WASHINGTON (AP) — The whistleblower at the center of Congress’ impeachment inquiry alleges that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office to “solicit interference from a foreign country” in next year’s U.S. election. The White House then tried to “lock down” the information to cover it up, the official’s complaint says.
The 9-page document released Thursday fleshes out the circumstances of a summertime phone call in which the president encouraged his Ukraine counterpart to help investigate a political rival, alleges a pivotal role for Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and suggests a concerted White House effort to suppress the exact transcript, including by relocating it to a separate computer system.
“In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all the 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 complaint says.
With its precise detail and clear narrative, the previously secret document will likely accelerate the impeachment process and put more pressure on Trump to rebut its core contentions and on his fellow Republicans to defend him. The complaint provides a road map for Democrats to seek corroborating witnesses and evidence, which will complicate the president’s efforts to characterize the findings as those of a lone partisan out to undermine him.
See the complaint below.