AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s ‘learn the transcript’ impeachment cry


WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been his drumbeating demand for greater than every week: “Read the transcript!”

“Just read the transcript.”

“Can’t we read English?”

“Just read the Transcript, everything else is made up garbage.”


People have learn the transcript , although, and that’s why President Donald Trump has an impeachment drawback.

The whistleblower, the tough transcript of the July 25 telephone name between Trump and Ukraine’s chief, and the phrases of a succession of profession civil servants and Trump political appointees introduced earlier than Congress are largely in sync.

Together they’ve stitched an account that exhibits Trump urgent for a political favor from a international chief and, as key testimony has it, conditioning navy assist on getting what he needed.

Trump’s protection, because the House prepares to open its public hearings on the matter within the coming week, has been to level to his personal problematic phrases within the Ukraine telephone name, declare them to be exonerating, and repeat.

In the face of plentiful proof that the whistleblower stays engaged, Trump suggests the whistleblower has skulked away. Political loyalists who tried to do Trump’s bidding with Ukraine are lumped with profession diplomats as “Never Trumpers.”

He assails the whistleblower’s account of the telephone name as “sooo wrong, not even close,” although the official White House account of the decision that got here out afterward confirmed the whistleblower acquired the small print proper.

“Once I released the actual call, their entire case fell apart,” Trump mentioned of Democrats. The tough transcript really helped gas the inquiry as a result of it affirmed and fleshed out the whistleblower’s account.

Over the previous week, Trump approached the spectacle of public hearings within the impeachment inquiry with comprehensible frustration but additionally a flawed account of the circumstances behind them.

A take a look at remarks by the president and his allies on this and different issues:


TRUMP: “It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS.” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: The listening to is a listening to, not a trial, and it’s unfolding based on the standard course of.

Trump is right that he and his authorized crew are excluded from public hearings that start Wednesday, however he hasn’t been charged with something and has no constitutional proper to be represented by a lawyer on this continuing.

In that sense, his place isn’t a lot completely different from felony suspects who’re being investigated however haven’t been charged, or from previous presidents at this stage of impeachment proceedings.

The coming public hearings led by the House Intelligence Committee are akin to the investigative part of felony circumstances, typically carried out in non-public and with out the participation of the particular person beneath investigation.

But in future House Judiciary Committee hearings that presumably would consequence within the drafting of impeachment articles, Trump can be invited to attend and his legal professionals might query witnesses and object to testimony and proof, just like the method within the impeachment proceedings in opposition to Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

If there’s a Senate trial, Trump’s authorized crew would defend the president in opposition to impeachment articles permitted by the House in an setting that will appear like a typical trial in some respects.


TRUMP: “The whistleblower disappeared.” — Louisiana rally on Wednesday.

TRUMP, talking in regards to the interval after he launched a tough transcript of his telephone name with Ukraine’s president: “You haven’t heard about the whistleblower after that, have you?” — Kentucky rally on Monday.

THE FACTS: The whistleblower didn’t disappear after the White House, in late September, launched a tough transcript of Trump’s name with Ukraine’s president. In reality, the whistleblower is providing to reply written questions by GOP lawmakers, however to date Republicans have rebuffed him.

Trump’s suggestion is that the whistleblower’s account is fake, and so the particular person has vanished, however key particulars have been corroborated by folks with firsthand data of the occasions who’ve appeared on Capitol Hill.

The tough transcript of the July 25 telephone name additionally confirmed that the whistleblower had precisely summarized the dialog within the grievance despatched to the appearing director of nationwide intelligence.

The whistleblower has provided by way of his or her legal professionals to reply questions immediately from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee “in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury.” But House Republicans, who’re desirous about exposing the whistleblower’s id, need that official to seem on the public hearings .

U.S. whistleblower legal guidelines exist to guard the id and careers of people that convey ahead accusations of wrongdoing by authorities officers. Lawmakers in each events have traditionally backed these protections.


TRUMP, on the whistleblower: “He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!” — tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s stance on offering written solutions in a federal investigation is a turnabout from a couple of months in the past.

Trump himself refused to supply something however written solutions in response to restricted questions in the course of the particular counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the course of the 2016 election.


TRUMP, on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee: “How about Schiff? He makes up a conversation, he gets up before the United States Congress, he repeats my conversation with the head of the Ukraine … it was a total lie, and then I actually went and released the actual conversation.” — Kentucky rally on Monday.

THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating the episode and botching the timeline.

Schiff delivered what he known as a parody of Trump’s remarks within the president’s July 25 telephone name with Ukraine’s chief.

Schiff did so after the White House launched a tough transcript of the decision, not earlier than, as Trump states. So individuals who learn the official account knew Schiff was riffing from it, not quoting from it.


SEN. RAND PAUL, R-Ky., arguing the whistleblower must be made to return ahead so Trump can interact with that official: “Enshrined in the 6th Amendment is the right to confront your accuser.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Paul omits key phrases from the beginning of the Sixth Amendment: “In all criminal prosecutions.”

Trump isn’t dealing with an accuser in a felony continuing. The hearings are a political continuing.

Moreover, the whistleblower’s account has been substantiated by a number of on-the-record accounts of presidency officers and the tough transcript of Trump’s telephone name with Ukraine’s president that the White House launched.

