WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump (all times local):
The disclosure of a second whistleblower threatens to undermine arguments made by President Donald Trump and his allies that a whistleblower complaint was improperly filed because it was largely based on secondhand information.
Attorney Mark Zaid told The Associated Press in a text message Sunday that the second whistleblower, who also works in intelligence, has spoken to the intelligence community’s internal watchdog. This person hasn’t filed a complaint but does have “firsthand knowledge that supported” the original whistleblower.
Trump has rejected the accusations he did anything improper.
The original whistleblower, a CIA officer, filed a formal complaint with the inspector general on Aug. 12 that triggered the impeachment inquiry being led by House Democrats. The complaint alleged Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 election.
A spokeswoman for Energy Secretary Rick Perry says Perry encouraged President Donald Trump to speak to the Ukrainian leader in a call at the center of a House impeachment probe. But spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes says Perry was wanting Trump to speak on energy matters with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The July 25 call saw Trump press the Ukrainian president to investigate rival Joe Biden and his son.
Trump told House Republicans Friday night it was Perry who teed up that call. That’s according to a person familiar with Trump’s comments who was granted anonymity to discuss them. The person says Trump did not suggest that Perry had anything to do with the pressure to investigate the Bidens.
Hynes says Perry’s interest in Ukraine is part of U.S. efforts to boost Western energy ties to Eastern Europe.
—Associated Press writers Ellen Knickmeyer and Alan Fram.
A second whistleblower has spoken to the intelligence community’s internal watchdog and has information that supports an original whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
That’s according to a lawyer for the original whistleblower, who filed a formal complaint with the inspector general last month that’s triggered the impeachment inquiry.
Lawyer Mark Zaid tells The Associated Press in a text message that the second whistleblower, who also works in intelligence, hasn’t filed a complaint with the inspector general but has “firsthand knowledge that supported” the original whistleblower.
The original whistleblower complained that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 U.S. election.
Trump and his supporters have rejected the accusations that he did anything improper.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department intends to follow the law as House Democrats seek documents and other information about President Donald Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a political opponent.
What the law requires of the Trump administration in terms of meeting Democrats’ demands has been a subject of dispute. Pompeo says his department has yet to turn over any documents but intends to follow a proper review.
Pompeo has become a key figure in the Democrats’ investigation. He was on the line during the July phone call in which Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter despite no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.