Talk:Trump–Ukraine scandal

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Another subpoena[edit]

I'm not sure if today's document would fit into this article, but it's on Commons if anyone wants it.

Your clients' failure or refusal to comply with the subpoenas, including at the direction or behest of the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against your clients and anyone with whom they are acting in concert, including the President.

It goes on to talk about Naftogaz. XOR'easter (talk) 18:25, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

And the one for Rick Perry. XOR'easter (talk) 21:06, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

XOR'easter. I placed one of the images in the relevant section - see diff: [1]. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 22:24, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Preserving the neutral tone[edit]

Since this is an evolving story, and much of the information has yet to be verified, and it is based much around speculation on a transcript, some memos and text messages. I believe that the language is too decisive for such an article, the word "allegedly" should be used in several places where editors have inserted their opinions as fact, especially when early news reports are often incorrect due to the dynamically evolving, and controversial nature of the article's subject. (talk) 19:06, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

If you have specific areas of concern, please let us know. Koncorde (talk) 19:53, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Editors have stated their opinions as fact - Do you mean wiki editors or news editors? Because there's no unsourced or opinionated content here.  Nixinova T  C  23:44, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, definitely need to be more specific. I do not agree with any of those assertions. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 03:20, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Reaction section[edit]

What is the point of the Reaction section other than to parrot propaganda? I don't care what was said about things. We aren't here to document commentary about the news. WP:NOTNEWS The first two sub sections contain more than 35 quotations when we are supposed to be writing in 1st person Wikipedia voice, summary prose. The other five sections are full of statements, quotes and copies of what was said about things. Wikipedia is not for propaganda of any kind. WP:NOTSOAPBOX - Shiftchange (talk) 01:11, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia serves millions of people, not just you. Articles are meant to be informative and the "Reaction section" serves Wikipedia's mission to be informative to the public. We derive content from what reliable sources say, which is found in acceptable publications that have mechanisms to review and edit before publication such as The Washington Post, New York Times, the three networks, CNN, Politico, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and so on.
"Enduring notability of persons and events" is what is in this article - so people can read this history 100, 200 and 500 years from now. So, yes this is not news, it is an encyclopedia. Quotations are acceptable in Wikipedia articles. They can demonstrate accuracy of our entries. Where on Wikipedia does it say we can't use quotations? There are no copies of what was said, that would be copyright violations. And this is hardly propaganda - we have judiciously been in agreement with WP:NPOV throughout this article from top to bottom. I think the assessment is very much inaccurate. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 04:19, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
We do not duplicate content for posterity (that really isn't an encyclopedic intent), there really isn't much point. It's also bad and / or lazy writing, usually because people cannot be bothered to quantify the comments as actual content, or are worried the content will be challenged back to the source of it is not verbatim, or want to use the people / organisations making the comments as some kind of editorial sledgehammer. Lots of people will have opinions on the subject at hand, where appropriate we should reflect those opinions but this doesn't mean a slew of quotations. Btw I have not read the offending section (I am trying to stay away from being involved in another article too heavily at the moment), I am merely commenting from a position of good writing and general MOS guidance. Koncorde (talk) 13:17, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
The definition of notability includes "enduring" and NOTNEWS. So, posterity is indeed involved in the writing or else we might as well act like a news organization. And where does it say not to use quotations in a Wikipedia articles? Also, the quotes are minimal. This article is not based on opinion. It seems like your comments are acting as an editorial sledgehammer, not the content of this article. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 13:37, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I think the use of quotations is effective writing that favors precision over muddled inaccuracy. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 14:16, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
1. I never said anything about not using quotes. I wholeheartedly support their use. However I did describe situations in which they might be mis-used, or inappropriate, or a symptom of generally failing to do our job to summarise. 2. To that end; that the subject is notable and enduring does not mean every quote on the subject is itself notable or enduring and Wikipedia is not here as some grand archive of quotes on any given subject. 3. Quotes can be used as a crutch by poor writers, or used as a weasel way to insert weight and bias on a subject. They may also be read as not neutral when quotations are provided in a fashion that creates false balance or equivalence. Again, this is not an accusation at editors here, or even this article - it is a statement. 4. I haven't read the offending quotes as I do not believe the person complaining has suggested an improvment, I therefore do not know which ones are being referred to by the person making the complaint or even the make up of the section in question - I am only stating what is common practice and good writing to avoid accusations and accusations of POV. Koncorde (talk) 14:29, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Thanks for the clarification. And you are correct that quotes can be misused as weasel, inserting weight or bias. I have seen this happen. And good point, just because the subject is notable, not every quote is enduring or notable. I think in this instance - regarding this article - so much was happening as the news unfolded; beginning when the whistleblower complaint broke and the infamous Trump-Zelinski phone call occurred, that it was difficult to keep up, sift through the material for relevance without crossing UNDUE, and then write prose equal to the substance of the quote.
I can't speak for everyone, but I think that is what was happening. Now that the tempo has slowed down quite a bit, the material in this section can be reviewed and prose substituted - as much as anyone cares to do so. After looking at the "Reactions" section, I'm thinking the section needs to be streamlined, besides substituting prose. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 15:19, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Time for separate articles on Parnas and Fruman?[edit]

