2020 Democrats seize on Trump, Ukraine transcript: 'This is a smoking gun'

2020 Democrats seize on Trump, Ukraine transcript: 'This is a smoking gun'
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Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday seized on a newly released memorandum of a July phone call showing President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE expressed hope that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could “look into” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC On The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC MORE (D-Mass.), one of the primary field’s front-runners and a fierce supporter of impeachment, called the transcript a “smoking gun,” adding that Trump “is in very deep jeopardy.”

“They admit it: Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to work with the U.S. Attorney General to investigate a political opponent. He must be impeached,” added Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDemocrats learn hard truths about Capitol breach Harris calls for pathway to citizenship for Dreamers on DACA anniversary Abbott says he'll solicit public donations for border wall MORE (D-Calif.).

“This is the smoking gun,” echoed former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, adding that Congress should cancel its upcoming recess to begin impeachment proceedings. 

Other 2020 Democrats also weighed in on the document, with entrepreneur Tom SteyerTom SteyerTop 12 political donors accounted for almost 1 of every 13 dollars raised since 2009: study California Democrats weigh their recall options Why we should be leery of companies entering political fray MORE labeling Trump a “traitor” over his request to Zelensky.


The five-page memorandum shows Trump asked Zelensky to look into Biden’s role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a natural gas company on whose board Biden's son sat. No evidence has emerged that Biden, who is also a 2020 White House hopeful, was working with his son’s interests in mind.

“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 so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great," Trump said on the July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart. "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. ... It sounds horrible to me.” 

The memorandum, which is not a verbatim transcript of the conversation, was released a day after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene after her apology Democrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol on Jan. 6 MORE (D-Calif.) announced the House was launching a formal impeachment investigation that was triggered by Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Democrats have expressed concerns that Trump pressured Kiev into opening a probe into Biden and may have leveraged military aid to do so. 

The conversation also led to a whistleblower complaint that expressed alarm over a “promise” Trump made. The White House will provided a copy of the complaint to Congress.