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'This is a cover up': White House under fire as whistleblower reported to be CIA agent

Trump has accused the whistleblower of “treason”.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Tasos Katopodis UPI/PA Images

THE WHISTLEBLOWER WHOSE complaint has led to the commencement of impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump is a CIA officer who was seconded to the White House, US media has reported.

The details of the allegations by the whistleblower were published yesterday and claim that the White House intervened to try to “lock down” the transcript of a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.  

It alleges that White House officials said they had likely “witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain” in the July call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

summary of the 25 July conversation was released earlier this week and revealed Trump urged Zelensky to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden.

It shows Trump stated US Attorney General Bill Barr and the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani would be in touch about probing the Ukraine-related activities of Biden and his son.

The US President yesterday accused the unnamed whistleblower of “treason” and said “we used to handle it a little differently than we do now”. 

Trump has said he exerted “no pressure” on Kiev, a claim echoed by Zelensky.

But critics maintain that the president held up $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, to be released only if it investigated the Bidens.

The non-verbatim record of the call did not show Trump explicitly tying aid to Zelensky’s probing Biden, and the White House said the complaint showed Trump did “nothing improper.”

“The White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats,” Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

Soliciting foreign help in a US election is illegal, whether or not inducements are offered.

‘Cover up’

The revelations from the whistleblower have resulted in Democrats accusing the president of abuse of power in seeking foreign interference against a potential rival for the next presidential election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a chorus of Democratic condemnation of Trump and those alleged to have hidden the call’s full transcript on a limited-access electronics record system.

“This is a cover up,” she told reporters.

Trump has “betrayed his oath of office, our national security, and the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said.

Democrats also suggested attacking the whistleblower as “treasonous” broke the law.

“The president’s comments today constitute reprehensible witness intimidation and an attempt to obstruct Congress’ impeachment inquiry,” the chairmen of three House committees investigating the whistleblower complaint said in a joint statement.

With reporting from AFP

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Sean Murray

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