Time for separate articles on Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman? Now that they have been arrested, there is considerably more info on these two players in reliable news feeds, and I think they merit their own articles now. However, because the current article is a redirect from an article called "Lev Parnas" I don't know how to establish the new, full "Lev Parnas" article. VanEman (talk) 04:15, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

@VanEman: Hi. I was thinking the same thing. I started such an article in my User space, but I am not sure how much time I have to work on it. (It is located here). I solved the redirect problem you mentioned by combining the two in one topic, and I can redirect the "Lev Parnas" page to this one when it is in main space. I think it is best to combine the two because there isn't much biographical information on each of them individually. I was intending to change the title when I moved it to the main space. You are welcome to work on this with me. The title can be changed once it is moved to main space. In fact, I would appreciate your help if you're up for it. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 04:27, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
@VanEman: I think the history of them working for Giuliani goes back to 2016, but I have to double check the sources to see if I come across that again. I know their connection to Giuliani and the Trump people goes back to at least 2018 ---Steve Quinn (talk) 04:31, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I just moved it into the main space here. --Steve Quinn (talk) 12:37, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I would have held off on this at least momentarily, giving the story time to develop and for detail to emerge because of BLP concerns. By forking content you can cause a lot of confusion when people start arguing about what is relevant to their articles with due weight. To be clear; they may be notable for their arrest at the moment - but at the present they are still innocent parties. Absent of their arrest, they do not carry any significant notability for their own articles I would suggest.
Having a single article for two people also gives me significant concerns. That is usually reserved when their are two protagonists of a single event (such as Columbine) rather than an article about two people alone, or of a named group (be it a band, or organisation).
I would suggest what is relevant we ensure is in this article because and the creation of an article for these two individuals is really considered further down the line. Koncorde (talk) 13:09, 12 October 2019 (UTC)


Add Steele Dossier[edit]

Might be worth adding mention of the Steele's Dossier, Ukraine is mentioned in dossier from Trump Russia-Dossier:

  • That a major goal of the Russians in supporting Trump was "to upset the liberal international status quo, including on Ukraine-related sanctions, which was seriously disadvantaging the country". (Dossier, pp. 28–29)
  • In late September, Steele was summoned to Rome where he gave a full briefing to four American FBI officials about the report. Among them, again, was Michael Gaeta, head of the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime Squad Team, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine. When Steele showed his findings to the agents their reaction was "shock and horror".
  • That Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian President of Ukraine, had told Putin that he had been making supposedly untraceable kickback payments to Manafort while he was Trump's campaign manager. (Dossier, p. 20)


