Democrat lawmakers on Thursday reacted to the release of the “whistleblower” complaint fueling their party’s latest impeachment effort, calling it a “bombshell.” The Democrats accused President Trump of acting like a mob boss, and declared that the complaint proves the existence of a “coverup.”
The House Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of the “whistleblower” complaint prior to Acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire’s appearance before the committee.
This complaint should never have been withheld, and it provides a roadmap for our investigation.
We will do everything we can to protect this courageous whistleblower.
The public has a right to see the complaint and what it reveals.
Read it here:https://t.co/B0DrqDt4MS
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 26, 2019
The document confirms reports that the “whistleblower” did not have firsthand knowledge of the conversation between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As Breitbart News reported, “Allegations in the complaint seem to be distortions of exaggerations of information in the transcript itself, which the White House released Wednesday,” and continued:
For example, the whistleblower claims that Trump “praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Letsenko.” Trump appears never to have mentioned Letsenko, and his reference to a prosecutor (“I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down”) was a reference to former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, on whose board Hunter Biden served, at the time Joe Biden demanded he be fired, under threat of withholding $1 billion in American aid.
The complaint also revealed that the “whistleblower” relied heavily on reporting from outlets such as the New York Times, the Hill, and ABC News, among others.
The unredacted transcript released by the White House on Wednesday showed no such “pressure” from the president, no quid pro quo, and no lawless behavior, as several GOP lawmakers pointed out. Nonetheless, numerous Democrat lawmakers are reacting to the release of the complaint, claiming that it proves the existence of a coverup, and likening the president to a mob boss.
“Mob bosses are smarter & more subtle in their threats than Trump was talking to Zelensky,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote:
Mob bosses are smarter & more subtle in their threats than Trump was talking to Zelensky. https://t.co/5zdG4yc2RM
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 26, 2019
“If Senate Republicans aren’t seriously alarmed by this whistleblower report, then something is deeply wrong,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) tweeted, falsely accusing Trump of asking a foreign power to “attack our free and fair elections”:
If Senate Republicans aren’t seriously alarmed by this whistleblower report, then something is deeply wrong. This is about the future of our democracy and anyone who asks a foreign power to attack our free and fair elections should be immediately investigated and condemned.
— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) September 26, 2019
Rep. André Carson (D-IN) declared that the “whistleblower” complaint shows the administration’s wrongdoing and abuse “clear as day.”
“Now that the whistleblower’s complaint has been released, all Americans can see in plain view the extent of the Administration’s wrongdoing,” he tweeted.
“What’s written can’t be muddied by gaslighting, false equivalencies, or spin from the President and his allies,” he added. “The abuse is clear as day”:
— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson) September 26, 2019
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) claimed to have found confirmation of quid pro quo within the complaint.
Here, again, is the clear corrupt quid pro quo:
“…multiple US officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between [Trump] and Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed a willingness to ‘play ball’…” pic.twitter.com/kGFaYDQJQ7
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) September 26, 2019
The White House tried to *cover-up* trump’s gross abuse of power:
“In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple US officials that senior WH officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call…” pic.twitter.com/0lgdULqzoC
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) September 26, 2019
“The White House’s attempts to hide this from Congress amounted to an illegal coverup, and show knowledge of guilt,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) concluded:
It’s clear from the first page that the whistleblower complaint is unquestionably an “urgent concern” which the DNI should have immediately turned over to Congress.
The White House’s attempts to hide this from Congress amounted to an illegal coverup, and show knowledge of guilt. https://t.co/AviNr3ezPR
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) September 26, 2019
“Having read the whistleblower complaint, I am even more worried about what happened,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote, in part:
Having read the whistleblower complaint, I am even more worried about what happened.
The public should read what has been made public of the whistleblower’s complaint for themselves. https://t.co/7EnrdRKZYz
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 26, 2019
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) also claimed that the complaint showed the existence of a coverup.
“They knew the President had violated his oath of office,” she said of White House officials:
They "locked down" records of the call, and even removed the transcript from the computer systems where it was supposed to be kept.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) September 26, 2019
Just read the whistleblower report. Bombshell. https://t.co/Vi79qyvkGe
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 26, 2019
TODAY: I’m asking Acting U.S. national intelligence director Joseph Maguire tough questions about why this complaint was withheld from Congress. The statue is clear – it should have been delivered to us, so why’d DNI break precedent & intercept it? He better have answers. pic.twitter.com/Hapc5n0zIy
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) September 26, 2019
There is a lot in the whistleblower complaint that is concerning. We need to fully investigate all of the allegations addressed in the letter, and the first step is to talk to the whistleblower.
— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) September 26, 2019
The whistleblower complaint is posted here: https://t.co/ngCd5rLyVG
What it describes is a chilling and unprecedented abuse of the power of the presidency. I ask my Republican colleagues to find the courage to stand up for our constitution and hold the president accountable.
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) September 26, 2019
One alarm bell keeps ringing in my ear—all roads lead to Putin and Russia. POTUS withholds money to Ukraine in an effort to coax Ukraine to cede land to Russia. Once again @POTUS is #PutinsPuppet. #WhistleblowerComplaint #dnihearing
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) September 26, 2019
The President of the United States attempted to condition the entire U.S.-Ukraine relationship and forsake our national security for his own personal gain. These acts, if true, constitute a historic abuse of presidential power.
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) September 26, 2019
What you need to know about the#whistleblowercomplaint:
-on a call with Ukrainian Pres., Trump abused his power to “solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election”
-AG Barr is complicit
-after the call, White House officials began to cover up the wrongdoing
— Nanette D. Barragán (@RepBarragan) September 26, 2019
I’ll say it again: Barr must come before Congress to testify under oath. pic.twitter.com/6TNAf05bJl
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 26, 2019