The Latest: Schiff says complaint reads like crime shakedown

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Adam Schiff

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters about the release by the White House of a transcript of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democrats are now launching a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Rep. Schiff characterized Trump’s words saying, “this is how a mafia boss talks.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on testimony by the acting director of national intelligence and a whistleblower complaint (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says President Donald Trump’s actions detailed in a newly released whistleblower complaint read like “a classic organized crime shakedown.”

Schiff on Thursday opened a hearing with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. Maguire released the complaint to Congress and the public this week after weeks of delay.

The complaint details a call between Trump and Ukraine’s president in which Trump pressures the leader to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Democrats have criticized Maguire for withholding the complaint.

Schiff says the whistleblower shows “more of a dedication of country, more of an understanding of the president’s oath of office, than the president himself.”

Trump has denied doing anything wrong.

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9:10 a.m.

The White house claims the intelligence whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s efforts to seek dirt from Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden “shows nothing improper.”

Press secretary Stephanie Grisham argues the complaint “is nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings.”

Grisham adds that Trump released a rough transcript of his call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday “because he has nothing to hide.”

House Democrats who have read the document say it’s “deeply disturbing.”

Grisham says, “The White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats and many in the main stream media.”

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9:05 a.m.

The intelligence whistleblower’s complaint at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment probe into President Donald Trump raises concerns about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s role in seeking assistance from Ukraine to benefit the president’s 2020 reelection campaign.

The redacted and anonymous complaint was released Thursday by the House intelligence committee.

The complaint suggests that Ukrainian leadership was “led to believe” that a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was conditioned on whether Zelenskiy “showed willingness to ‘play ball'” on issues raised by Giuliani.

Giuliani had publicly stated his intention to secure from Ukraine derogatory information about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The complaint also details concerns from U.S. officials about “Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes.”

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8:50 a.m.

In the days following the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s new president, senior White House officials intervened to “lock down” all records of the call. That’s according to a declassified whistleblower complaint released Thursday by the House Intelligence Committee.

The complaint says that the whistleblower learned about the effort from “multiple U.S. officials.”

Committee members are hearing testimony Thursday on the complaint and details of the July 25 call on which Trump prodded Ukraine’s leader to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.

Trump has said he’s done nothing wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry.

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8:40 a.m.

The House Intelligence Committee has released a redacted version of a whistleblower complaint at the center of Democrats’ impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers began reviewing a classified version of the complaint Wednesday evening ahead of testimony Thursday morning by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. House Democrats who have read the document say it’s “deeply disturbing.”

The whistleblower’s identity has not been made public.

The complaint is at least in part related to a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump prodded Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.

The White House released a rough transcript of that call Wednesday morning.

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7:50 a.m.

Members of Congress have a redacted, declassified version of an intelligence whistleblower complaint that is at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly says the redacted complaint is expected to be released Thursday morning. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Lawmakers began reviewing a classified version of the complaint Wednesday evening ahead of testimony Thursday morning by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

The complaint is at least in part related to a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump prodded Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden. The White House released a rough transcript of that call Wednesday morning.

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12:35 a.m.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is set to speak publicly for the first time about a secret whistleblower complaint involving President Donald Trump as House Democrats who have read the document say it is “deeply disturbing.”

Maguire is not expected to reveal many details about the substance of the complaint when he testifies before the House intelligence committee Thursday morning, but House Democrats who are now mulling Trump’s impeachment are hoping he will explain why he withheld it from Congress for weeks.

The complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower, the document at the center of a firestorm about Trump’s handling of Ukraine, was made available to members of House and Senate intelligence committees Wednesday after Maguire had initially determined they couldn’t see it.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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