On Wednesday morning, the White House released a five-page memorandum of a telephone conversation, or TELCON, of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, he pressured Zelensky to investigate presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. This was the “transcript” Trump promised to release on Tuesday after it was reported that House Democrats were moving toward opening a formal impeachment proceeding.
The call readout—which Trump and his defenders are already claiming exonerates him—is transparently incomplete. It’s full of ellipses, it apparently took place at half of the pace of a normal conversation, and it is missing things that have been previously reported in the press—such as the fact that Trump reportedly urged Zelensky eight times to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani (Giuliani’s name only appears from Trump four times in the readout).
Still, even this incomplete memo is full of leads pointing to potential “high crimes and misdemeanors” that could bolster the newly emboldened House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
An investigation that could turn up more evidence is still needed. But as part of that inquiry, the House Judiciary Committee will likely eventually be tasked with writing up articles of impeachment—basically charges against the president—as it has done in previous impeachments. As a favor to any wavering Democratic House members, here is a list of potential candidates for articles of impeachment that could be drawn up from the TELCON alone.