The whistleblower complaint filed by an anonymous intelligence official was in reality likely written by the official’s lawyers, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said Friday.
The complaint was filed following a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In recent days, Democrats have focused on the phone call, during which they claim Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden.
As vice president, Biden had threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from the country unless a Ukrainian prosecutor was fired. The prosecutor in question was investigating a company where Hunter Biden served on the board.
The whistleblower’s complaint makes some major allegations against Trump, who the establishment media has been trying to prove expected a sort of “quid pro quo” from his Ukrainian counterpart (i.e. Trump allegedly wanted Zelensky to examine the Biden matter in return for aid and access).
But in the complaint, the whistleblower admits he’s recounting much of the evidence secondhand.
“I was not a direct witness to most of the events described,” the complaint reads.
“However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple ofﬁcials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.”
During an interview Friday on “Fox & Friends,” Sekulow told co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade that the whistleblower should not be viewed as a reliable “witness.”
“So, when you start with a witness saying, Steve and Brian, ‘I have no knowledge of the events I’m depicting here, and I’m basing this on conversations I had with colleagues of mine, and I think they are trustworthy.’ Well, do you know if they heard it correctly? ‘Well, I don’t know because I don’t have firsthand knowledge,'” Sekulow said.
He then suggested the whistleblower was not actually the one who authored the complaint.
“And do you think the whistleblower drafted that complaint? I mean realistically?” he said.
“You think they had help? Did they have help?” Doocy asked.
Sekulow pointed to a variety of reasons that made him think the complaint was penned by lawyers.
“Look at the phraseology, the endnotes and the footnotes,” Sekulow said. “This wasn’t drafted by this individual. This was written by a law firm.”
“And you know what? The American people see it for what it is. No one has the — nobody has the appetite for this anymore. They want to keep doing it? Call for a vote” on impeachment, he said.
“Just go ahead and do it. See what happens.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has responded to the release of the complaint by characterizing it as “nothing more than a collection of thirdhand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings — all of which shows nothing improper,” according to The New York Times.
Trump “has nothing to hide,” she said, and has been transparent throughout the entire process.
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