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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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