Donald Trump is weathering the biggest firestorm of his presidency thanks largely to his own staff.
At the center of the controversy is a whistleblower complaint that a US intelligence official filed against Trump in August. The complaint, which was released to the public on Thursday, focuses primarily on a July 25 phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election, and help discredit the Russia investigation.
The complaint alleged that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was a key figure in the push and that Attorney General William Barr appears to be involved as well. It said Trump urged Zelensky to “meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.”
Notably, the whistleblower was not a direct witness to the conduct described in the complaint or Trump’s conversation with Zelensky. Instead, they said they learned of it from “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call.”