WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, hoping to fend off an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-led House, released a transcript Wednesday of a July phone call showing he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump has insisted he has done nothing wrong. But the transcript suggests Trump urged a foreign government to intervene in the 2020 election against his rival, making the call only a day after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified in Congress about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.
Trump had already acknowledged that he asked Zelensky to investigate Biden, whose son Hunter had a contract with a Ukrainian gas company. Trump also acknowledged this week that he held up military aid intended for the Ukrainian government in the same period. He has denied that the delay in releasing the aid money was a form of pressure to prompt the investigation.
Democrats have said the release of the transcript does not answer all of their questions or end their inquiry, which was launched on Tuesday. They have also demanded to see a complaint filed by a government whistleblower that initiated the investigation against Trump and have begun efforts to interview the whistleblower, an unidentified member of the intelligence community, in person as soon as Thursday.