💬 Robin Wright, The New Yorker:
Most basically, the President’s explanation of the phone call, that he was simply fighting corruption in Ukraine, runs counter to the emerging timeline—and the facts. On July 18th, the Pentagon and the State Department were informed that the President had decided to suspend almost four hundred million dollars in aid to the new government of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who took office in May. On July 25th, Trump called Zelensky and, as he admits, discussed former Vice-President Joe Biden, whose son Hunter had done business in Ukraine. Trump also urged the young Ukrainian leader—eight times, according to the Wall Street Journal—to investigate the Bidens for corruption. In early August, Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer, met with a representative of Zelensky’s government in Spain and, according to the Times, again urged an investigation of the Bidens. Three weeks after Trump had frozen the funds, the aid had still not been released. On August 12th, an anonymous whistle-blower in the U.S. intelligence community filed a complaint involving communications between Trump and Zelensky. On September 9th, members of Congress were notified of the whistle-blower’s complaint and demanded that it be released. Finally, on September 11th, the Administration released aid to Ukraine, which faces existential military challenges from Russia.
And that is all for this edition of But That Timeline Though.