By Zachary Stieber
The change to the transcript of Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was made as the House Judiciary Committee debated two articles of impeachment against Trump.
During the debate, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) changed “us” to “me” while making an analogy to try to assert that Trump committed a crime.
“If a community suffers a natural disaster and the governor of the state has aid that will help that community but calls the mayor of your community and says, ‘I want you to do me a favor, though,’ and conditions giving the aid to the community on the police chief smearing his political opponent, has there been a crime?” Escobar said.
“The answer is yes. And that governor would go to jail.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) removed a word from the transcript, quoting Trump as saying, “I would like you to do a favor though,” removing the word “us.”
The changes to the phone call transcript prompted the president to take to Twitter.
Dems Veronica Escobar and Jackson Lee purposely misquoted my call. I said I want you to do us (our Country!) a favor, not me a favor. They know that but decided to LIE in order to make a fraudulent point! Very sad.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2019
“Dems Veronica Escobar and Jackson Lee purposely misquoted my call. I said I want you to do us (our Country!) a favor, not me a favor. They know that but decided to LIE in order to make a fraudulent point! Very sad,” he wrote.
Escobar later responded during the debate, saying, “‘Do us a favor’— as though the United States of America, and foreign policy experts, and State Department experts were clamoring to get information on Burisma, or on Hunter Biden or Joe Biden.”
The situation unfolded about two-and-a-half months after House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) fabricated a larger portion of the transcript during an opening statement at a committee hearing.
“We’ve been very good to your country, very good, no other county has done as much as you have but you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want, I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good, I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand, lots of it, on this and on that,” Schiff said, purporting to be conveying “the essence” of what Trump said.
After being confronted, Schiff said that what he did was “not okay.”
“But also my summary of the president’s call was meant to be, at least part, in parody. The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself. Of course, the president never said ‘if you don’t understand me I’m going to say it seven more times,’” he added.