Skinnytony1 (talk) 02:14, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

This is very interesting to me. I'm wondering if we couldn't insert this content into this article somehow. Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Steve Quinn (talk) 03:43, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
The Steele dossier is a can of worms. We're practically inviting more right-wing attacks. Not that it shouldn't be included, but that if we do include, we should be prepared. starship.paint (talk) 06:29, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I understand the reservation, but this might be very relevant. Trump intended to lift the sanctions, as revealed beforehand by the dossier (one of the many confirmed allegations in the dossier). So, to do this properly, we need sources that refer to the current scandal AND to the dossier. -- BullRangifer (talk) 10:20, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Federalist neglecting to mention possibility of secondhand complaint[edit]

As our article notes, there have been conspiracy theories about the first whistleblower complaint. Some of these stemmed from an article by The Federalist, which pointed out that a section entitled First-hand information required present in the May 2018 old version of the whistleblower complaint form was absent in the August 2019 version. The Federalist also had a screenshot that the new August 2019 form had checkboxes (a) I have direct and personal knowledge, (b) I heard about it from others.

What The Federalist did not point out, but other sources such as FactCheck, Washington Post and Politifact did point out is that the May 2018 old form already had checkboxes like so: a) “I have personal and/or direct knowledge of events or records involved,” b) “Other employees have told me about events or records involved” or c) “Other source(s) (please explain).” The Daily Beast noted this omission from The Federalist:

[2] The kernel of fact near the center of the conspiracy theory is that there is, indeed, a new version of Form 401 dated August 2019. A question on the form explicitly anticipates tips based on secondhand information, and asks the whistleblower to check a box: “I have direct and personal knowledge,” or, “I heard about it from others.” The Federalist used a screenshot of that field to illustrate its story. What the article didn’t mention or screenshot is a nearly identical field gracing Form 401 since at least May 2018, making it impossible that it was added as an easement for Trump’s whistleblower. The major difference in the fields is that the old form includes three options instead of two, subdividing secondhand sources into outside source and “other employees.”

As such, I would like to question this edit [3] by Shinealittlelight (The sources do not say that the Federalist story failed to mention this; rather, the DB source says that the Federalist included a screenshot of the boxes.") on two grounds. (1) The Daily Beast does say that The Federalist failed to mention the May 2018 boxes. (2) There is a clear error as Shinealittlelight's edit claims that the old form also included checkboxes where the whistleblower could indicate whether they had "direct" knowledge of the information they were providing, or whether or they "heard about it from others", that is actually in the new form.

What I am proposing is a revert to the language of: The Federalist's article neglected to mention that the old form did have checkboxes where the whistleblower could indicate that their information was from either "other employees" or other sources other than firsthand knowledge. starship.paint (talk) 07:02, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Ok, Starship.paint, I see your point now. DB is generally an opinion source per RSN, and I think they're editorializing here. I'd be fine with your edit if it were attributed to DB. Or, if you don't want to attribute, I'd be fine with correcting my error with the old form also included checkboxes where the whistleblower could indicate whether their information was "direct" or from either "other employees" or other indirect sources. Shinealittlelight (talk) 11:45, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree.- MrX 🖋 11:49, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you Shinealittlelight and MrX - I have restored the old text, slightly changed with it now being attributed to TDB, here: [4]. starship.paint (talk) 11:57, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
One more thing, Starship.paint: "other sources other than" is so ugly. How about According to The Daily Beast, the article written by The Federalist neglected to mention that the old form did have checkboxes where the whistleblower could indicate whether their information was "direct" or from either "other employees" or other indirect sources. Shinealittlelight (talk) 12:03, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
@Shinealittlelight: - done. starship.paint (talk) 14:13, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Ukrainegate for a new title?[edit]

Here's a trial balloon, not a real move discussion...yet. What do you think about changing the title to Ukrainegate? It's widely used now, even by the Russians when they laugh about Trump's situation now.

