Democrats on Wednesday said they were increasingly disturbed after reviewing a copy of a whistleblower complaint that’s been at the center of a conflict over President Donald Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family.
A select group of lawmakers reviewed the whistleblower complaint Wednesday while on Capitol Hill. While the members of Congress could not disclose details of the whistleblower complaint, several said that it was cause for concern.
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“Having read the documents in there, I’m even more worried about what happened than when I read the memorandum of the conversation,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “There are so many facts that have to be examined. It’s very troubling.”
Schumer called for the report to be made public.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) summarized to CNN the complaint in one word: “disturbing.” He added that the complaint was “extraordinarily detailed” and “very, very well done.”
“It reinforces the concerns that what we previously learned and I think it is a blueprint for what we still need to know,” Quigley said. “It lays out exactly what congress needs to investigate.”
The delivery of the whistleblower complaint to the Hill comes the same day the White House released a transcript of President Donald Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president that confirmed the president requested investigation into Joe Biden and his son. Acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire and intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson are both expected to testify on the Hill Thursday. The release of the complaint comes after initial resistance from the Trump administration.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) derided the Trump administration for initially preventing the report from coming to Congress.
“It is an urgent matter and there was simply no basis to keep this from committee,” Schiff said. “The idea that DOJ would have intervened to prevent it from getting to Congress throws the leadership of the department into ill repute.”
But reaction to the complaint from Republicans was more cautious. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told reporters after reading the complaint that “the administration ought not be attacking the whistleblower as some talking points suggest they plan to do” and that no one should rush to conclusions.
“There are real troubling things here: Republicans ought not just circle the wagons, and Democrats ought not be using words like ‘impeach’ before they knew anything about the actual substance,” Sasse said.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters after reviewing the complaint that he looked forward to receiving more information from Maguire and Atkinson and going from there.
“I think, first of all, in this particular case, there’s not going to be that much information to have to put together, I think that argues for some patience to do that,” Blunt said. “I think being able to ask them questions, look at two different points of view of this, and I think also at some point very quickly, we need to talk to the Justice Department.”
Andrew Desiderio contributed to this report.