Whistleblower alleges White House coverup

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Amanda Wills, Mike Hayes and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 8:37 p.m. ET, September 26, 2019
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8:50 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

Whistleblower said White House officials were "deeply disturbed" by the Trump-Ukraine call

The whistleblower wrote that the July 25 call — which he describes details similar to the transcript released by the White House on Wednesday — left White House officials “disturbed by what had transpired.” 

The complaint notes White House lawyers were “already in discussion” about “how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”

8:48 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

Trump tweets in all caps: "THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY"

President Trump tweeted just after the whistleblower's complaint against him was released.

8:45 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

Whistleblower raised alarm about the President using his power "to solicit interference" in the election

The whistleblower complaint centers on concern that President Trump was using his power to “solicit interference from a foreign country” into the election.

The complainant says the President’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, “is a central figure in this effort.”

8:41 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

The whistleblower complaint is out

The House Intelligence Committee has released the declassified whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine president Zelensky.

You can read it here.

8:30 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

4 key events we're watching today

The whistleblower's complaint about President Trump's communications with Ukraine has been declassified and could be released as soon as this morning, three sources told CNN.

We don't know exactly what time that could happen, but these are the planned events we're watching today:

  • 9 a.m. ET: Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will testify before the House Intelligence Committee
  • 10:45 a.m. ET: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will hold her weekly news conference. 
  • 11:30 a.m. ET: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will hold his weekly news conference. 
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: President Trump arrives at the White House after traveling back from New York City. He often takes questions when he's on the White House lawn.
8:20 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

The Director of National Intelligence will testify at 9 a.m. ET

From CNN's Chandelis Duster

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire — nearly two months after taking over as head of the intelligence agency — is facing intense scrutiny amid a widening controversy surrounding his handling of a whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump.

Maguire is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee at 9 a.m. ET today regarding the complaint.

Maguire and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson are scheduled to go behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee as well, according to a source familiar with the plans.

8:19 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

More than half the House supports the impeachment inquiry

Alex Edelman/Getty Images
Alex Edelman/Getty Images

More than half the US House of Representatives have now said they support the impeachment investigation into President Trump. 

The numbers: There are at least 217 House Democrats – according to a CNN count – who publicly stated support for impeachment proceedings. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who has since become an independent, has also called for an impeachment investigation, bringing the total number of representatives to 218, or just over half of the 435-member chamber.

Why this matters: Reaching the halfway mark on this issue is a significant development as a majority of the House would be needed to vote to impeach the President in order to send the process to the Senate.

But remember: CNN’s count includes many Democrats who say they support an impeachment investigation but are still waiting for the results of the probe before deciding whether to finally vote to impeach Trump.

Even if the House could pass the vote, it likely would go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, one of many reasons the issue has been politically divisive among Democrats and a large part of why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had for months avoided calling Democratic investigations an impeachment inquiry.  

11:05 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

GOP senator: "Much of what is in the report is already out in the public domain"

From CNN's Suzanne Malveaux

Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed he has read the classified whistle blower report, though he would not confirm what was in it. 

He said “much of what is in the report is already out in the public domain.”

When asked whether there was anything in the report that he found “deeply troubling” or concerning — as his fellow Republican Sens. Mitt Romney or Ben Sasse have previously stated — Cotton said “no.”

7:42 a.m. ET, September 26, 2019

At least 215 House Democrats support the impeachment inquiry

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the President, and the number of House Democrats who at least support launching an impeachment inquiry is quickly approaching the 218 votes needed to impeach Trump in the House (But note: It is unknown if all those who are in favor of an impeachment inquiry will vote to do so.)

Of the 235 Democrats in the House, there are at least 215 -- according to a CNN count -- who've made clear they support starting the impeachment inquiry process, while some have gone further.

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who has since become an independent, has also called for impeachment proceedings, bringing the total number of representatives to 216.

You can see the full whip count here.