"#Ukrainegate" is also a trending hashtag on Twitter. One caution. It isn't mentioned by very many RS yet, but keep an eye on this. It may well become a good descriptor. -- BullRangifer (talk) 10:38, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

I would not support such a title. I don't see it being used consistently by sources that we commonly rely on for articles like this. I hope that reliable sources don't adopt this name because it trivializes the seriousness of the situation, and it's lazy journalism which will be embarrassing 100 years from now, assuming there is still a civilization then. - MrX 🖋 11:22, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree. soibangla (talk) 18:19, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Search Ukraine Scandal [5] 32.6 million.
  • Search Trump Ukraine Scandal [6] 11 million. SPECIFICO talk 13:40, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Ahh, I like that last one. It's much better than what we have now. -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:06, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

I agree with MrX. I have not seen "Ukraingate" used by the sources we commonly rely on. Also, truthfully, I am usually not impressed by the number of google hits that a word or phrase has. I don't see it as meaning anything. So, I am opposed to such a title change. Also, I believe there has been previous discussion about changing the original title: Trump-Ukraine scandal to Trump-Ukraine controversy. The second title is less sensational and follows Wikipedia's tendency and preference toward neutral wording. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 18:21, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah but what's controversial about it? I think that first discussion was quite early on and there was some knee-jerk false equivalency sleeptalking. SPECIFICO talk 18:42, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Controversy.: [7]
(1) a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.
(2) contention, strife, or argument.
Scandal.: [8]
1. a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.
2. an offense caused by a fault or misdeed.
3. damage to reputation; public disgrace.
4. defamatory talk; malicious gossip. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:03, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Based on the above dictionary definitions, "scandal" seems to be the most accurate. But it does fit the definition of controversy as well. And Wikipedia articles and titles are supposed be neutrally worded: WP:NPOV. "Scandal" seems to indicate editorial bias - what's OK for newspapers is not neccesarily OK for us. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:14, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Also, I'm thinking that "scandal" ventures into weasel word territory. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:19, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

I think this is a little above a controversy. Usually politics at this sort of level are considered scandals, but they often use the term "affair" when the issue is dragged out (such as the Profumo affair and the Iran-Contra affair. Koncorde (talk) 19:26, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
But Profumo actually had an affair. SPECIFICO talk 19:30, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Whereas Iran-Contra just had a one night stand, amirite? But no, there is also the Thorpe affair, Westland affair, Cash-for-questions affair etc etc. Koncorde (talk) 20:47, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I would be comfortable with "scandal", similar to Watergate scandal. The current situation seems to meet the first three definitions listed above. Whether is should be Trump-Ukraine scandal, Trump Ukraine scandal, or Ukraine scandal, I'm not sure.- MrX 🖋 19:35, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
If consensus is heading toward "scandal" then I can agree with that. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:45, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Trump–Ukraine scandal is more apt at this point. No on "Ukrainegate" -- not yet. No on "Ukraine scandal" -- these search results are picking up all sorts of variations of [Trump Ukraine scandal]. --K.e.coffman (talk) 19:48, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Anyone interested in Google Trends?
  • Here is google trends for Trump Ukraine scandal over the past 30 days: in the USA [9] and worldwide [10].
  • Here is google trends for Ukraine scandal over the same period: in the USA [11] and worldwide [12].
  • This is Trump Ukraine controversy same period : the USA [13] and worldwide [14]. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 20:01, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

There was a six-month moratorium on move requests declared 11 days ago. XOR'easter (talk) 20:59, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

"Absent exceptional new developments yielding a consensus..." There are exceptional new developments every day. This discussion can determine if there is a consensus for a formal move request.- MrX 🖋 21:08, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

I think we should stay with "controversy". Definitely not Ukrainegate. MelanieN alt (talk) 11:02, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

At this stage, the most important thing is that users can find the article via internet search and WP search. Anything with Trump +Ukraine is more or less OK. With hindsight, we may think that "scandal" understates what happened, but we don't know yet. We could end up with "Crimes of Donald Trump" or "Deep State Plots v. POTUS Trump". SPECIFICO talk 13:34, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

