Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Friday called for a “word for word” transcript of President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky following closed-door briefings with intelligence officials.
The Senate Intelligence Committee member met with acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire and the intelligence community’s inspector general Michael Atkinson on Thursday and concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint – which is based entirely on hearsay – indicates that an “official word-for-word transcript of the call” exists.
“If so, it should be provided to Congress for review. Congress has a constitutional oversight duty. It’s important that we understand who took actions to hide details of the call with Zelensky and how high those actions reached,” Feinstein said, according to the Hill.
She added that she found the complaint “highly credible.”
“It suggests that the president used his office to demand political favors from a foreign country and that White House personnel knew this was wrong and tried to cover it up by burying details of the call with Ukrainian President Zelensky,” Feinstein stated.
Feinstein’s call comes days after Trump’s authorization to release the “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of the conversation, which was done on Wednesday. The conversation showed no quid pro quo or pressure, as several GOP lawmakers made abundantly clear.
“President Trump asked about Ukraine investigating ‘Crowdstrike’ (an investigation unrelated to Biden). It was Ukraine President Zelenskyy, not President Trump, who first brought up investigations beyond ‘Crowdstrike,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said in a statement following the transcript’s release.
“Only thereafter did President Trump mention then-Vice President Joe Biden’s possible illegal interference in a Ukraine prosecutor’s investigation of Biden’s son,” he continued.
“I’ve read the transcript in its entirety. It shows that there was no quid pro quo,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a statement.
“The Ukrainian President admitted problems with corruption in the country and agreed that the issue at hand warranted looking into further,” he added.
“Absolutely ZERO grounds for impeachment and I agree w/ the President that US-Ukraine should investigate,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) wrote. “This is absurd how Congressional Dems & many in media are trying to spin this all!”
Feinstein’s call also follows a flurry of remarks from “transcript truthers” – including several high-profile Hollywood leftists – who “spread a host of conspiracy theories involving the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky,” as Breitbart News detailed:
Can the White House edit the Ukraine phone call transcript before they release it?
Asking for a nation. #Impeachment
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) September 25, 2019
How fucking stupid do you have to be to edit the transcript of the call and STILL end up including hardcore evidence that you committed an impeachable crime?
I honestly can't decide which is more dangerous, his constant corruption or his historic, world-class stupidity.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 25, 2019
HOLY SHIT THE STUPIDITY https://t.co/kpugEkoL20
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 25, 2019
Democrats are continuing to use the Ukraine phone call as the basis for their impeachment inquiry, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stiff-arming such efforts in recent months.
The speaker bizarrely resurrected the Russia witch hunt during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, telling the co-hosts, “I think Russia has a hand in this, by the way,” despite no evidence of such.
“We saw what the Russian disruption of our election last time, their interference, 100 percent confidence of the intelligence community, high confidence in the intelligence community, that the Russians disrupted our election,” she stated.
“That was wrong. The integrity of our elections is central to our democracy. So what the president did in inviting outside intervention into our election, it goes beyond the pale,” she added.