Why Democrats want the whistleblower complaint — not just the transcript of Trump's Ukraine call

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Mary Altaffer/AP)

President Trump is apparently granting the Democrats their wish by agreeing to release the transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday. But many lawmakers still aren't satisfied.

There's a few reasons for that, but the simplest one is the fear that the Trump administration could, well, edit the transcript, even though Trump said it would be complete and unredacted.

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Beyond that, it's all about the whistleblower complaint, which spurred the whole scandal in the first place. The complaint filed by the anonymous whistleblower who was reportedly spooked by Trump's communications with Zelensky reportedly contains details that go beyond the phone call, during which Trump allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son. Therefore, many Democrats are afraid that the White House will use the transcript as a stand-in for the full complaint, while valuable information remains under wraps. So, they want to see the actual complaint instead, and the whistleblower could also reportedly testify before Congress.

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Finally, there's a sense among some analysts that the White House is trying to get a headstart on the narrative by releasing the transcript, with several people comparing it to Attorney General William Barr releasing his summary of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his office's investigation into 2016 Russian election interference, before he dropped the full report itself. Tim O'Donnell

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