...or QAnon-Ukraine - MrX 🖋 14:01, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Gates are over. Let's return to the classics. The best name for a scandal built on insane conspiracy theories is Crackpot Dome. [15] XOR'easter (talk) 16:55, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
The Hindenburg Controversy SPECIFICO talk 17:08, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
POV Editing Gate SPECIFICO talk 17:10, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
It appears others outside Wikipedia are grappling with a naming dilema (humorous). Here they are on the famous reliable source, Twitter: ([16]) Ukraine-a-Lago, Moron-Contra, Corruption for dummies, Lago-Contra, Imbecilic Interludes, Moron-Lago and, as noted before,Crackpot-Dome. Also there is one tweet that says: "I read that people in Ukraine are referring to this mess as "Monica Zelensky" [17] ---Steve Quinn (talk) 17:49, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I heard "Monica Zelensky" as their nickname for Zelensky himself. (Stepping back from the jokes for a bit, it would be nice if our article could say more about the domestic consequences within Ukraine itself.) XOR'easter (talk) 18:18, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

We could at least rename the article to Donald Trump–Ukraine controversy. I think that name is more formal and encyclopedic than the current name. Ukrainegate would make us look like an informal and casually sloppy magazine. GaɱingFørFuɲ365 18:34, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

  • I'd say keep it as is. There's really no need to change the title at all. May His Shadow Fall Upon You📧 19:07, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Let's leave it alone for now. The China/Italy/UK stuff doesn't have a proper home yet and maybe longer term it'll be a "Impetus/lead-up to the impeachment of Donald Trump" or "Trump 2020 election interference controversies" (country-agnostic) or we strictly limit the article to Ukraine. But in my opinion anything is better than "Ukrainegate".-Ich (talk) 21:18, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Title: Usage of the sources[edit]

I agree with MrX and others that "Trump–Ukraine scandal" or simply "Ukraine scandal" is the most appropriate title because that is generally how the reliable sources describe it, especially in the last 10 days or so when developments have been very fast and furious. Sources describing it as such include:

  • The Times of London (Sept. 25) ("What is the scandal about?")
  • The Guardian (Sept. 27) ("Trump, the whistleblower and the comic: key players in the Ukraine scandal")
  • Reuters (Oct. 6) ("Second whistleblower in Trump-Ukraine scandal comes forward")
  • New York Times (Oct. 8) ("a memo written by the whistle-blower at the center of the Ukraine scandal")
  • Washington Post (Oct. 8): "the inquiry into the Ukraine scandal"
  • New York Times (Oct. 10) ("the fallout of the Ukraine scandal")
  • Associated Press (Oct. 12) ("the Ukraine scandal at the heart of the impeachment investigation")
  • New York Times (Oct. 15) ("the Ukraine scandal")
  • Reuters (Oct. 16) ("Supporting actors in Trump's Ukraine scandal")
  • Wall Street Journal (Oct. 16): "associates of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, appear to be deeply involved in the Ukraine scandal.")
A formal RM, laying out all these sources' usage, would be appropriate. Neutralitytalk 22:49, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I have no objection to "scandal" over "controversy"; I'm not sure if it would represent a drastic improvement, but perhaps a small one. XOR'easter (talk) 00:46, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
I too lean toward "scandal". That's what we're seeing, even with several debunked conspiracy theories. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:18, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Requested move 17 October 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: WP:SNOW close as moved. This was already moved to Trump–Ukraine scandal by User:Chelston-temp-1, which was out of process as it hadn't run its full course yet. Given the unanimous support so far, I'll endorse this close rather than moving it back, but it anyone objects let me know.  — Amakuru (talk) 11:12, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Trump–Ukraine controversyTrump-Ukraine scandal – Rough consensus has been reached to re-examine the article title. See previous discussion and sources cited in the section immediately above. - MrX 🖋 21:35, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Scandal Support move. "Scandal" is good, and it's better than "controversy" -- there's nothing controversial about the matter. So we've got good plus better, and time will tell whether it's best, or whether we improve the title even more in the future. SPECIFICO talk 21:47, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Trump–Ukraine scandal (en dash). PC78 (talk) 22:29, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support with en-dash. This is the language consistently used by the great preponderance of the high-quality, reliable sources:
  • The Times of London (Sept. 25) ("What is the scandal about?")
  • The Guardian (Sept. 27) ("Trump, the whistleblower and the comic: key players in the Ukraine scandal")
  • Reuters (Oct. 6) ("Second whistleblower in Trump-Ukraine scandal comes forward")
  • NBC News (Oct. 6) ("Second whistleblower comes forward in Trump-Ukraine scandal")
  • New Yorker (Oct. 14) ("Donald Trump's Ukraine Scandal")
  • New York Times (Oct. 8) ("a memo written by the whistle-blower at the center of the Ukraine scandal")
  • Washington Post (Oct. 8) ("the inquiry into the Ukraine scandal")
  • New York Times (Oct. 10) ("the fallout of the Ukraine scandal")
  • Associated Press (Oct. 12) ("the Ukraine scandal at the heart of the impeachment investigation")
  • New York Times (Oct. 15) ("the Ukraine scandal")
  • Reuters (Oct. 16) ("Supporting actors in Trump's Ukraine scandal")
  • Wall Street Journal (Oct. 16) ("associates of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, appear to be deeply involved in the Ukraine scandal")
  • Reuters (Oct. 17) ("the pivotal role of Giuliani in the Ukraine scandal")
  • CNN (Oct. 17) ("the deepening Trump-Ukraine scandal")
Neutralitytalk 22:55, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per the sources cited by Neutrality and per my previous comments about consistency with Watergate scandal and conformity with three of the four definitions of scandal according to[18]. The proposed title meets alo meets all five WP:CRITERIA. - MrX 🖋 23:06, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: Early on I preferred "controversy" to "scandal," but now it's a full-blown scandal, for sure. soibangla (talk) 23:28, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I think the above !votes make good points, and I guess it's a little silly to hold off titling the article with "scandal" when the first sentence calls it, well, "an ongoing political scandal." XOR'easter (talk) 23:54, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support with en-dash, per sources provided. Makes sense at this point. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:44, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Definitely a "scandal". -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:32, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per sources. Volunteer Marek 03:40, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as in prior section, this has gone way past a controversial statement or something that is a little brouhaha, and the reliable sources are reflecting that this is probably in all posterity going to be considered a scandal a la Watergate. Koncorde (talk) 03:59, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. It is a scandal, so let's call it that. Mksword (talk) 07:07, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support to mirror above-mentioned sources. And I'm glad the press has avoided "Ukrainegate".-Ich (talk) 10:37, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Opening sentence, and lede in general[edit]

