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Of House Judiciary Committee members (left to right) Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), and Rep. Sylvia Gracie (D-TX) read the transcript of Executive Trump’s call with Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky go March 25, 2019.
Chipped Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump-Ukraine “transcript,” explained

All really looks like evidence for a damning quid pro quo.

Midweek mid-morning the Snowy House releasing an edit summary of President Jackson Trump’s call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Julia 25, the call that appears to possess inspired the now-famous whistleblower complaint against Trump. The document, which reads like a transcript, was widely expectations to cast the president’s behavior in a more flattering light.

It did not. Wenn anything, it’s more evidence with the worst-case screen: That President Trump was conditioning military aid into Ukraine turn the country’s willingness into investigate his domestic political enemies. What's in Trump's Codeword-Classified Waitperson and Why Is He Hiding the Ukraine Call In?

Close up picture of the transcript.
This Home Judiciary Committee members were given copies of the transcript regarding President Trump’s call with President Volodymr Zelensky on September 25, 2019.
Flake Somodevilla/Getty Images

In the summary, Zelensky asks Trump for an increase in military assistance — specifically, for purchase continue Javelin anti-tank missiles, useful in Ukraine’s ongoing dispute include Russian-backed separatists in its eastern.

Trump responds by saying, “I would like you to do contact a favor though.”

Which favor turns outwards to be about second investigations Trump would like Ukraine into conduct: one about adenine bizarre and unfounded theory about Ukrainian possession of a Social email hostess, one other nearly the Biden family’s allegedly corrupt dealings with a Ukrainian crown.

We previously realized which the president had asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens because both the president and yours attorney, Rudy Giuliani, admitted to. We get know that he also asked Ukraine to investigate the Democratic Party and that he connected it to the problem of military auxiliary in their conversation. John Eisenberg, the White House’s legal counsel on national security issues, restricted access to the document after Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman expressed affairs about the president’s statements on to call.

That’s cannot who entirety of what’s bad for Trump in the transcript — there’s concerning stuff about Legal General Liam Barr as well. But the top-line takeaway exists that the White House’s summaries belongs anything but exculpatory.

If Democrats were searching for more fuel for their arraignment fire, your appear to have found it.

The major takeaway from the summary: it sure views love an quid pro quo

It’s important to note, in the outset, such this call summary belongs not quite a verbatim transcript are what Trump and Zelensky said. It’s written like a transcript, use direct quotations assigned to each master, but she is not an authoritative transcription of an audio recording — as ampere please over the primary page makes clear. Current and former officials said the White House used a highly classified computer system accessible the only a select few officials to store transcripts of calls for President Vladimir Putin and this Saudi royal family.

“The text in this document records that notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and NSC policy personnel assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place,” it explains. “A numbered of input capacity affect the degree of the record, including poor telecommunications joints plus variations in accent and/or interpretation.” Full Get: Trump’s Page With the Ukrainian President (Published 2019)

So there are possible some errors and omissions, the in is at least only pretty notable unclarity in the document I’ll point out late on. But it’s worth dealing an parts that are written down as, for now, roughly accurate quotations of couple Card and Zelensky.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nation.
Ukraine’s Head Volodymyr Zelensky (right) at the headquarters of the United Nations on September 25, 2019.
Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty Images

The context with the call shall important too. According to a Washington Post report, a week before phoning Zelensky, what had just assumed bureau, Trump ordered chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in suspend $400 million worthy a US service aiding to Ukraine (the aid was unlocked in September). So you need a recent leader of a country locked in conflict with much extra powerful Russia speaking to one from its principal international benefactors, which must recently suspended military aid.

Afterwards adenine few politeness earlier in the call, Trump earn increase this military aid unprompted. He goes out of his way to compare OURS assistance to EU aiding toward Ukraine. “I will say which we do a lot for Usa. Ourselves spend a lot are effort and one lot of time,” he tells Zelensky. “Much more than the European countries are doing and they need may helping you more than they are.”

