In a detailed, nine-page complaint, a whistleblower said “senior White House officials” worked to “lock down” all records of a presidential phone call this summer, out of fear that “they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.” In that call, President Trump repeatedly urged Ukraine’s new president to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
According to the whistleblower, in the days following the call, “senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House Situation Room”
The whistleblower said aides saw this as an “abuse of the system,” but that it was “not the first time” they had done this to protect the president. Officials were directed by White House lawyers to remove the transcript from the computer system where “such transcripts are typically stored”, the whistleblower wrote. The transcript was instead stored in a separate system “that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature”.
“Do you believe that it is okay for a president of the United States to pressure a foreign country into helping him or her win an election?” asked Congressman Denny Heck.
“It is unwarranted, unwelcome, it is bad for the nation to have outside interference, any foreign nation,” Maguire said.
“And by extension, it would be equally unacceptable to extort that assistance as well,” Heck said.
“All I know is I have the transcripts as you have,” Maguire said.
“I think it’s wrong. I think we all know it. It is illegal and it is wrong,” Heck said.
“It was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Maguire said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” that this incident is now the primary focus of the House impeachment inquiry. “We are at a different level of lawlessness that is self-evident to the American people,” Pelosi said.