The Trump administration released the transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday, a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against the U.S. leader.
Wall Street shrugged off the release of the document and the impeachment inquiry. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was slightly higher, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were both slightly lower after the release.
In the call, Trump raised unsubstantiated allegations that the former vice president sought to interfere with a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation of his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that,” Trump said to Zelenskiy.
Trump came under fire after a whistleblower complaint alleged he pressured Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine — prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens. Trump has denied that charge, but acknowledged he blocked the funds, later released.
Biden is currently one of the frontrunners among Democratic candidates looking to challenge Trump for the White House in 2020.
At the exact time of the Ukraine call transcript release, Trump tweeted a video of Pelosi speaking on the House floor during the impeachment proceedings of former President Bill Clinton.
Later, the Trump campaign issued a statement, taking aim at Democrats and some media outlets.
“Because of their pure hatred for President Trump, desperate Democrats and the salivating media already had determined their mission: take out the President,” said Brad Parscale, the manager of Trump’s re-election campaign. “The fact is that the President wants to fight the corruption in Washington, where the Bidens, the Clintons, and other career politicians have abused their power for personal gain for decades. The facts prove the President did nothing wrong. This is just another hoax from Democrats and the media, contributing to the landslide re-election of President Trump in 2020.”
Pelosi also issued a statement, saying, in part: “The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.”
Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and former first lady, tweeted shortly after the release, saying she supports impeachment.
“The president of the United States has betrayed our country,” Clinton said in a tweet on Wednesday. “That’s not a political statement—it’s a harsh reality, and we must act. He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. I support impeachment.”
The impeachment inquiry into Trump, announced Tuesday by Pelosi, focuses partly on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government to undermine Biden and help his own reelection effort. Pelosi said Tuesday such actions would mark a “betrayal of his oath of office” and declared, “No one is above the law.”
Major stock indexes slid Tuesday after Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry, prompting speculation that political turmoil would undermine business-friendly initiatives from the White House.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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