Three Dem Senators Want Info on Trump Asking Barr to Defend Ukraine Call

Three Democratic senators are requesting documents about President Donald Trump’s reported request that Attorney General William Barr hold a news conference to defend Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., on Friday sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Barr. seeking documents. 

Axios first reported the request.

“We submit this FOIA request in order to obtain communications, documents, and other information related to the president’s reported request that you hold a news conference to clear him of wrongdoing during his call with the Ukrainian president,” the senators wrote.

The senators asked that Barr respond by Nov. 15.

Barr never called the news conference, but the Department of Justice ultimately released a statement claiming a readout of the president’s call had been evaluated to not contain any campaign finance violations.

The issue did not unsettle Trump’s relationship with Barr, The Hill noted, with White House spokesman Hogan Gidley saying last week Trump “has nothing but respect for AG Barr and greatly appreciates the work he’s done on behalf of the country – and no amount of shady sources with clear intent to divide, smear, and slander will change that.”

“The DOJ did in fact release a statement about the call, and the claim that it resulted in tension because it wasn’t a news conference is completely false,” he added. 

The July conversation with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is at the heart of the House’s impeachment investigation into whether military aid was contingent on Kiev’s compliance with Trump’s request to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

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