Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it very clear to the world that he was not pressured to investigate the Biden family during his phone conversation with President Trump. Zelensky clarified this on Wednesday during a New York meeting with President Trump
“Nobody pushed me,” Zelensky said.
Trump, in the run-up to the transcript’s release, was accused by Democrats of essentially pressuring a foreign power to investigate a political opponent, as Biden is now a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Zelensky’s comments come after the White House released the transcript reflecting that call. It showed Trump sought a probe into Biden family dealings in the country, though it did not show Trump using the withholding of U.S. aid as a tool to pressure Ukraine into going after Biden.
“We had a great phone call,” Zelensky added. “It was normal.”
Trump interjected afterward: “In other words, there was no pressure,” then speaking to the media he said, “and you know there was no pressure.”
The document, declassified by Trump a day earlier, indicates that the call – which Trump made from the White House residence – took place July 25 from 9:03 a.m. to 9:33 a.m. A notation on the memo says it does not represent a “verbatim transcript” but is based on “notes and recollections” of those listening and memorializing the call. It is still presented in transcript form.
The memo begins with the president congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, before Trump eventually broaches the subject former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“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,” Trump said in the phone call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
This refers to Joe Biden, while vice president, threatening to withhold funding if Ukraine did not fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board and being paid handsomely.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and has repeatedly referred to the impeachment push as a partisan “witch hunt.”
“Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President? They should, a perfect call – got them by surprise!” the president tweeted Wednesday.
The Justice Department – in a new letter from the Office of Legal Counsel obtained by Fox News – is pushing back on the claim that the whistleblower brought out something of “urgent concern” that would have to be turned over to Congress.
“For the reasons set forth above, we conclude that the complaint submitted to the [intelligence community inspector general] does not involve an ‘urgent concern’…” It adds: “As a result, the statute does not require that the [Director of National Intelligence] transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees.”
The transcript coupled with the way that Zelensky was casually speaking with Trump during their meeting indicate absolutely no pressure or extortion of a foreign power. The Dems simply cannot produce a good enough candidate worthy of challenging President Trump in 2020 and are pushing forward by trying to damage his name in the eyes of the public.