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Stocks Slightly Lower Following Release Of Trump Whistleblower Complaint

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Stocks Slightly Lower Following Release Of Trump Whistleblower Complaint

The House of Representatives released the redacted whistleblower complaint Thursday that alleges that President Donald Trump used the power of his office to attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election.

What Happened

The nine-page complaint accuses Trump of asking Ukraine’s president for help investigating Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during a July 25 phone call. The complaint also details actions the whistleblower said Trump took to suppress information related to that call.

The whistleblower said Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr have also been involved in the effort.

White House officials that were present during Trump’s July 25 phone call were "deeply disturbed," according to the complaint. 

“They told me that there was already a ‘discussion ongoing’ with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain,” the whistleblower said.

In the days following the phone call, the White House took steps to remove all records of the call, including the written transcript, the complaint said.

“White House officials told me that they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.” 

The whistleblower’s account of what transpired is based on allegations by more than half a dozen officials.

Why It’s Important

The whistleblower account of Trump allegedly soliciting a foreign power to investigate a political rival will likely be central to House Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s behavior amounted to a “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of integrity of our elections.”

Trump dismissed the allegations and the impeachment efforts in all caps on Twitter Thursday morning.

“THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR. STICK TOGETHER, PLAY THEIR GAME, AND FIGHT HARD REPUBLICANS,” Trump tweeted.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning regarding the whistleblower complaint.

"First, I want to stress I believe the whistle-blower and the inspector general have acted in good faith throughout," Maguire said in his opening statement.

"I have every reason to believe that they have done everything by the book and followed the law.”

Despite the political turmoil in Washington, investors have seemed mostly indifferent to the headlines so far this week.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) was down 0.2% Thursday morning and is down just 0.4% since last week’s close.

According to online prediction market PredictIt, Trump’s chances of completing his first term in office have dropped from 83% to 74% in the past week. In that time, the Democrats’ chances of winning the 2020 presidential election have increased from 57% to 58%.

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President Donald Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zalensky on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the InterContinental New York Barclay in New York City. White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

Posted-In: Donald Trump Impeachment Joseph Maguire Nancy PelosiGovernment Politics Top Stories General Best of Benzinga

 

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