Intelligence Committee Republican Says Whistleblower Complaint May Be Released to Public

September 26, 2019 Updated: September 26, 2019

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) told Fox News late Sept. 25 that he expects the whistleblower complaint relating to the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to become available for public viewing.

Update: The complaint was released on Sept. 26. Read it here.

“It’s been declassified and has been released, so it should be available for everyone to look at,” Stewart told Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham late Sept. 25. “And I encourage everyone to go and look at it.”

The complaint could be released the public as early as Thursday morning.

Stewart told Ingram that after viewing the complaint, “there are just no surprises there.”

A bipartisan group of select intelligence committee lawmakers in the House and Senate gained access to the document Wednesday. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) had granted access to the document, which one lawmaker said was 10-12 pages long, according to CBS News.

But Democratic lawmakers had a different view of the whistleblower complaint after it was released to both House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

“Just read the Whistleblower report,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) wrote on Twitter, describing the report as “bigger than I thought.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that the document “exposed serious wrongdoing” and provided the committee with information to follow up on, reported Axios.

Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley’s (D-Ill.) told CNN that the complaint was “deeply disturbing.”

Meanwhile, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) agreed with Stewart. He said he didn’t think the content in the complaint justified impeachment, reported Axios.

Stewart told Fox News that the whistleblower had no first-hand knowledge of President Trump’s call with Zelensky.

“This was all second-hand knowledge … This isn’t largely based on the transcript—it’s entirely based on the transcript,” Stewart said.

“The entirety of it is focused on this one thing—that’s a transcript of this one phone call, the transcript that was released this morning,” Stewart said.

“For [Trump] to go talk to a foreign leader and ask him to investigate corruption, most Americans go ‘I don’t get it, where’s the crime?'”

Full Phone Call Transcript Released

The White House released a transcript of Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky early on Sept. 25. Trump said on the day prior that he ordered the release to be transparent and it would show that he had not done anything wrong.

The transcript showed that Trump asked Zelensky to look into the firing of a top Ukrainian prosecutor which allegedly occurred under pressure from Joe Biden when he was vice president. The prosecutor was reportedly investigating the company on which Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, served as a board director.

However, as per the transcript of the phone call, Trump did not exert pressure or offer any form of payment when he asked Zelensky to look into Biden and his son, as had been the claim of a widely-cited Washington Post report which triggered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to formally launch an impeachment inquiry of Trump.

Pelosi alleged that Trump “seriously violated the Constitution” in his phone call with Zelensky in a formal address before she launched the impeachment inquiry late Sept. 24.

Following the release of the transcript, the Department of Justice (DOJ) determined that Trump did not violate campaign finance law during the call. The DOJ had received a letter from the IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson, addressed to Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, that referenced the Trump-Zelensky phone call as a potential violation of campaign finance law.

Trump Wants Transparency to Whistleblower Complaint

At a press conference at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 25, Trump said he told members of the House of Representatives that he supports transparency for the alleged whistleblower.

He also said that he told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Republican members that he “fully supports transparency on the so-called whistleblower information, even though it was secondhand information, which is interesting.”

The president said he also insists on “transparency from Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden on the millions of dollars that have quickly and easily taken out of Ukraine and China.

“Millions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars taken out very rapidly while he was vice president and I think he should have transparency about that,” he said.

Zelensky told reporters before a bilateral meeting with Trump on Sept. 25 that the phone call he had with Trump was “normal.”

“We had, I think, good phone call … nobody pushed me.”

Epoch Times reporters Zachary Stieber and Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

UPDATE: The headline of this article was updated on Sept. 26 to focus on the potential public release of the now-declassified whistleblower complaint.

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