I can't help but feel the first sentence isn't right, and that the lede doesn't summarise the article fully. Currently "The Trump–Ukraine scandal is an ongoing political scandal in the United States". I looked at the Watergate article and could see it read much more coherently

"The Watergate scandal was a major American political scandal, lasting 1972 through 1974, that issued from the apprehension and arrest of five men in process of burglarizing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972, and the subsequent attempts by President Richard Nixon to cover up any involvement his administration had in such trespass."

I would suggest we refactor the first sentence and lede to summarise the events a little more fluently a la Watergate, and be clear that the scandal is linked directly to the behaviour of Trump in an official capacity (we should summarise the origin of the phonecall, and the context of the alleged coercion, and subsequent attempts at covering it up that prompted the whisteblower to come forwards).

I would also suggest the lede is a little scant in detail currently compared to the complexity of the situation, and actually downplays the allegations and severity of the potential scandal. For instance "reports revealed that U.S. President Donald Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and top Trump administration officials asked the government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden – Trump's potential opponent in the 2020 presidential election – and his son Hunter Biden, reportedly in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine." but most sources interpret this as not merely an "ask" but an attempt at coercion (I would suggest that we reference the Democrat position vs the "No quid pro quo" argument from Republicans and the president), it also feels like the significance of requesting a foreign government for help in interfering in the US election is also underplayed by referring only to the asking them to "investigate". We kind of imply the link, but almost all sources are explicit in suggesting there is a link - and the whistleblower is quite clear too. The final paragraph kind of hits the meat of the subject but we have waffled a bit by then. I would also suggest that instead of "reportedly in exchange" we should probably couch the whole sentence from the POV of the whistleblower. I would suggest an initial lede and structure as below:

The Trump-Ukraine scandal is an ongoing American political scandal, that issued from a whisteblower report outlining concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump had attempted to use political pressure to coerce the government of Ukraine to open investigations into potential Democratic nominee Joe Biden as part of an effort to influence the US 2020 Presidential Election. It is alleged that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was withheld and made conditional at this time. In September 2019 a formal impeachment inquiry by the House of Representatives into President Trump was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Paragraph2: details of the allegations, people involved.
Paragraph3: details of the impeachment proceedings, start of hearings, significant people.
Paragraph4: details of discussion points / claims & counter claims / other pertinent information.

