The Washington Post editorial board on Friday blasted President Trump for his dealings with Ukraine, saying his use of the Oval Office to urge a foreign country to investigate a political rival is “a blatant act of corruption.”
The Post noted that text message exchanges released by House Democrats this week show Trump administration officials indicating a meeting between the Ukrainian president and Trump was contingent on investigations requested by the U.S., with the messages showing one U.S. diplomat raising concerns about the delay of military aid for Ukraine.
“As we have written, our information is that the White House was conditioning security assistance on Ukraine’s promise to conduct the politically motivated investigations,” The Post’s editorial reads. “But legislators already know this much: Mr. Trump literally used his office — in the form of a promised White House meeting — to induce a foreign leader to investigate a potential opponent in the 2020 election.
“That was a blatant act of corruption,” the board wrote.
The swirling scandal surrounding Trump’s contacts with Ukraine began with a whistleblower complaint and has since spurred House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against him.
A rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump pressing the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into Biden, a political rival and top Democratic presidential contender. Trump has maintained that his call did not show anything improper.
“In our view, the transcript contained at least a hint that Mr. Trump was linking the ‘favor’ he wanted to arms sales, and clear evidence that he was tying it to a White House invitation,” The Post wrote.
“There was no lack of clarity on either side,” the editorial reads.