Whistleblower complaint accuses Trump administration of pattern of obfuscation: report

The whistleblower complaint at the center of a brewing controversy involving President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE reportedly focuses largely on his contact with Ukrainian officials and alleges a pattern of obfuscation within the White House. 

The Washington Post, citing a person who has read the complaint and spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported early Thursday that the documents are mainly focused on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment Biden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running MORE and his son Hunter Biden over allegations of corruption. 

It also accuses Trump and his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTop diplomat said request for specific probes in Ukraine was 'contrary' to US policy Press: Another billionaire need not apply Condoleezza Rice says reports of an unofficial US policy in Ukraine are 'deeply troubling' MORE of a broad effort to influence Ukrainian officials over time. 

In addition, the complaint alleges that White House officials moved records of some of Trump's contacts with foreign officials onto a separate computer network from which they're usually held, the source told the Post. 

The whistleblower reportedly wrote in the complaint that officials did this after Trump's phone call with Zelensky. The source told the Post that the detail provoked the intelligence community inspector general to call for the White House to retain the records of the leaders' conversation. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Trump has faced mounting scrutiny over revelations that he asked Zelensky to look into matters related to a Democratic political opponent. On Wednesday, the White House released a memo confirming that the president asked the Ukrainian president to work with Giuliani and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGiuliani considers launching impeachment podcast The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment drama will dominate this week Impeachment tests Barr-Trump relationship MORE to investigate the Bidens. 

The request occurred around the same time that Trump delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, raising speculation as to whether he use the aid as part of a quid pro quo. Trump has denied discussing military aid in his conversations with the Ukrainian leader. 

The release of the memo was followed by the House Intelligence Committee gaining access to the contents of the whistleblower complaint. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire had up to then blocked members of Congress from reviewing the documents. 

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) announced late Wednesday that the documents had been declassified. 

Details regarding the public release of the complaint remain unclear, however. House Democrats, who earlier this week launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, have said that the complaint confirmed their concerns about the president's interactions with a foreign leader. 

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN that the complaint was the "political equivalent" of Trump saying during the 2016 campaign that he could "shoot somebody on the street and his base would stay with him."

"It is deeply disturbing. It reinforces the concerns that what we previously learned, and I think it is a blueprint for what we still need to know. It lays out exactly what Congress needs to investigate," Quigley said.