Back when President Trump released the “rough transcript” of his call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, there were several spots where passages seemed to be omitted and replaced with ellipses. However, Trump insisted that the transcript was “word for word,” and folks with experience in this stuff explained that there was probably nothing to this. The ellipses just indicated pauses in the conversation.

Well, about that:

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to restore them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.

The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

Those are pretty relevant omissions! Secret recordings of Joe Biden! An explicit mention of Burisma Holdings! I’ll bet that if we ever get to see a genuine word-for-word transcript with those passages restored, they would make the old quid-pro-quo a wee bit more obvious. After all, why redact them if they weren’t incriminating?

This whole thing just gets more Watergatish by the day.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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