WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, had so alarmed a White House official that he called a colleague at the CIA the next day to share his concerns, according to a memorandum.
The memorandum, now in the possession of congressional investigating committees, was written by the Central Intelligence Agency official who eventually would file a formal complaint under federal whistleblower laws about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
The memo was shared with Congress last week by the Intelligence Community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, a congressional official said.
Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president is at the heart of a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into whether the US president abused his office by urging Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The two-page memorandum appears to provide further evidence that the call prompted early and deep concerns among some White House aides as well as officials at US intelligence agencies.
The memorandum’s existence was first reported by Fox News and the New York Times.
The whistleblower’s identity hasn’t been made public, and the name of the White House official who contacted him on July 26 hasn’t been released.
Trump has defended his conduct with Ukraine, and his administration has broadly rebuffed congressional demands for testimony and documents in the impeachment inquiry.
An attorney for the whistleblower didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. At least one additional whistleblower, who has firsthand knowledge of the circumstances around the call, has come forward, according to lawyers representing both that individual and the CIA officer.
In his formal complaint filed on Aug. 12, the initial whistleblower – who acknowledged he didn’t have firsthand knowledge – wrote that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” of the phone call said Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.
“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” he wrote.