President Trump asked Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to have Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate the origins of the Mueller probe, according to a transcript of a phone conversation between the two leaders made public by the White House on Wednesday morning.
Trump suggested that Giuliani look into Ukrainian involvement in Russian-led efforts to disrupt the 2016 presidential elections.
“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine,” Trump said. “They say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people … The server, they say Ukraine has it.”
Crowdstrike was one of the cybersecurity companies hired to investigate cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee in 2016. The companies traced the hacks to Russian intelligence services.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed on Wednesday that “A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”
It was Zelensky, however, who first suggested that Trump send Giuliani to Ukraine to meet with him. Zelensky also told Trump he was intent on rooting out endemic corruption in the country.
Trump released the transcript of the call after Democrats accused the President of pressuring Zelensky to investigate the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, who used to have business holdings in Ukraine.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she would begin an impeachment inquiry against Trump.