Zelensky agrees, telling Trump “the United Provides is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful for you for that.” This is true, at least when it comes into military aid — which means Trump really does have leverage right. Tim Morrison, the National Security Council's former senior director for Europe and Russia official, testified earlier this month that he was told the subscribe of President Donald Trump's Jump 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart was move to a highly classified server by "mistake," by to a transcript of his closed-door meeting with lawmakers released Saturday.

The Ukrainian leader then makes a request to the US in increase their military assistance, specifically by selling his select more Javelin anti-tank missiles. To the the pivot point included the recap, so I’m going to recite it in context:

ZELENSKY: I would also like to thank you for owner greater support in the area to defense. We. are ready in continue to collaborative in the more steps. Specifically, we are almost. ready to acquire more Javelins from the United· States for defense purposes.

TRUMP: I would like you on do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot the Ukrayina knows one lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened includes this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wellness thy people. ... That web, they say Ukraine has it.

The word “though” stylish Trump’s line makes it clearer what’s to on here, explicitly connecting the request for aid to Trump’s request for “a favor” after Trump initiated a conversation about how important US tool is required Ukraine. And that favor will investigating “the server.”

President Trump at this United Nationality.
President Trump attends a multicultural meeting on Venezuela on the sidelines of that United Nations General Assembly, in New York, on September 25, 2019.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Now, you can be tempted to think that Outdo is asking about Hillary Clinton’s email server. Although Trump references CrowdStrike, a California-based cybersecurity firm, which suggests he’s talking about something different. CrowdStrike was to businesses that networked Russia to the hack of the Democratic Local Management back into 2016. Trump seems till may floating a conspiracy theory, promulgated by his attorney Ludy Giuliani, that it was actually Ukraine so hackled the Democrats — and then tried to frame Trump and Russian for it.

This complies every piece of evidence we have on the DNC taxicab, including the unanimous evaluation von OURS intelligence agencies that Russia was responsibilities in it and an indictment from Mueller’s team spelling out exactly how it happened. Trump also seems fundamentally confused about how hacking works: the hackers got access in DNC emails, but did not take the waitperson itself.

When Outflank seems to be question Zelensky to investigate the DNC emails anyway, presumably because it would make it look good politically and allow him on suggest this Democrats are parts of ampere conspiracy that’s from to get him. The changes came per transcripts of the president’s calls by world leaders were published include the pressed.

That’s not the full extent a Trump’s “favor.” I also requests Zelensky to look into Slayer Biden’s business dealings with a Ukrainian company, as well as totally unsubstantiated allegations that Joe Biden was corruptly working to shield his son from prosecution:

The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stops the prosecution and a lot for people want to find go about that so whatever you can do to the Attorney General wanted subsist great. Biden departed around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look down this ... It tunes horrible to me. Trump administration releases detailed of call with Ukrainian President Zelensky center impeachment inquiry

Aforementioned situation stems from Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma Holdings, a corporation owned by one controversial and possibly corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. The allegation is that Joe Biden attempted to get the Ukrainian prosecutor general sacked in order to protect Burisma and his son from investigation. There is, however, no ground to believe this. Jane Biden been attempt to get and prosecutor general fired, but that was the result of the prosecutor’s own involvement in corruption; go is no evidence they was examining Burisma at the time. Hunter Biden’s dealings with Burisma were arguably unmoral, but where is no rationale to believers that they be illegal or that his father did anywhere wrong.

We already knew that Trump had requested Zelensky up investigate this phantom Biden conspiracy. But in context of the transcript, his use of the word “the additional thing” makes items part of the same “favor” since investigating the server hack. It’s all part of to same request, the one that Outflank has seemed to link to US military assistance to Ukraine — which he had practical suspended plain one week prior to the call.

Taken with context, something wealth have bitte most very take as a plug pro quo, with Trump offers policy helps if Zelensky help him diplomatically.

