WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump repeatedly prodded Ukraine’s new leader to work with lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript summarizing a July 25 call that was released Wednesday.
A five-page summary of the call detailed a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. It’s just one piece of an overall complaint made in mid-August by a whistleblower. The complaint is central to the formal impeachment inquiry launched Tuesday by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Here’s a look at what the partial transcript tells us — and what it doesn’t.
What We Know: Trump told the Ukrainian president, “If you can look into it … it sounds horrible to me,” referring to unsubstantiated allegations that Biden sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation of his son Hunter, who had been hired by a gas company in that country.
Trump also confirmed that he ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before the call.
The Republican president has denied any wrongdoing.
What We Don’t Know: The rough transcript is not a full account of what was said on the call between Trump and Zelenskiy — meaning more details might yet emerge. Congress has also not seen the full whistleblower’s complaint, which is believed to be based on more than just the call.
In the meantime, the impeachment probe focuses partly on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government to undermine Biden and help his own reelection effort. Whether Trump’s comments in the partial transcript rise to that will ultimately be up to the Democrat-controlled House, which can eventually vote to move forward with impeachment proceedings.