Wednesday the DOJ said that President Donald Trump did not violate campaign finance laws in his July conversation with the Ukrainian president about former Vice President Joe Biden.
The agency also announced that the administration did not break the law by failing to immediately share a whistleblower’s complaint with Congress, The Washington Times reports, determining the matter did not meet the legal definition of “urgent” that would trigger the action.
The Justice Department on Wednesday released a memo of President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, showing Trump did not threaten to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid.
Trump also told Zelensky that he would have personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr call the Ukrainian leader on the matter.
But a Justice Department spokeswoman said Wednesday that, though Barr learned of the call several weeks after the leaders spoke, Trump has not discussed Ukraine with him.
“The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything related to former Vice President Biden or his son,” spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told the Times. “The president has not asked the attorney general to contact the Ukraine, on this or any other matter.
“The attorney general has not communicated with Ukraine, on this or any other subject,” Kupec continued. “Nor has the attorney general discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani.”
Regarding the whistleblower’s complaint, Steven Engel, assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, found that the grievance did not fit the legal standard for “urgent concern” and did not require acting Director of Intelligence Joseph Maguire to send it right away to Congress.
“The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of ‘urgent concern’ that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees,” Engel wrote in his decision, the Times reports. “We conclude that it does not.”
The OIC also ruled that the Trump-Zelensky conversation was a diplomatic communication and not of an intelligence nature — and because the president is not in the intelligence community, the discussion did not fall within DNI’s purview, according to the report.