Tonight, “60 Minutes” has obtained a letter that indicates the government whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry of President Trump is under federal protection, because he or she fears for their safety. These rapidly developing events began Tuesday when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ordered the investigation based on a phone call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Mr. Trump for missiles, Mr. Trump asks Zelensky for “a favor” to investigate Mr. Trump’s Democratic rivals.
The letter from the whistleblower’s lawyers to the acting director of national intelligence
Democrats say this is the type of collusion that was the focus of the Mueller investigation. And it appears Washington will be immobilized by this, 13 months before election day. President Trump says he is the victim of a Democratic smear, crooked media and treasonous spies. Tonight we will hear from the man in charge of the investigation, the president’s lead defender in Congress and Speaker Pelosi who, for months, resisted impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi: We could not ignore what the president did. He gave us no choice. So it wasn’t any change of mind. I always said we will follow the facts where they take us. And when we see them, we will be ready. And we are ready.
Early last week, details of the president’s phone call filtered out in the press. As some at the Capitol called for impeachment, Mr. Trump phoned Speaker Pelosi to reassure her about the call with Zelensky.
Scott Pelley: He told you about the phone call?
Nancy Pelosi: He told me it was perfect. There was nothing in the call. But I know what was in the call. I mean, it was in the public domain. He didn’t even know that it was wrong. You know, he was saying, “It was perfect. There was nothing wrong.” Well, no, it is wrong. It is wrong for a president to say that he wants you– another head of state– to create something negative about his possible political opponent to his own advantage, at the expense of our national security, his oath of office to the Constitution and the integrity of our elections.
The facts are these: on July 25, Mr. Trump was celebrating his new defense secretary in public, but two hours before, he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky was interested in Javelin anti-tank missiles to defend himself from Russian-backed rebels.
The White House record of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
This is the official White House record of the call. Zelensky: “We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.” Mr. Trump replied, “I would like you to do us a favor though…” Mr. Trump then asked Zelensky to investigate a theory about a supposed Democratic National Committee computer server. “The server,” Mr. Trump said, “they say Ukraine has it…” He offered the assistance of the U.S. government. “I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.”
The call came to light after a U.S. intelligence official heard about it and filed an official government whistleblower complaint. The unnamed intelligence officer writes, “…I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the president of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
The whistleblower complaint
Adam Schiff: Here is our ally, here is Ukraine, struggling militarily to fight off Russian aggression struggling to be a democracy and what is the president telling Ukraine through his words and his deeds.
Democrat Adam Schiff is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in charge of the investigation.
Scott Pelley: Where does your committee take this from here? What’s the procedure?
Adam Schiff: Well, we have a pretty good roadmap– thanks to the courage of this whistleblower. The complaint sets out any number of witnesses, any number of documents that we need to seek.
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