At Least 22 Government Officials Are Implicated In The Whistleblower Memo
A thorough reading of the whistleblower complaint alleging that President Donald Trump engaged in an abuse of power during his July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine reveals as many as 22 government officials who are implicated in the scheme.
The whistleblower complaint rocked Washington, D.C., last week after its release, along with a transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During that phone call, Trump implied that his dealings with Ukraine would be dependent on the country investigating his potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as the Trump team’s theory that Democrats worked with Ukrainian officials to influence the 2016 election.
The release of the documents resulted in the declaration of a formal impeachment inquiry in the House and calls for the president to resign.
Slate put together a helpful list detailing each time the intelligence community whistleblower referenced individuals who either were present during the call or aware of the circumstances surrounding it but failed to take appropriate action.
Instead, these officials “voiced their concerns in private,” according to the whistleblower, or “sought to ‘lock down’ records of the call,” Slate noted. Both actions suggest it was clear to those who were privy to the phone call that Trump’s behavior was inappropriate.
In determining the approximate number of officials who appear to have been aware of the situation but failed to act, Slate counted instances where the whistleblower said “multiple” people as two individuals, and where “several” were reference, Slate counted three individuals.
In some references, the whistleblower provided their own number of individuals.
• “Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort.” ~6 people
• “Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests.” ~2 people
• “Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call – a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary.” ~12 people
• “In addition to the White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.” 1 person
• “I was not the only non-White House official to receive a readout of the call. Based on my understanding, multiple State Department and Intelligence Community officials were also briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.” ~2 people
• “In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced – as is customary – by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.” ~2 people
• “I also learned from multiple US. officials that, on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President’s advisers, Andriy Yermak. The US. officials characterized this meeting, which was not reported publicly at the time, as a ‘direct follow-up’ to the President’s call with Mr. about the ‘cases’ they had discussed.” ~2 people
• “Separately, multiple US. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov. I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr. Giuliani, but I was told separately by multiple US. officials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel to Washington in mid-August.” ~2 people
• “Around the same time, I also learned from a US official that associates of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” 1 person
• “However, several US officials told me that, in fact, her [former Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Louise Yovanovitch] tour was curtailed because of pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations. Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador Yovanovitch was ‘removed … because she was part of the efforts against the President.’ ” ~3 people
• “Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple US officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President.” ~2 people
• “State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to ‘contain the damage’ to US. national security.” 2 people
• “During this same timeframe, multiple US. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to ‘play ball’ on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.” ~2 people
Slate noted that the final rough tally — which is 22 individuals with knowledge of the phone call or the circumstances surrounding it — could involve overlap, as the whistleblower only identifies three officials by name.
However, it is also “also possible that the total number of government workers with knowledge of these events is higher, as well, if the references to ‘multiple’ and ‘several’ are more than two and three.”