Trump Criticizes ‘Impeachment Hoax,’ Says People Should Read Transcript of Ukraine Call

October 29, 2019 Updated: October 29, 2019

President Donald Trump said that the impeachment inquiry against him is a hoax and urged people to read the transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to see what they spoke about.

A series of current and former State Department officials, among others who are working or did work in the administration, have been testifying behind closed doors in the inquiry led by House Democrats.

The probe hasn’t been authorized by a vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Oct. 28 that the House would vote on Thursday on the process of the inquiry.

Trump took to Twitter early Monday to criticize the effort, urging people multiple times to read the transcript of his call with Zelensky themselves.

“Where’s the Whistleblower? Just read the Transcript, everything else is made up garbage by Shifty Schiff and the Never Trumpers!” he said in one missive.

Pelosi announced the inquiry based on a complaint filed by an anonymous person based on the phone call. Trump’s White House the same week released a transcript of the call.

“The Do Nothing Democrats are working hard to make everyone forget the Best Economy Ever, the monumental weekend raid, Tax Cuts, the Rebuilding of our Military, etc. The Impeachment Hoax is a disgrace. Read the transcript!” Trump wrote in another post.

“How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPT! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?” he added.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, (C), director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 29, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Many witnesses testifying to the House have articulated policy differences with the president. A leaked copy of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s opening statement (pdf), for instance, showed the Ukrainian native and National Security Council official expressed concerns that Trump wanted Ukraine to probe what former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter Biden did in Ukraine.

Joe Biden said last year that while still in office in 2016, he threatened to withhold nearly $2 billion in aid unless then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ousted one of the country’s top prosecutors, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was probing Burisma, an energy company for which Hunter Biden served on the board and received tens of thousands of dollars a month from at the time.

Shokin later swore he was pressured to resign because he wouldn’t drop the Burisma investigation.

“I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained,” Vindman said in his opening statement regarding the July call.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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