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Democrats Shift Goal Posts, Demand More than Phone Call Transcript After Trump Says He’ll Release It

Kristina Wongby Kristina Wong

Democrats are demanding President Trump do more to prove that he did not try to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, after Trump announced Tuesday he would release the transcript of his phone call with Zelensky in July.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” he tweeted.

“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

Although Democrats have demanded that Trump release the transcript, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said after Trump’s tweet that it did not matter if the transcript was released and no quid pro quo was found, but rather, it was about the “sequencing” of his actions.

She said Tuesday:

There is no requirement there be a quid pro quo in the conversation. If the President brings up he wants them to investigate something, that’s to — of his political opponent, that is self-evident that it is not right. You don’t ask foreign governments to help us in our election. That’s what we try to stop with Russia. It’s wrong. So it’s not only about how we make decisions about our foreign policy and our global security. It’s about undermining the integrity of our election.That’s A.

B: I don’t think there’s a — I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a grasp on the part of this administration that the quid pro quo is not essential to an impeachable offense, but if you have sequencing, like a couple of days before the President withdrew the bipartisan support for Ukraine. Bipartisan enthusiastic support for Ukraine a few days earlier, he withdraws it, then makes this statement. President’s words weigh tons. Weigh tons. And just bringing up the election is bad enough. That there would be a quid pro quo isn’t necessarily in the conversation, but in the sequencing. So this is not a good thing for a democracy, for the leader of the free world to be talking like that, and I don’t even know if there are any scruples involved. That’s why I say they think lawlessness is a virtue and now want to export it to another country.

Journalists and former Obama officials also demanded Trump release more, including a whistleblower complaint made to the intelligence community inspector general reportedly about the call.

According to CNN, the whistleblower did not have direct knowledge of the details of the president’s call with Zelensky.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tweeted that after Trump said he would release the transcript, “amazingly Democrats now say the whistleblower complaint is more important.”

He added, “Folks, the ‘whistleblower’ wasn’t on the call. They think a secondhand account of the call will tell you more than the *actual call.*”


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