The Sixth Amendment ensures a lawyer for felony defendants and the best to confront their accusers. As it occurs, the impeachment course of additionally is printed within the Constitution and it provides the House the only real energy to question and the Senate the only real energy to take away an official, together with the president, from workplace.


WHITE HOUSE: “Before there was a whistleblower, there was the whistleblower’s attorney_tweeting about overthrowing the government because he didn’t like the election results.” — tweet Thursday.

TRUMP: “Coup has started, whistleblower’s attorney said in 2017. Do you know when that was? That was a long time ago. It’s all a hoax. They say January 2017 a coup has started, and the impeachment will follow ultimately. It’s all — it’s all a hoax.” — Louisiana rally on Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump and his crew can’t be faulted for believing that Mark Zaid, one of many whistleblower’s attorneys, has it out for the president.

That doesn’t imply Zaid could be dismissed as a Democratic partisan.

The longtime Washington lawyer has represented folks in each events, causes pricey to every aspect and a line of whistleblowers.

Trump and his crew are pointing to a January 2017 tweet by Zaid, who says he’s a registered unbiased, wherein he writes “#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately.”

That tweet was in response to information that Trump had fired appearing Attorney General Sally Yates after she refused to implement a ban on journey for folks residing in a number of predominantly Muslim international locations.

Some of Zaid’s authorized work over time has concerned points near Trump, corresponding to his problem of Hillary Clinton’s use of a non-public e mail server.

Zaid represented a veterans’ group in a lawsuit in opposition to the State Department that sought information of Clinton’s response to the Benghazi, Libya, assaults as secretary of state. The swimsuit focused Clinton’s reliance on the non-public server for presidency communication, saying “it may have been a deliberate attempt to shield communications from capture by governmental systems and the public’s eye.”

He additionally represented CIA contractors who had been in Benghazi on the night time of the assaults.

Zaid served as an lawyer for the late Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and The Daily Caller, a conservative publication, in public information fits in opposition to the federal authorities.

Zaid now says his reference to a “coup” referred to these working within the Trump administration who had been standing as much as the president to assist implement the rule of legislation.



TRUMP, on former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter: “Now look the $1.5 billion that Hunter … got a lot of money from Ukraine, but he got $1.5 billion from China. …They gave him $1.5 billion, he will make millions and millions with that. …I think they would love to see another president.” — Kentucky rally.

THE FACTS: There’s no proof Hunter Biden pocketed $1.5 billion from China. More typically, accusations of felony wrongdoing by father or son are unsubstantiated.

The impeachment course of was sparked by Trump’s strain on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to analyze Joe and Hunter Biden when the daddy was vice chairman and his son in worldwide enterprise. He has additionally urged China to analyze.

In 2014, an funding fund began by Hunter Biden and different traders joined with international and Chinese non-public fairness companies in an effort to lift $1.5 billion to take a position outdoors China. That’s removed from giving Hunter Biden such a sum, as Trump describes it.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, says his consumer was an unpaid director of the fund on the time and pocketed nothing.

“To date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors,” Mesires mentioned, referring to the fund. “He has not received any return on his investment.”



TRUMP: “Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing – and then he (Newsom) comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states.” — tweet Sunday.

THE FACTS: Not true. There are far fewer acres burned in California than different locations corresponding to Alaska.

So far this yr, barely greater than 266,000 acres of California have burned in additional than 7,700 fires. That’s fewer than current years for California, however the fires command consideration as a result of they’re near folks.

While Alaska has had solely 700 fires, it has misplaced 2.57 million acres to wildfires this yr, greater than 9 occasions as a lot as California, based on statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center.

The Great Basin, Southern and Southwestern areas have all had greater than 440,000 acres burned this yr, way over California.

“Fire is increasing everywhere because of climate change, but the impacts on people are more directly observable in California because of its population and wealth,” mentioned LeRoy Westerling, a fireplace knowledgeable on the University of California, Merced.


TRUMP: “The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met he must ‘clean’ his forest floors, regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers.” — tweet Sunday.

THE FACTS: Trump is sidestepping duty. Of the 33 million acres of forest land in California, 57% is owned and managed by the federal authorities, 40% by non-public landowners and three% by the state, based on Newsom’s workplace, Forest Unlimited and the University of California’s Forest Research and Outreach heart.

Many of the current fires aren’t in forests however shrub, agricultural space and grasslands the place forest administration isn’t a difficulty, University of Alberta fireplace knowledgeable Mike Flannigan mentioned.

Chris Field, director of the Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment, mentioned Trump is true to say California must be doing extra to cut back the dangers.

“I agree with the president that fuel reduction and fire breaks are important,” he mentioned. “But they are just the beginning. We also need to upgrade homes and businesses to make them more fire resistant, improve defensible spaces around buildings, and limit ignitions, including from downed power lines.”

While California is rising its spending for decreasing fuels for fireplace by about $200 million for 5 years, federal officers are crying for cash, Westerling mentioned.

The National Forest Service’s California workplace says it wants $300 million extra a yr to satisfy its aim of restoring 500,000 acres per yr, up from 200,000 acres yearly.


Associated Press writers Mark Sherman, Eric Tucker and Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.


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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures


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