WASHINGTON (AP) – A whistle blew, an impeachment investigation kicked in and the president at the center of it stood defiantly in defense of himself, not always in charge of the facts.
A CIA official, in a complaint filed under federal protections that preserve anonymity, alleged that President Donald Trump abused his office by pushing for a Ukrainian investigation by a Democratic rival, Joe Biden. This revelation convinced Democrats to move forward with an investigation that could produce impeachment articles. Trump reacted angrily, with weekend tweets making the unfounded accusation that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee leading the impeachment review, criticized him "illegally."
A look at Trump's recent words on impeachment, Ukraine and other topics:
TRUMP: “Liddle & # 39; Adam Schiff … fraudulently and illegally inserted his invented and distorted words into my connection with the Ukrainian president to make it look like I did something very wrong. He then read these words boldly to Congress and millions of people, defaming me and defaming me. ”- tweets Saturday.
THE FACTS: He is exaggerating Schiff's exaggerations. The California Democrat, in what he said was a parody during a committee hearing, mocked and overstated the president's pleas in his July 25 appeal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as Trump routinely does his critics. Schiff's remarks are neither illegal nor defamatory or defamatory because lawmakers are protected from liability for comments made during Congress under the "speech or debate" clause in the Constitution, which seeks to promote political debate.
During the House intelligence committee hearing on Thursday, Schiff made it clear that he was providing an account that was "essentially" what he believed Trump was passing on to Zelenskiy when "devoid of his rambling character."
No exact transcript of Trump's comments with the President of Ukraine really exists, just a rough transcript released by the White House.
TRUMP, describing the July 25 call with his Ukrainian colleague: “Another fake news! See what was said on the connection very nice without pressure. ”- Tweet Thursday.
TRUMP: “My call was perfect.” Comments reporters Thursday.
THE FACTS: It's a big effort for Trump to say that he didn't press Zelenskiy into that call – a conversation marked by Trump's blunt remark: "I would like you to do us a favor," according to a White House report. the call.
Trump urged Zelenskiy repeatedly to help investigate Biden and his son Hunter, as well as to investigate a cyber security firm that investigated the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack and concluded that it was carried out by Russia.
The call followed a month-long campaign by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, conducted on Trump's behalf to persuade Ukrainians to examine Hunter Biden's business in Ukraine when Joe Biden was vice president. It also followed Trump's abrupt suspension of military aid to Ukraine that Congress approved. The aid was recently released.
When Zelenskiy thanked Trump for previous US assistance and suggested that his country might need more, Trump changed the topic to the investigation he wanted Ukraine to do. He asked Zelenskiy to work with Attorney General William Barr and Giuliani on the matter.
As for the call being “perfect,” it was really worrying enough that White House lawyers would transfer a rude transcript to a highly secure system where fewer employees would have access to it than is usually the case with conversations between Trump and world leaders. . .
The summons and broader effort to seek foreign government assistance on a matter that could benefit Trump's reelection were what triggered the impeachment investigation.
TRUMP, reporting whistleblower information: “All second-hand information that proved so inaccurate.” – tweeted Friday.
THE FACTS: The complainant's accusations have not been shown to be incorrect. Several important details have been corroborated. For example, the White House account of the July 25 telephone call showed that the whistleblower accurately summarized the conversation, as relayed by unidentified US officials, in the complaint sent to the interim director of national intelligence.
TRUMP: “I want to see other countries helping Ukraine too, not just us. As always, the United States helps and no one else is there. ”- comments to reporters Wednesday.
TRUMP: "I would withhold it again and I will continue to withhold it until Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine. Because they are not doing this; it is the United States.… Why is only the United States investing the money?" Reporters.
THE FACTS: It's not just the US that is putting money in. It is false to say "no one else is there".
European Union institutions provided much more development assistance than the US – compared to Washington's $ 204 million. EU members, Japan and Canada also contribute significantly.
Since 2014, EU and European financial institutions have mobilized more than $ 16 billion to help Ukraine's economy, fight corruption, build institutions and strengthen its sovereignty against other incursions from Russia following the annexation of Crimea.
The US is a heavy source of military assistance. Trump's recently released aid package totaled nearly $ 400 million in such aid. But NATO also contributes a variety of military assistance programs and trust funds to Ukraine. In most cases, the programs are modest and NATO countries, except the US, take the lead.
TRUMP, in the July 25 call with the Ukrainian leader: “Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk. ”- according to the report of the White House conversation, released Wednesday.
Germany is the third largest bilateral donor to Ukraine, after the EU and the US.
"Anyone who sees this soberly will conclude that Germany is heavily involved," said Rainer Breul, a spokesman for the German foreign ministry.
TRUMP: “It's embarrassing what Democrats do nothing (the impeachment blow), but it's also embarrassing what they are NOT doing,… Security with guns… and more!” – tweeted Saturday.
TRUMP, speaking of Democratic Sen. Connecticut: “Chris Murphy – who I've been dealing with guns – you know, how cool. He always says, "Oh no, we want …