Open to comments, suggestions and feedback - I literally threw it together as a prompt for discussion! Koncorde (talk) 12:16, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

This is a good start. I'd add maybe a concrete timeframe to the start of the first sentence "...that first came to prominence through a July 2019 whisteleblower complaint alleging..." rather than having it inferred by the impeachment inquiry date. Worth noting in the second paragraph would be the patent illegality of soliciting foreign electoral interference, the illegality of blocking congressionally approved aid without explanation, and the purported quid pro quo for personal electoral benefits. To round it out, the other regular money-oriented corruption belongs in the lede too. I had tagged the intro with MOS:LEADLENGTH earlier because it was too long, but two paragraphs is too short.-Ich (talk) 12:56, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I concur: good start! XOR'easter (talk) 14:19, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I believe the quid for tat is now conceded by the Trump Administration. No need for "alleged"? SPECIFICO talk 14:25, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't sure about the complaint date, if only because it was temporarily delayed in becoming public. Was not sure if we say when it was made, or when it became public? On "alleging" vs "outlining concerns", they are much of a muchness - I would need to check how the RS's talked about it, but I don't think that the whisteblower complaint should be summarised as allegations (but I could be wrong). Finally I would have leave the arguments of legality to paragraph 2 where the significant issues could be outlined in one fell swoop, with a summary of some key sources. Koncorde (talk) 14:26, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
The reason the lede is in its current state was because it was over-bloated as ledes go, and was tagged as such (see diff). The tag stayed there for number of a few days. Then User:Sandstein resolved this situation by first moving most all of the content into the new "Summary" section (see diff), which helpfully shortened the lede, and the "lead too long" issue was resolved and Sandstein removed the tag (see diff).
Personally, I don't think we need to get carried away with adding material back into the lede. Notice in the first diff Sandstein says, "Some re-summarizing should take place in the lead, but no longer than a few sentences." Meaning we should keep the lede short. I can also interpret this to mean let the summary section and the other sections carry the load.
We have so much happening around the Trump-Ukraine fiasco that we are continually adding new information. Every day for the last several weeks - one, two, or three things have been covered in the media regarding this topic. I think there's no need to worry about the lead right now. There's enough going on.
I pinged Sandstein for first hand input. Thanks. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 16:38, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
All good points. Let's focus on the chronology of events. Also since most of the events "alleged by the whistleblower" have been thoroughly buttressed by subsequent documentation and testimony, I think the whistleblower should get only a passing reference in the lede, as "concerns first raised by a whistleblower". An aside: as per the complaint itself it was dated 12 August 2019. I made a similar point on Talk:Mueller Report that it's better to avoid focusing on the chronology of when things became public in favor of the chronology of the actual events. The Ukraine scandal didn't begin with the Trump/Zelenskyy phone call. How about a lede hewing closer to this chronology?
...The scandal concerns efforts by President Donald Trump [and his surrogates] to encourage foreign countries, in particular Ukraine, to investigate the family of Joe Biden, a political rival. In exchange for investigating Biden, the Trump administration offered to release $400 million in U.S. military aid that had been blocked at the behest of Trump. A number of contacts were established between the White House and the government of Ukraine [in May 2019?], culminating in a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine. The scandal reached public attention through an August 2019 whistleblower complaint which raised concerns about the legality and ethics of Trump using congressionally approved funds to encourage a foreign government to interefere in a U.S. election to the president's personal political benefit. After a summary of the call was published, an impeachment investigation was initiated by Nancy Pelosi.
