August 12, 2019
The Honorable Richard Burr
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
The Honorable Adam Schiff
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives
Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff:
I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C.
§3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment.
In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S.
Govemment 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 US. election. This interference includes.
among other things. pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main
domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr, Rudolph Giuliani, is a central
ﬁgure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.
– Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. oﬁcials have informed me of
various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in
the course of ofﬁcial interagency business. It is routine for U.S. ofﬁcials with
responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information
with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
. I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. 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.
I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or ﬂagrant
problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of
opinions consenting public policy matters,” consistent with the deﬁnition of an “urgent concern”
in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G). I am therefore fulﬁlling my duty to report this information,
through proper legal channels. to the relevant authorities.
– I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to US. national security and undermine
the [1.5. Government‘s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.
To the best of my knowledge, the entirety of this statement is unclassiﬁed when separated
from the classiﬁed enclosure. I have endeavored to apply the classiﬁcation standards outlined in
Executive Order (E0) l3526 and to separate out information that l know or have reason to
believe is classiﬁed for national security purposes.‘
o If: classiﬁcation marking is applied retroactively, i believe it is incumbent upon the
classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied. and to which speciﬁc
information it pertains.
l. The 25 July Presidential phone call
Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President
Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I do not know which side initiated the call. This was the ﬁrst publicly
acknowledged call between the two leaders since a brief congratulatory call aﬁer Mr. Zelenskyy
won the presidency on 21 April.
Multiple White House oﬁicials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that. after an
initial exchange of pleasantries. the President used the remainder of the call to advance his
personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the
President‘s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House ofﬁcials who had direct
knowledge of the call. the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to. inter alia:
I initiate or continue an investigation2 into the activities of former Vice President Joseph
-Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
– assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US.
presidential election originated in Ukraine. with a speciﬁc request that the Ukrainian
leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Commime (DNC)
and examined by the US. cyber security ﬁrm medstrike,’ which initially reported that
Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
– meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on
these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Anomey General Barr, to whom the President referred
multiple times in tandem.
1 Apart Earn the information in the Enclosure. it is my beliefthat none ofthe information contained herein meets the deﬁnition of “classiﬁed information” oudined in E0 [3516, Put 1. Section 1.1. There is ample open-source information about the efforts 1 describe below. including statements by the President and Mr, Giuliani. In addition.based on my personal observations. there is discretion with respect to the classiﬁcation of private comments by or instructions from the President. including his communications with foreign leaders; information that is not related to US. foreign policy or national security issues as the information contained in this document. When separated from the Enclosure—is generally treated as unclassiﬁed. 1 also believe that applying a classiﬁcation marking to this information would violate E0 13526. Part 1, Section l.7, which states: “in no case shall information be classiﬁed.
continue to he maintained as classiﬁed, or fail to he declassiﬁed in order to: (l) conceal violations of law. inefficiency, or administrative error. [or] (2) prevent embarrassment to a person. organization, or agency.”2 it is unclear whether such aUkrainian investigation exists. See footh-note :57 for additional information.
3 I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine. (See. for example. his comments to Fox News: on 20 July: “And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn’t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC‘?”)
The President also praised Ukraine‘s Prosecutor General. Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko. and suggested
that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position. (Note: Starting in March 2019, Mr.
Lutsenko made a series of public allegations—many of which he later walked back—about the
Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, Ukrainian oﬁicials‘ purported involvement in the 2016 US.
election, and the activities of the US. Embassy in Kyiv. See Part [V for additional context.)
The White House ofﬁcials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had
transpired in the phone call. They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with
White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the ofﬁcials‘
retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his oﬂice for personal gain.
The Ukrainian side was the ﬁrst to publicly acknowledge the phone call. 0n the evening of
25 July. a readout was posted on the website of the Ukrainian President that contained the
following line (translation from original Russian—language readout):
– “Donald Trump expressed his conviction that the new Ukrainian government will be able
to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complge the investigation of corruption cases
that have held back co-operation between Ukraine and the United §tate§.”
Aside from the above-mentioned “cases” purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016
US election, I was told by White House ofﬁcials that no other ”cases” were discussed.
Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House ofﬁcials who
listened to the call—a mixture of policy ofﬁcials and duty officers in the White House Situation
Room, as is customary. The ofﬁcials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not
been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign
leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.
– in addition to White House personnel, l was told that a State Department ofﬁcial, Mr. T.
Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
-I I was not the only non-White House oFﬁciai to receive a readout of the call, Based on my
understanding, multiple State Department and intelligence Community oﬁicials were also
briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.
ll. Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call
in the days following the phone call. I learned Erom multiple US. officials that senior White
House ofﬁcials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call. especially the
official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the White
House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House oﬁicials
understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.
-White House ofﬁcials told me that they were “directed” by White House lawyers to
remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are
typically stored for coordination. ﬁnalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level ofﬁcials.
I Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used
to store and handle classiﬁed information of an especially sensitive nature. One White
House ofﬁcial described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did
not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call.
such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.
111. Ongoing concerns
On 26 July, a day aﬁer the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt
Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy and a variety of Ukrainian political
figures. Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the
European Union Gordon Sondland. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to
me by various U.S. ofﬁcials, Ambassadors Volker and Sondland reportedly provided advice to
the Ukrainian leadership about how to ”navigate” the demands that the President had made of
I also learned from multiple U.S. officials on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly
traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President Zelenskyy’s advisers, Andriy Yermalk. The
U.S. ofﬁcials characterized this meeting, which was not reponcd publicly at the time. as a “direct
follow-up” to the President’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy about the “cases” they had discussed.
– Separately, multiple U.S. ofﬁcials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately
reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy
Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine lvan Bakanov.‘
– I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr Giuliani, but I was told
separately by multiple U.S. ofﬁcials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel
to Washington in mid-August.
0n 9 August, the President told reporters: “I think [President Zelenskyy] is going to make a
deal with President Putin. and he will be invited to the White House. And we look forward to
seeing him. He‘s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come, And I think
he will. He’s a very reasonable guy. He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be
coming very soon, actually.“
IV. Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call
Beginning in late March 2019, a series ofarticles appeared in an online publication called
The Hill. In these articles, several Ukrainian ofﬁcials—most notably, Prosecutor General Yuriy
Lutsenko—made a series of allegations against other Ukrainian oﬂicials and current and former
U.S. ofﬁcials. Mr. Lutsenko and his colleagues alleged. inter alia:
‘ In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) an 22 July. Two
associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019, and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelenskyy adviser, Mr. Serhiy Sheﬁr
– that they possessed evidence that Ukrainian ofﬁcials—namely. Head of the National
Anticomiption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Member of Parliament Serhiy
Leshchenko—had “interfered” in the 2016 US. presidential election, allegedly in
collaboration with the DNC and the US. Embassy in Kyiv;’
– that the us. Embassy in Kyiv—speciﬁcally, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who
had criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s organization for its poor record on ﬁghting complian—
had allegedly obstructed Ukrainian law enforcement agencies‘ pursuit of corruption
cases. including by providing a “do not prosecute” list. and had blocked Ukrainian
prosecutors from traveling to the United States expressly to prevent them from delivering
their “evidence” about the 2016 US. election:” and
– that former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko in 2016 to ﬁre then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to
quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holding. a Ukrainian energy company on
whose board the former Vice President‘s son, Hunter, sat.7
In several public comments.” Mr. Lutsenko also stated that he wished to communicate directly
with Attorney General Barr on these matters.9
The allegations by Mr. Lutsenko came on the eve of the ﬁrst round of Ukraine’s presidential
election on 31 March. By that time, Mr. Lutsenko’s political patron, President Poroshenlto. was
trailing Mr. Zelenskyy in the polls and appeared likely to be defeated. Mr, Zelenskyy had made
known his desire to replace Mr. Lutsenko as Prosecutor General. On 21 April, Mr. Poroshenko
lost the runoff to Mr. Zelenskyy by a landslide. See Enclosure for additional information.
5 Mr. Symyk and Mr. Leshchcnkn are two of Mr. Lutsenko’s main domestic rivals Mr. Luuenko has no legal
training and has been widely criticized in Ukraine for politicizing criminal probls and using his tenure as Prosecutor (Small to protect corrupt Ukrainian ofﬁcials He has publicly fended with Mr. Sytnyk. who heads Ukraine‘s only competent nnricorrupn’on body. and with Mr. Leshchenko. a former investigativejoimmllst who has repeatedly criticized Mr. Lutscnlro’s record. in December 2015. a Ukrainian court upheld a complaint by a Member of Parliament. Mr. Boryslav Rounhlnl. who alleged that Mr. Symyk and Mr. Lesbchenko had “interfered” in the 20l6
US election by publicizing a document detailing corrupt payments made by former Ukrainian President Viktor Ylnulwvych before his ouster in 2014. Mr. Rozenblat had originally ﬁled the motion in late 2017 aﬁer attempting to flee Ukraine amid an investigation into his taking of a large bribe. On 16 July 2019, Mr. Luhchenko publicly stated that a Ukrainian court had overturned the lower court‘s decision
6 Mr. Lutsenko inter told Ukrainian new: outlet The Babel on 17 April that Ambassador ananovitch had never
provided such a list. and that he was. in fact, the one who requested such a list
7 Mr. Lutsenko later told Bloomberg on 16 May that former Vice President Biden and his son were not subject to
any current Ukrainian investigations, and that he had no evidence against them. Other senior Ukrainian officials
also contented his original allegations; one former senior Ukrainian prosecutor told Bloomberg on 7 May that Mr.
Shokln in feet was not investigating Burisma in the time of his removal in 2016.
8 See. for example. Mr. Lutsenko’s comments to The Hill on 1 and 7 April and his interview with The Babel 17
April, in which he stated that he had spoken with Mr Giuliani about arranging contact with Attorney General Barr.
9 In May. Attorney General Barr announced that he was initiating a probe into the “origins” of the Russia
investigation. According to the above-referenced OCCRP report (22 July). two associates of Mr. Giuliani claimed
in be working with Ukrainian ofﬁcials to uncover imformation that would become part ofthis inquiry. in an
interview with Fox News on 8 August. Mr. Giuliani claimed that Mr. John Durhnm. whom Attorney General Barr
designated to lead this probe. was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.” I do
not know the extent to which. if at all. Mr. Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney
Genaral Barr or Mr, Durham.
– It was also publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had met on at least two occasions with Mr.
Lutsenko: once in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid«February. In
addition, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had spoken in late 2018 to former
Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
– On 25 April in an interview with Fox News, the President called Mr. Lutsenko‘s claims
“big” and “incredible” and stated that the Attorney General “would want to see this.”
On or about 29 April. I learned from U.S. ofﬁcials with direct knowledge of the situation that
Ambassador Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington by senior State Department
oﬁicials for “consultations“ and would most likely be removed from her position.
– Around the same time, I also learned from a US. ofﬁcial that “associates” of Mr.
Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team. ”
– On 6 May. the State Department announced that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be
ending her assignment in Kyiv “as planned.”
– However. several U.S. ofﬁcials told me that, in fact, her tour was curtailed because of
pressure steaming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations. Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in
an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador
Yovanovitch was “removed…because she was part of the efforts against the President.”
011 9 May, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to
press the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations that would help the President in his
2020 reelection bid.
– In his multitude of public statements leading up to and in the wake of the publication of
this article, Mr. Giuliani confirmed that he was focused on encouraging Ukrainian
authorities to pursue investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 20l6 us.
election and alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family. i:
– On the afternoon of 10 May. the President stated in an interview with Politico that he
planned to speak with Mr. Giuliani about the trip.
– A few hours later, Mr. Giuliani publicly canceled his trip, claiming that Mr. Zelenskyy
was “surrounded by enemies of the [U .S.] President…and of the United States.“
On I I May. Mr. Lutsenko met for two hours with President—elect Zelenskyy. according to a
public account given several days later by Mr. Lutsenko. Mr. Lulsenko publicly stated that he
had told Mr. Zelenskyy that he wished to remain as Prosecutor General.