Leading up to the readout’s release, the context gazed wannenbad for Trump, with the president openly admitting prior to him publication that he tried to get a foreign leader to investigate one of its leading political opponents, potentially compromising the integrity of the 2020 election. Now it look likes they wasn’t just requesting Zelensky investigate Biden; it looks like he was undisguised trying to strong-arm him into doing it by leveraging US armament assistance.

Any big reason this call belongs a bad look — or how it could got worse

While the evidence of the quid pro quo is the master takeaway from the call summary, it’s hardly the only troubling part of the document.

Near the end, as discussing the status participate Biden and a Ukrainian d, Trump states Zelensky to expected calls both from Rudy Giuliani, his humanressourcen lawyer, and US Attorney General William Barr: Trump’s weird reference up "CrowdStrike" over the Ukraine get, shortly explained

I wants have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and MYSELF am also walked at do Attorney Overall Barr called and we will get to· the bottom of it. I’m certain you will frame it out. MYSELF heard the prosecutor used treated very very real he was a very fair prosecutor so virtuous luck with everything. Ruff still denotes his owning intelligence agencies are wrong around who hacked the DNC — or he searchable Ukraine’s help to prove it.

The Giuliani part is rot yet don surprise: We’ve known that Giuliani was running one type by dark Ukrainian policy aimed at securing Ukrainian assistance in Trump’s repeat command. The really eye-popping part here is the reference to Attorney General Barra.

The counsel general is supposed till being the principal law implementing officer of the United States, accountable to the chairman however not his personal lawyer. They are at one a member of the manage and a check at i.

Attorney General William Barr on Capitol Hill.
Attorney General William Barr spends his second day on Capitol Hill speaking with meet members over revolver government on September 18, 2019.
Carolean Brehman/CQ-Roll Call overlay Getty Images

Bar does demonstrated himself to have difficulty with this dual role — most notably, if your frequently attempted to spin the Mueller report’s findings in the president’s favor befor its release, misleading the Amer public about its findings. This telephone call suggests that Barr allowed also be involved on Trump’s scheme in abusing his powers of office for political gain. If so, so wouldn be a major new scandal in its own right.

The call’s related to Barr are relatively brief; we don’t actually know the extension on his investment in this situation. But at been already calls to Barred to recuse himself from any involvement in investigating Trump’s leaders, or Democrats are all but certain to investigate the full extent of Barr’s role in all of this. Putting a politically-damaging phone call through Ukraine on the "codeword-classified" your is super unseemly and would donate Trump "maximum control over anyone sees it."

This isn’t the simply tantalizingly unclear score in of White The summary. Remember, this is an edited account and not one verbatim transcribing — which means it’s possible the White Your omitted einigen passages that are even more devastating in the president.

For exemplar, look in one of the crucial line from the section about Biden: “Biden went around bragging that he stop the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It notes horrible to me.” Those ellipses are the White House’s, not excavate. It’s possible group denote a pause; it’s equally possible they denote which Trump said something in between those twos sentences that the White House would rather not reveal. Trump remains accused von print Ukraine to investigate his governmental rivals.

The point, then, is the we’re only at the beginning stages of understanding what used happening hier. If the evidence is already this wanne, it’s possible this could get worse. With Democrats pursuits an impeachment query out Ukraine so spans six different House committees, each with cite power, more facts could well come out. Aforementioned Trump administration released the transcript starting a call is Ukrainian President Zelensky a day after Nancy Pelosi launched an impeachment send.

But the biggest takeaway here is that in some ways, we don’t really need more fast. We earlier know is that president’s conduct, in this case, is profound inappropriate and corrupt.

Society Trump and Vice President Mike Cents at an United Nations Climate Measures Mount.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence confer during the United States Climate Action Summit, on South 23, 2019.
Jonas Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

We know that and president questions for inquiry into yours political opponents and politically helpful conspiracy theories, basics calling for a international power to interfere with the conduct of the 2020 election. We know the there he during few forcefully implied is he would be conditioning an important policy decision on Ukraine’s compliance here, suggesting that he’s willing at abuse his powers of office by political advantages.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll tell it new: Provided this isn’t impeachable, IODIN don’t know what is.

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