What you need to know about the Presidential Whistleblower Complaint


On Thursday September 19tha whistleblower complaint was filed by an anonymous U.S. intelligence official over concerns involving a promise made by President Trump to a since-revealed foreign leader. The story, first broken by The Washington Postdid not immediately detail which leader the promise involved, nor did the story state what the promise was for. However, new developments in the days following have answered many of the questions raised by the complaint.  


The phone call in question occurred in late July between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskiyOn the call, President Trump supposedly pressured President Zelenskiy to help investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, while simultaneously withholding $250 million in military aid from the country. The now-released complaint also directly states how the President is “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election”.  


The investigation of Biden stems from what some deem mysterious timing: When Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic relations with Kiev, Ukraine, his son Hunter was working for a Ukrainian gas company. Though the timing raises concerns, there has been no found evidence of wrongdoing for either the presidential candidate or his son. At this time, it is still unknown whether there is substantial evidence to investigate if the Biden family was  illegally involved with Ukraine.  


President Trump responded quickly to the allegations with a series of tweets that stated, “Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!” Trump tweeted, before continuing, “Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!” 


Among the allegations, the whistleblower also accused the White House of taking preventative steps to conceal the information from being released to Congress and the publicPresident Trump has expressed his intent on learning who the whistleblower is, even being recorded noting how “spies and treason” used to be handled “a little differently than we do now.” This remark faced backlash from the whistleblower’s lawyers, who sent a letter to the acting national intelligence chief, Joseph Maguire, expressing concerns about the whistleblower’s safety and urging for anonymity to remain.  


In the two weeks following the release of the complaint, the report has been made public and tensions have risen even more as House Democrats have made a formal motion to begin the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has stated her intent on making the President accountable for his actionsWith Congress in the midst of a two-week recess, the impeachment inquiry remains at a standstill with many questions left unanswered, some of which may remain unanswered for the coming weeks.  


Updates to come as more details are released.