The latest 'smoking gun' Democrats have been clinging to in search of that ever-elusive Trump impeachment may have just imploded - after the Washington Post quietly reported on Friday evening that a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not contain an explicit quid pro quo if Ukraine launched an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son as initially reported.
While President Trump did reportedly "pressure the recently elected leader to more aggressively pursue" the investigation, "Trump did not raise the issue of American military and intelligence aid that had been pledged to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo in that call."
Of course, it has been reported that there were multiple calls - however one might think that the Washington Post's super high-level anonymous government source would have access to the others as well, and ostensibly would have leaked the most damaging information available.
The call is part of a broader set of facts included in the whistleblower complaint that is at the center of a showdown between the executive branch and Congress, with officials in the Trump administration refusing to divulge any information about the substance of an Aug. 12 report to the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community.
The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president. -Washington Post
So - the current US president asked Ukraine to conduct a legal investigation into the former US Vice President, who openly bragged about withholding $1 billion in US loan guarantees unless they fired the guy investigating his son and his son's company - and there was no quid pro quo offered in exchange for that investigation - at least not on that phone call.
Given all the attention that the MSM and Congressional Democrats have poured into their latest smoking squirt gun, they continue to ignore whatever shady schemes Biden may have engaged in - and are instead pushing the 'Trump election interference' and 'white house cover-up' angles, after the Trump administration prevented acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire from sharing material contained in a whistleblower complaint about the phone call(s).
The issue has become a source of tension between the White House and the office of the DNI, with Maguire forced into the position of fending off lawmakers’ demands — citing jurisdictional objections — while the White House avoids asserting executive privilege or taking a clear legal position.
Maguire’s scheduled testimony in open session before the House Intelligence Committee next week could force the White House’s hand. He is almost certain to face questions about any direction he has taken from the White House.
Maguire has also turned to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel for guidance on the matter, according to a senior administration official who said, “Those consultations are ongoing. At no time has Pat Cipollone personally directed the DNI to withhold information from Congress.” -Washington Post
Earlier Friday, President Trump downplayed 'whistleblowergate' as "ridiculous," describing the whistleblower as "partisan" and reiterating that Biden should be investigated.
"I'll tell you this, somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement where He talked about billions of dollars that he's not giving to a certain country unless a certain prosecutor is taken off the case. So, somebody ought to look into that and you wouldn't because he's a Democrat. And the fake news doesn't look into things like that, it's a disgrace," Trump told reporters at the White House.
The president then warned the press that they're completely wrong on this story, noting ""You've had a very bad week, and this will be better than all of 'em, this is another one. So keep playing it out because you're gonna look really bad when it falls, and I guess I'm about 22 and 0 and I'll keep it that way."
"...keep asking questions and building it up as big as possible so you can have a bigger downfall."
On Thursday, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani defended his discussions with Ukraine, telling CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday that the topic of Biden's dealings in Ukraine were 'tangential' to the 2016 election interference question - in which a Ukrainian court ruled that government officials meddled for Hillary in 2016 by releasing details of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's 'Black Book' to Clinton campaign staffer Alexandra Chalupa.
CNN's @ChrisCuomo: "Did you ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?"@RudyGiuliani: "Of course I did"— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) September 20, 2019
President Trump's attorney says he had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden's son. pic.twitter.com/hqmqtmx2VW
And now we find out that Trump never offered a quid pro quo, as initially reported.