WASHINGTON, DC (NBC) - A whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump, made public on Thursday, says White House officials were so concerned about what the president said in a July call with Ukraine’s new leader that they intervened to "lock down" the record of the phone call.
The whistleblower, whose name has not been released, says he or she lodged the formal complaint because they believed that Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 election. In the call, Trump discussed having Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy help investigate the Biden family’s business dealings.
"The interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals," the whistleblower continued. "The president's personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General (William) Barr appears to be involved as well."
The complaint, which was made public with minimal redactions, makes clear there are witnesses who can back up the account, and it indicates concern over the internal handling of the White House record of the call.
The whistleblower says White House officials told them the conversation on July 25 between Trump and Zelenskiy was removed from the computer system that is typically used for such records of calls with foreign leaders. Instead, the whistleblower writes, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is used only for information that is of an "especially sensitive nature." One White House official described that as an abuse of the secure system because there was nothing "remotely sensitive" from a national security perspective, the whistleblower said.
The nine-page complaints includes inside information from White House and other administration officials, in addition to previously published stories in the media.
The whistleblower said the actions described within the complaint posed "risks" to national security and undermined efforts to counter foreign interference.
The whistleblower wrote that "over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort."
"I was not a direct witness to most of the events described," the whistleblower continued. "However, I found my colleagues' accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another."
The whistleblower labeled said Trump's actions constituted a "serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order," one that "does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters."