From CBS News:
Washington — President Trump moved on Wednesday to stave off the most serious threat to his presidency yet, releasing a summary of a conversation with the president of Ukraine that’s at the center of anby House Democrats. In a series of public appearances, Mr. Trump argued the summary cleared him of wrongdoing, despite it showing he the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential Democratic rival.
The developments began Wednesday morning when the Justice Department released a summary of the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The call is included in an anonymousthat the administration initially refused to hand over to Congress, a decision that ultimately led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch an impeachment probe after months of reluctance.
The summary, which was not a verbatim transcript, showed the president urged Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to investigate the aspects of the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, as well as “the other thing” — Biden’s efforts in 2016 to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor widely seen by the West as corrupt.
If Mr. Trump thought releasing the summary of the call would quell his critics or tamper calls for his impeachment, he was mistaken. Democrats reacted with disbelief that the administration would voluntarily offer up the document as exculpatory evidence. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, likened the conversation to a “classic mafia-like shakedown.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “far more damaging to the president’s case than any of us anticipated.”
The whistleblower complaint itself finally reached Capitol Hill, with members of the intelligence committees and party leaders gaining access to the document for the first time late in the afternoon.
The president, flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, began his press conference just before 4:30 p.m. at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Mr. Trump lamented that the press has barely covered his bilateral meetings, because the press is wasting its time on “nonsense.”