An official memo of Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was declassified on Tuesday. While the document is not a verbatim transcript of the conversation, it accurately and coherently captures the controversial dialogue.
The following parts of the conversation that are most relevant to the impeachment inquiry:
Trump: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General [William Barr] would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
Trump is asking Ukrainian president to reopen a corruption investigation into Hunter Biden, Vice President Biden’s son.
Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it…”
Trump is asking Ukraine to investigate a suspicion (addressed by Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani), that Ukraine was involved with the leaked DNC emails. He mentioned the Attorney General (William Barr) would follow up with Ukraine regarding this.
Trump: “…the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”
Trump is implying that Ukraine is not helping the United States as much as it should be.
Zelensky: “Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation.”
President Zelensky, who could be interpreted as being excessively adulating towards Trump throughout the conversation, is accepting Trump’s requests.