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 John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE expressed hope that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could “look into” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSupport for impeachment inches up in poll Overnight Defense: Trump's Syria envoy wasn't consulted on withdrawal | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump to rethink Syria | Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment MORE

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Mellman: Trumping peace and prosperity On The Money: Waters clashes with Trump officials over 'disastrous' housing finance plan | Dems jump into Trump turf war over student loans | House passes bill targeting anonymous shell companies 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 Devi HarrisSaagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump Warren overtakes Sanders in new poll The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces backlash for comparing impeachment to 'lynching' 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 SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr Steyer2020 Democrats criticize Trump invoking lynching: 'Stain on this nation's history' Buttigieg closes on Biden, Warren in Iowa: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges 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 PelosiGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer 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.