10 See, for example, the abovNefereoced articles in Bloomberg (16 May) and OCCRP (22 July).
11” ldo not know whetherthese associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by
OCCRP, referenced above.
12 See, for example, Mr. Giuliani’s appearance on For New: on 6 April and his tweets on 73 April and ID May. In
his interview with The New York Tim-.1. Mr. Giuliani stated that the President “basically knows what I’m doing,
sure, as his lawyer.” Mr. Giuliani also stated: “We‘re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an
investigation, which we have I right to do… There‘s nothing illegal about it… Somebody could say it’s improper.
And this isn’t foreign policy – I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and other
people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn‘t stop it because that
information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”
Starting in mid-May, i heard from multiple US. ofﬁcials that they were deeply concerned by
what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani‘s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes
to engage with Ukrainian olﬁcials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the
President. These ofﬁcials also told me:
– that State Department ofﬁcials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland. had spoken
with Mr. Giuliani in an an attempt to “contain the damage“ to US. national security; and
– that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the
new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters. sought to help
Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving
from ofﬁcial US channels on‘the one hand. and from ‘Mr. Giuliani on the other.
During this same time frame, multiple US. ofﬁcials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was
led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would
depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been
publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of
the state of affairs as conveyed to me by US. officials from late May into early July. I do not
know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership. or when.) See Enclosure for
Shortly after President Zelenskyy’s inauguration. it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani
met with two other Ukrainian ofﬁcials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor. Mr. Nazar
Kholodnytskyy. and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko. Both Mr.
Kholodnytskyy and Mr. Telizhenko are allies of Mr Lutsenko and made similar allegations in
the above-mentioned series of articles in The Hill.
0n 13 June, the President told ABC: George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging
information on his political rivals from a foreign government
0n 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: “New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of
Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery oflPoroshenko. Time for leadership
and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton
In mid-july, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to US. assistance for
Ukraine. See Enclosure for additional information.
ENCLOSURE: Classiﬁed appendix
August 12, 2019
(U) (CLASSIFIED APPENDIX)
(U) Supplimentary Information is provided as follows:
(U) Additional information related In Section II
*** According to multiple White House officials l spoke with, the transcript
Presidents call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly
by the: National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a
standalone computer.’ system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information. such as covert
action, According to information l received from White House ofﬁcials. some officials voiced
concerns . internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the
responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House ofﬁcials
I spoke with, this was not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript
was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically
sensitive-rather than national sensitive-information.
(ll) Additional information related to Sectionn lV”
65/. i would like to expand upon two issues mentioned in Section l’V that might have a
connection with the overall effort to pressure – Ukrainian leadership. As I do not know
definitevely whether the below mentioned decisions are connected to broader efforts l
describe. I have chosen to include them in the classified annex. lf they indeed represent genuine
policy deliberations and decisions formulated to advance US foreign policy and national
security , one might be able to make a reasonable case that the facts are classiﬁed
***l learned from US. ofﬁcials that, on or around 14 M the President instructed
Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President
Zelenskyy‘s inauguration on 20 May: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation
instead. According to mesa ofﬁcials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President
did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in
ofﬁce. I do not know how this guidance was communicated, or by whom, I also do not
know whether this action was connected with the broader understanding. described in the
unclassiﬁed letter. that a meeting or phone call between the President and President
Zelenslcyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball“ on the
issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
(SI. On 18 July. an Ofﬁce of Management and Budget (OMB) ofﬁcial informed
Departments and Agencies that the President “earlier that man “ had issued instructions
to suspend all US. security assistance to Ukraine. Neither ONE nor the NSC slaﬁ’ knew
why this instruction had heen issued. During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26
July, OMB ofﬁcials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance
had come directly from the President. but they still were unaware of a policy rationale.
As of early August, I heard from US ofﬁcials that some Ukrainian ofﬁcials were aware
that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy. but I do not know how or when they learned of it.