The White House and the Justice Department learned about a CIA officer’s concerns about President Donald Trump around the same time the individual filed a whistleblower complaint that is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry, according to a U.S. official and another person familiar with the matter.
The new details help flesh out the timeline of how alarm bells about Trump’s call with the Ukraine leader, in which he pressed for an investigation of a political rival, reverberated across the U.S. government and inside the upper ranks of its intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
The controversy centers on a summertime phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to help investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript the White House provided on Wednesday. A whistleblower’s complaint released on Thursday alleged a concerted White House effort to suppress the transcript of the call and described a shadow campaign of diplomacy by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
A new poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist, which was taken before yesterday’s hearing, found that Americans are split, 49%-46%, on the House impeachment inquiry. The same poll found that half of independents, 50%, disapprove of inquiry and 52% said they don’t think it’s worth it if the Senate doesn’t convict. All in all, 71% of the 864 Americans surveyed said they’ve been following the news, and pollsters say new developments could change public opinion.
We want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the impeachment inquiry? Given what you’ve learned this week, does this rise to the level of impeachment? If so, should Dems pursue the inquiry? And should the whistleblower testify? Call us and weigh in at 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press