Top House Democrats demanded the administration turn over a whistleblower's report on President Trump's dealings with Ukraine, indicating that a recently released transcript was "damning" for the president but insufficient for continuing their investigation.
"Congress needs the full and unredacted whistleblower complaint," a statement from multiple committee chairmen read on Wednesday. "We need to speak with the whistleblower. We need records of the communications. Thursday is the deadline for the information to be turned over.
"We need to speak with those knowledgeable about efforts by the president, the attorney general and the president’s personal attorney to secure political help from Ukraine, the decision to freeze security assistance, and the attempt to cover it up.
“We also need the records that our committees requested from the State Department and the White House — by tomorrow’s deadline — or we will subpoena them."
The committee chairs — Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. – helped turn up the pressure on the White House as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., started pursuing official impeachment proceedings. During her Tuesday announcement, Pelosi specifically accused the administration of breaking the law by suppressing a whistleblower from reporting on Trump's comments to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The committees' subpoena threat came just after the White House released a transcript of the president's July call with Zelensky in an apparent attempt to assuage concerns he engaged in some kind of quid pro quo.
The transcript contained no explicit quid pro quo for foreign aid but stoked Democrats' concerns as it showed Trump requesting an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden at a sensitive time in U.S.-Ukrainian relations.
Democrats suspected that Trump tried to interfere in the 2020 election by pressuring Zelensky into pursuing allegations that Biden, seen as the frontrunner among Democrats seeking to unseat Trump, improperly influenced the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in order to protect his son Hunter. Shokin had been investigating a natural gas firm that Hunter Biden led as a member of the board of directors.
"Let’s be clear: no quid pro quo is required to betray our country. Trump asked a foreign government to interfere in our elections — that is betrayal enough. The corruption exists whether or not Trump threatened — explicitly or implicitly — that a lack of cooperation could result in withholding military aid," the statement by chairs of the House Oversight, Judiciary, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs committees read.
“Ukraine depends on the U.S. for economic, military, and diplomatic support — especially in its attempts to push back against Russian aggression — and is particularly vulnerable to pressure from any U.S. president. For a country so reliant on the United States, nothing more was needed.
"The call reportedly was preceded by a decision by Trump to withhold vital security assistance, and it was followed in quick succession by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, meeting with a top aide to the new Ukrainian president at Trump’s direction. According to reports, the Ukrainians eventually became aware that the aid was being withheld and expressed concern to U.S. officials."
Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has admitted to telling Ukraine to investigate Biden but maintained it was not a part of any broader attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election.
Fox News' Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.