BILL HEMMER (CO-HOST): Major bombshell one day after Democrats advance their push for impeachment. The White House claims the transcript shows there were no promises made to Ukraine in return for releasing military aid. There is no quid pro quo, no pressure at all. The Justice Department today pushing back on the claim that the whistleblower complaint was an urgent concern requiring the attention of Congress. That's the backdrop. Here is the news. Catherine Herridge is live at the Department of Justice. Catherine, you have seen it. What's in it?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE (CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT): Well thank you, Bill, and good morning. We have reviewed the transcript and let's just walk folks at home through a tick-tock of events. This call took place on July 25. It was a half-hour call between 9:03 and 9:33 A.M., and the transcript is approximately five pages in length. It begins with the president congratulating the Ukrainian president on his election victory. Then they have a very specific discussion about foreign aid. The president says, "The U.S. is a strong supporter of Ukraine," and then he complains that the Europeans are not doing enough to support that country. And then this is the key part of the transcript. There is an ask from the president to the Ukrainian counterpart and it reads, "I would like to you do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. They say Crowdstrike." That appears to be a reference to the hacking of the Clinton emails in 2016. "I guess you have one of your wealthy people, the server, they say Ukraine has it."
And then he continues. This is the most fullsome discussion of Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great." That's Attorney General William Barr. "Biden went about bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me." Then the Ukrainian president responds, talking about the prosecutor he will have in place to look specifically at this issue that relates to the natural gas company Burisma. He states, "He or she will look into the situation specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue to restore the honesty." Seems to be a reference to integrity, sort of anti-corruption. "So we will take care of that and we will work on the investigation of the case. Mr. Trump then responds, "I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I'm also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out."
The key thing from the initial reading of this transcript, Bill, is that there are not multiple references, as widely reported, to the former vice president and his son. Based on our count, there's a key reference and then some follow-on references, so a handful, approximately three. And then I would also emphasize that there is no clear link in the transcript between this withheld aid and the promise of a prosecution in this particular case, Bill.