The whistleblower who filed a complaint with the general inspector of the intelligence community had no direct knowledge of the communications between President Trump and the foreign leader, according to multiple sources.
It is reported that the conversation was a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Trump is alleged to have repeatedly urged Zelensky to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate the son of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and his ties to a Ukrainian oligarch-owned energy firm. Previously, Giuliani urged a top Ukrainian official to look into ties.
However, an official who was briefed on the matter told CNN that the whistleblower “did not have direct communication knowledge.” The official said the concerns and subsequent complaint came in part from the whistleblower “learning information that was not obtained during their work.”
A source from Fox News also revealed that the whistleblower did not have “firsthand knowledge” of the conversation:
Fox News has learned that typically, multiple U.S. officials are on such calls with the president, but this would indicate the whistleblower is not one of those people. It’s unclear if the individual read a transcript of the call, heard about it in conversation, or learned of it another way.
Meanwhile, Democrats have seized on allegations that Trump was pressuring Zelensky to investigate the dealings of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s family, citing those claims to revive calls for impeachment. President Trump denied the wrongdoing.
Democrats are pressing for the release of documents related to the complaint. Biden on Monday tweeted, “release the transcript of the call.”
President Trump on Monday cited the new details from Fox News and stressed “It is all a Democrat/Adam Schiff Scam! Doing this for 3 years now, and found NOTHING!”
“@FoxNews bombshell information reports that the so-called Whistleblower did not have firsthand knowledge of that phone conversation with Ukraine’s President.” Wow! @HARRISFAULKNER It is all a Democrat/Adam Schiff Scam! Doing this for 3 years now, and found NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2019
The root of the proposed investigation into Hunter Biden is that he was a member of the board of Burisma Holdings natural gas company in 2014. While still vice president, Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless Ukraine fired its top prosecutor, who was accused not being hard enough on corruption, and investigated the oligarch who owned Burisma Holdings. That raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest that could harm Biden’s presidential campaign.