On Friday, Donald Trump claimed that the content of his phone call with the president of Ukraine on July 25 "doesn't matter," as The Inquisitr reported. Now, a high-ranking official in Ukraine has confirmed that in that call, Trump pushed President Volodymyr Zelensky to provide compromising information — or "kompromat" — on former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who now appears to be Trump's most likely Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential election.
"Clearly, Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden," said Anton Geraschenko, a senior adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, who would be in charge of any investigation into Biden, according to The Daily Beast. "We do not investigate Biden in Ukraine, since we have not received a single official request to do so."
In a manic, televised interview on CNN Thursday evening, Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, frankly admitted that he had pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden, as The Inquisitr reported. The investigation centers on an alleged incident in which Biden supposedly sought the dismissal of a prosecutor looking into Biden's son, Hunter, who was involved with an oil company in the country.
Multiple media reports on Thursday also said that in the July 25 phone call, Trump had made some sort of "promise" to Zelensky that triggered an intelligence official to take the extraordinary step of filing a "whistleblower" complaint with the intelligence community's inspector general, reporting Trump's actions during the phone call.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday took the reporting on the July 25 phone call even further, citing sources who said that during that call, Trump repeatedly — eight times — pressed the Ukrainian leader to instruct his law enforcement officials to investigate Biden.
The former vice president has led Trump by wide, often double-digit margins in more than 70 polls matching the two candidates head-to-head. The polls ask voters who would get their vote if the November 3, 2020, general election were held today.
Whether Trump's repeated demands for Ukraine to investigate Biden were explicitly tied to the delivery of promised military aid to Ukraine — aid which was finally released after a long delay this week — remains unclear. The WSJ reporting did not confirm whether Trump offered a "quid pro quo" in exchange for the hoped-for "kompromat" on Biden.
According to Daily Beast reporter Anna Nemtsova, reporting from Ukraine, Trump and Giuliani's attempt to use the Ukrainian government to help them smear Biden is being greeted with resentment inside Ukraine, where it is seen as "weakening this country's institutions by pressing them to dig for dirt on Trump's most important Democratic challenger."
According to Slate national security expert Fred Kaplan, based on the facts around Trump's call with Zelensky that have so far been made public, Trump has broken the law.
"Trump could be guilty of violating federal bribery statutes — and, by any measure, would be guilty of impeachable 'high crimes and misdemeanors,'" Kaplan said.