The report released by the White House on July 25, after a telephone conversation by Donald Trump with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, was foolishly laconic. The president of the United States congratulated his interlocutor for his victory in the presidential election, discussed with him ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, and considered a future meeting.
Perhaps it was missing from this communique the mention of a topic of conversation likely to create a new political storm in Washington. According to information published by the Wall Street Journal in the afternoon of Friday, September 20, Donald Trump would indeed have taken advantage of this exchange to ask "Eight times" to the Ukrainian president to launch investigations into the family of the Democratic candidate he could face in November 2020, Joe Biden.
Two days before Washington Post was the first to reveal that a whistleblower belonging to the US intelligence community had reported, in early August, the content of a telephone discussion from the president to the Inspector General of Intelligence national, Michael Atkinson. Appointed by Donald Trump in 2018, the latter had deemed the information before him to be alarming enough to consider reporting it to Congress.
The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, had objected, however, with the support of the Department of Justice. Heard in camera by the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives on Thursday, Michael Atkinson kept silence on behalf of his supervisory authority.
For months, relatives of Donald Trump openly try to urge the Ukrainian authorities to relaunch investigations considered potentially harmful for the Democratic camp. The first concerns the presence of Joe Biden's son, Hunter, on the board of directors of a private gas company from 2014, at a time when his father was vice-president. The second refers to possible links between officials of the Ukrainian administration and emissaries of the Democratic Party. These links would have uncovered the tax and banking fraud that led to the condemnation of a Donald Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, caught up in his past activities in Ukraine as a political consultant.