- The complaint refers to a potential “serious or flagrant problem, abuse or violation of the law,” the Inspector General's letter said.
- The Washington Post reported late Thursday, citing two informed sources, that the alleged promise to a foreign leader detailed by the complaint involved Ukraine, and President Zelensky.
- Trump and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have repeatedly pressed for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son, Hunter.
In late July, Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The circumstances of this conversation so alarmed an employee of one of the American intelligence services that they became the subject of an internal investigation. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has been requesting details, but the Trump administration has so far refused to provide them. Much of this story is classified, and most of the information is reported by the American media with reference to anonymous sources.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, reported the complaint a week ago. Schiff released two letters from the Inspector General of the intelligence community on Thursday. In the first letter, the IG informed the Congressman that in August, he had received the complaint and, after preliminary consideration, considered it worthy of further investigation. In the second letter, the IG complained that acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire forbade him from sharing information on this case with Congress, as required by law.
The complaint refers to a potential “serious or flagrant problem, abuse or violation of the law,” the Inspector General’s letter said. The complaint was filed under the Informants Protection Act of 1989. It provides anonymity and protection to public servants who report a crime, embezzlement, or other gross violation that they have known. In 2012, President Barack Obama issued a decree extending the law to informants with access to state secrets— including intelligence officials.
The complaint is filed in the name of the intelligence community Inspector General. This community brings together 17 US intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the CIA. It has not yet been reported in which agency the informant works. It is known that his interests are represented by a law firm founded by a former FBI and CIA officer who specializes in such cases. The company confirmed this fact to the New York Times, but declined any further comments.
The Washington Post reported late Thursday, citing two informed sources, that the alleged promise to a foreign leader detailed by the complaint involved Ukraine, and President Zelensky. Trump’s call to Zelensky has already become the subject of another investigation into the president. House Democrats suspect Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, of trying to use Ukrainian authorities for domestic political purposes. The US media reported that, according to government sources, the administration was delaying the provision of a military aid package to Ukraine.
When he was serving as Vice President to President Obama, Joe Biden oversaw, among other things, issues related to Ukraine. At the same time, his son, Hunter Biden, became a board member of a private Ukrainian gas company. Ukrainian prosecutors opened an investigation against Burisma Group, but did not find any violations. Biden is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, and is a major rival to President Trump.
Trying to get Biden out of the race, Giuliani accused Biden of interfering in Ukrainian politics and participating in corruption cases in a number of TV interviews. In particular, Giuliani claims that the former General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, was fired at Biden’s request, allegedly because he understood the connections between Burisma and Hunter Biden.
President Trump called the report “another fake news.” Trump tweeted that he knows American and foreign intelligence officials can listen to his conversations with foreign leaders, and therefore, he doesn’t say anything extra during such “crowded” calls.