Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A memo, released Wednesday morning, of the Trump call. (Image: screenshot)

A memo, released Wednesday morning, of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. "Trump's abuse of power, corruption, and disdain for constitutional values have been evident since he first took office," said Public Citizen in response to the White House memo. "There is no question in our minds that, on the merits, he should be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate." (Image: Enhanced screenshot/WhiteHouse.gov)

'Smoking Gun': Experts Say White House Memo Reveals 'Blatantly Impeachable Conduct' by Trump

"The president sought to use the powers of the United States government to investigate a political opponent. We have no choice but to impeach."

Eoin Higgins

The White House memo of a conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, released Wednesday, is bad news for the president, according to experts and observers. 

"Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in the modern history of this country."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

In a statement, Stand Up America spokesman Ryan Thomas said the memo (pdf) was "a smoking gun."

"It reveals that Donald Trump unquestionably asked the Ukrainian President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden," said Thomas.

"This is blatantly impeachable conduct," Thomas added, "and Congress must swiftly act to draft articles of impeachment—and vote."

Advocacy group Public Citizen agreed, saying in an email that it was clear the president should be removed from the White House. 

"Donald Trump's abuse of power, corruption, and disdain for constitutional values have been evident since he first took office," the group said. "There is no question in our minds that, on the merits, he should be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate."

Releasing the memo was intended to absolve the president of blame for his request of Zelensky in a July 25 conversation to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In the condensed notes from the conversation, Trump asks Zelensky for a "favor"—that the Ukrainian president direct his people to dig into the younger Biden's hiring by Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019. 

"If they thought this would exonerate them, they made a very bad miscalculation," said Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington executive director Noah Bookbinder.

Biden's fellow Democratic frontrunners joined the chorus of condemnation. 

"Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in the modern history of this country," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who recent polls show overtaking Biden, said on Twitter that the memo isn't at all exculpatory and demanded more information. 

"If this is the version of events the president's team thinks is most favorable, he is in very deep jeopardy," said Warren. "We need to see the full whistleblower complaint and the administration needs to follow the law. Now."

"We have no choice but to impeach."
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In a statement, Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry said that the impeachment inquiry must go forward to show that nobody is above the law. 

"Working people of all colors and creeds are fed up with self-interested politicians using their power and influence to rig the rules in their favor," said Henry. "Congress must exercise its constitutional duty to investigate thoroughly and, if necessary, take action to ensure that we have a democracy that works for all of us."

Impeachment has its hurdles, said Brand New Congress communications director Zeynab Day, but the American people need to know the facts. 

"As much as we want to be relieved, we must accept—this is only the beginning. Impeachment can take months, even years," Day said in an email. "This process will no doubt cause further divisions that break across party lines, but the American people deserve to know the truth."

At the end of the day, this isn't complicated, said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). 

"The President sought to use the powers of the United States government to investigate a political opponent," said Ocasio-Cortez. "We have no choice but to impeach."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·


Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·


Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·


Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo