“President Trump urged the president of Ukraine to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening a potential corruption investigation connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to the reconstruction of a July phone call at the center of accusations that Mr. Trump pressured a foreign leader to find dirt on a political rival,” as The New York Times is reporting.
“’I would like you to do us a favor,’ Mr. Trump said in response to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine raising the prospect of acquiring military equipment from the United States. Noting that the United States had ‘done a lot for Ukraine,’ Mr. Trump also asked for another inquiry: that the Ukrainians examine an unsubstantiated theory about stolen Democratic emails.
“’So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,’ the president told Mr. Zelensky, who later agreed to have the country’s new top prosecutor conduct the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.
“The next prosecutor general will be 100 percent my person, my candidate,’ Mr. Zelensky assured the president. ‘He or she will look into the situation.’
“After a whistle-blower raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, the director of national intelligence and the inspector general for the intelligence community each referred the complaint for a possible criminal investigation into the president’s actions, according to a Justice Department official.
“The five-page ‘memorandum of telephone conversation’ distributed by the White House includes a cautionary note indicating that it was ‘not a verbatim transcript’ but instead was based on ‘notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers’ and national security staff. But senior administration officials said voice recognition software was used in preparing the document which included long, direct quotations.
“The department’s criminal division reviewed the matters and concluded that there was no basis for a criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s behavior. Law enforcement officials determined that the reconstructed transcript of the call did not show that Mr. Trump had violated campaign finance laws by soliciting from a foreign national a contribution, donation or thing of value.
“During the call, Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky that he should be in touch with both Mr. Barr and the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, according to the document, known among government officials as a ‘memcon.’
“’There is a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that,’ Mr. Trump said to Mr. Zelensky during the call, according to the memorandum.
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