“ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING GUN”
by Sharon Rondeau
The complaint, which has not been released publicly or to Congress, reportedly alleges wrongdoing by Trump in a July 25, 2019 phone call with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Up through Tuesday night, media reports said that the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, reportedly wanted to provide the complaint to Congress but was held back by the Justice Department; Henry’s report appeared to state something quite different.
At 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced an official “impeachment inquiry” in the House of Representatives without scheduling a vote in the chamber to proceed with Articles of Impeachment.
On Monday Trump said his call with Zelenskiy was “perfect” and contained no “quid pro quo” to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for military or financial aid from the U.S.
Earlier today, Trump tweeted from the United Nations, where he gave a formal address to the General Assembly, that he will release a complete transcript of his call with Zelenskiy on Wednesday.
Henry additionally reported that documents other than the transcript will be released.
In January 2018, Joe Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that as vice president in March 2016, he pressured then-Ukrainian leader Boris Poroschenko to fire a prosecutor who intended to investigate Hunter’s actions while a member of the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.
Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 monthly by Burisma, CNN and other sources reported.
Democrats have accused Trump of attempting to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation for political reasons given that Joe Biden is a “political opponent.”
Biden, who announced his candidacy for President in April, is one of more than 20 Democrats seeking the party nomination next summer.
Trump has called the Democrats’ impeachment push “presidential harassment” and a “continuation of a witch hunt” in a reference to the 22-month-long Special Counsel investigation of his campaign for alleged “collusion” with the Russians. The probe, assumed from the FBI in May 2017, found insufficient evidence to reach that conclusion and issued no judgment on the allegation of “obstruction of justice” leveled against Trump by the FBI.
While Henry was still on-camera, Sean Hannity said that his sources say the call transcript will contain “absolutely no smoking gun.”
Trump and congressional Republicans thus far appear unconcerned with the Democrats’ accusations. At 9:31 p.m. on “Hannity,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham speculated that the whistleblower was brought into a “political” firestorm when a third party “told” him about Trump’s call with Zelenskiy, as the whistleblower has been confirmed as being outside the intelligence community.