The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its 300-page report detailing the panel’s findings and conclusions in its two-month impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Unsurprisingly, the report stated that President Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival constitutes an impeachable abuse of power while also implicating members of the president’s cabinet as being at least aware of Trump’s conduct.
But the Intel report also contained new information pertaining to communications between several people at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Phone records, which were provided by AT&T and included in the report, illustrate that on the day former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled from her position, Giuliani called the White House several times – appearing to only get through once – and also received a call from an unidentified number marked only as “-1.”
Wow. These are Rudy Giuliani’s phone calls the day Marie Yovanovitch was removed from her post.
— NLC (@Kailee631) December 4, 2019
While the report itself is silent as to the owner of the mysterious -1 phone number, an increasing amount of circumstantial evidence points to it being Donald Trump, which, if true, would further illustrate his personal involvement in the Ukraine developments as they unfolded.
For example, the -1 number called Giuliani twice on Aug. 8, which he failed to pick up. Giuliani then proceeded to call the White House switchboard and the Situation Room, neither of which connected, before calling -1 and getting through. At the time, Giuliani was in the throes of urging government officials in the White House to press Ukraine about launching an investigation into Joe Biden.
The report also showed some overlap between -1 and President Trump in the real world.
“At 7:14 p.m. Eastern Time on April 25, Mr. Giuliani once again received a call from an unknown ‘-1′ number, which lasted four minutes and 40 seconds,” the report said. “Minutes later, Mr. Giuliani held a brief 36-second call with Sean Hannity, a Fox News opinion host.” Just hours later, Trump called-in for an on-air interview during Sean Hannity’s television show. They discussed Biden and Ukraine, among other things.
Roger Stone Trial Evidence
Congressional impeachment investigators already suspect the -1 number belongs to Trump because phone records admitted into evidence during the criminal trial of Trump’s former advisor Roger Stone also received a call from a phone number identified only as “-1,” according to the New York Times.
About that -1 call that the FBI reviewed that showed up on Roger Stone’s phone records, it was from Trump’s home phone. Here’s the transcript of the FBI agent describing it during the Stone trial: pic.twitter.com/0WSIdfDY4g
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) December 4, 2019
While complaining about the perceived unfairness of the proceedings against his client, Giuliani himself on Wednesday may have accidentally (or not) confirmed that ‘-1’ is, in fact, Trump.
“They’ve already taken away [Trump’s] right to call witnesses, cross-examine, confront his accusers, or be represented by counsel at hearings,” he tweeted, adding, “Now he can’t talk to his counsel on the telephone?” There is no clear reason for the president’s personal attorney to feel aggrieved about his client’s phone calls unless they were included in the report.”
They’ve already taken away @realDonaldTrump’s right to call witnesses, cross-examine, confront his accusers, or be represented by counsel at hearings. Now he can’t talk to his counsel on the telephone?
This is CNN’s version of America? Coming to a theatre near you!
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 4, 2019
Giuliani’s tweet came after the House Intelligence Committee went public with a report that included call logs documenting communications of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Giuliani, and Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas. ‘-1’ was among the logs.
Keen observers of the situation were quick to point out that Giuliani complained that Trump no longer enjoyed the right to “talk to his counsel on the telephone.”
Rudy's just going sit there and tweet out confirmation that -1 is Trump's cell phone all day, isn't he? https://t.co/86jqwkLINH
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) December 4, 2019
[Image via DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images]