The House speaker, who has long pushed to keep her caucus away from the politically divisive issue, is responding to the seismic shift among Democratic members, following Trump’s admission of discussing Vice President Joe Biden and his son in his phone call with the Ukrainian President. Dozens of House Democrats — many from moderate or Trump-won districts — have announced their support for an impeachment inquiry over the past 48 hours.
“This week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the President’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said in her public remarks before the official release of the memo.
In advance of that statement, Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also announced plans to vote on a resolution of disapproval on Wednesday for allegations “that the President of the United States sought to enlist a foreign government to interfere in our democratic process by investigating one of his political rivals — and may have used the withholding of Congressionally-appropriated foreign assistance days earlier as intimidation.” Their statement did not mention impeachment.