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Reed: Whistleblower Complaint Underscores Concerns About Trump’s Pro-Russian Record

[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed}

[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed}
[CREDIT: Sen. Jack Reed’s Office] U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said a recent intelligence whistleblower complaint, if proven, raises additional concerns about President Donald Trump’s actions aiding Russian interests.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Donald Trump released a record of a call between the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the subject of an intelligence whistleblower complaint withheld last week, spurring the U.S. House’s formal impeachment inquiry.

Trump also reportedly plans to release a redacted version of the whistleblower’s complaint, according to a report from Politico.

The call record, described by the Justice Department as notes and records from the call, not a verbatim transcript, documents Trump’s request for Zelensky to investigate Crowdstrike, the company hired to investigate the hack of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

Trump’s request immediately followed Zelensky’s mention of his desire to buy Javelin anti-tank missiles from the U.S.

Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump had ordered acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine, about a week before the call.

The  call next turns to Trump’s request for Zelensky to also investigate former Vice President and presidential Democratic nominee candidate Joe Biden and his son. The full document is embedded at the end of this article.

“If President Trump was willing to withhold military aid meant to fight Russian aggression, it would raise more troubling questions about the extreme measures he has taken to conceal his personal interactions with Vladimir Putin. If true, this is another example of President Trump taking an action that benefits Vladimir Putin and Russia.

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously Tuesday urging the Trump Administration to release to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees the full, unredacted whistleblower complaint about the conversation.

The development came on the same day that U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the U.S. House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry, pointing to the Trump Administration’s refusal to present the full document as the law instructs.

Thursday, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, stating Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire blocked him from disclosing the report to the Congressional intelligence committees.

“This is a violation of the law. The law is unequivocal. The DNI, it says, the Director of National Intelligence ‘shall’ provide Congress the full whistleblower complaint,” Pelosi wrote in a statement about her decision.

Pelosi’s support of the inquiry lends weight to House investigations into Trump Administration actions already underway.

“I am directing our six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi said Tuesday.

The Senate resolution reads, ““the whistleblower complaint received on August 12, 2019, by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community shall be transmitted immediately to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and (2) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives should be allowed to evaluate the complaint in a deliberate and bipartisan manner consistent with applicable statutes and processes in order to safeguard classified and sensitive information.”

Following the Senate vote, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voiced concern that the whistleblower complaint, if proven, is additional evidence of Trump acting in the interest of Russia.

“If President Trump was willing to withhold military aid meant to fight Russian aggression, it would raise more troubling questions about the extreme measures he has taken to conceal his personal interactions with Vladimir Putin.  If true, this is another example of President Trump taking an action that benefits Vladimir Putin and Russia.

“The American people should hear directly from the whistleblower, see the evidence for themselves, and then Congress should chart an appropriate course of action.

“There must be a bipartisan commitment to stopping this president, or any president, from soliciting foreign interference in our democracy.”

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Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.