The direct wording is absolutely not as polished as it ought to be, but it establishes at least the context of what started this, who is involved, when did this start, why did Trump want to do this, and what was at stake.-Ich (talk) 16:47, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. I've not previously edited this article, I think, and don't really intend to do so any more apart from having helped to clean up what I thought was a very unsightly and bloated lead. So I leave the content discussions to those better acquainted with the issue. I would urge, however, not to add much more back into the lead. It should highlight the key points of interest to readers, which are: what's the scandal about, who are the major players involved, and what are the most important events related to it (such as the impeachment inquiry). I don't think that blow-by-blow accounts of the various whistleblowers, statements by political actors, etc., belong in the lead. Sandstein 16:55, 18 October 2019 (UTC) - And for what it's worth, I agree that the lead could be more artfully written, as noted by the OP. There's no real need to begin with a "definition" of the bolded article title, for instance, as that title seems to be more of an appellation of convenience, and isn't as well established as "Watergate scandal". Sandstein 17:00, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
If we are in agreement to restructure a bit, then I will draft up the other paragraphs / sentences. As a lede I do think it should as a matter of good etiquette always summarise the full article. So while I can appreciate not wanting to over bloat it, it does need some expanding to cover the pertinent point and key players and the ongoing structure of the investigation. Koncorde (talk) 17:24, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I jumped in and redid the intro along the lines of Ich's suggestion. Further improvements are doubtless possible. XOR'easter (talk) 17:44, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
IMO, the lead has swung from too long to too short. I suggest the pendulum should settle somewhere closer to the middle. soibangla (talk) 17:47, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I think the changes aren't a necessary improvement Xor. It's meandering and is really introducing a lot of synthetic arguments. Koncorde (talk) 17:52, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
@Koncorde: You have a good point about synthesis. My previous suggestion should have clearly attributed the "at the behest of Trump" to Mulvaney but I was also trying to avoid a paragraph-long sentence. Further: how much weight should be given to Mulvaney's comments? I think the summary "Donald Trump both personally and indirectly pressured the government of Ukraine (et al) to investigate Biden, a domestic political rival" is fully supported by the body and doesn't need further caveats. I do think the "we-were-just-concerned-about-corruption-in-Ukraine" justifications are laughably flimsy, given the call summary and multitude of public statements both Trump and Giuliani have made on the matter.-Ich (talk) 18:24, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree with XOR. Putting more in the lead right now is counterproductive. What will happen is editors will come along and keep adding more and more information into the lead (because this or that is so important that it must go there! or because it was convenient). This is what happened before. Also, I do not agree there is SYNTHESIS in the lead. And knowing XOR, it is highly doubtful that they would allow SYNTH in the lead. Additionally, the lead really does sum up the article from a perspective equal to 30,000 feet in a plane. I recommend adding to other sections in the body. That is always welcome. Steve Quinn (talk) 18:47, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
On that note, I am noticing consensus has not been reached for changing the lead or adding to the lead. So, we will need more editor input. I do appreciate the desire for improvement by a couple of editors. "Sometimes perfection is the enemy of the good" - I forget who said that. Steve Quinn (talk) 18:57, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Consensus is not really required to make improvements Steve, also XOR is the one who added more to the lede and has stated that he thinks it can be further improved... So not sure what element of his statement you are agreeing with (from what I can see you are the only one vouching for the status quo). On the subject of synthesis, we need to be clear who did what and when. Less is more when it is summarised clearly and attributed. At present it's a bit wishy washy. It is also placing some of the claims in Wikipedia's voice as attributed to nobody, when we need to be clear that these are coming from specific sources and perspectives. Koncorde (talk) 19:09, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think current version is good, informative, and actually better than the suggested new version. Yes, it is longer, but not too long and properly describes everything. My very best wishes (talk) 19:27, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Koncorde, consensus is required when edits are in dispute. And particularly in the lead, see how much discussion there is on what's supposed to be in the lead over at Trump's biography talk page and some other pages pertaining to Trump. Here is what XOR wrote: I jumped in and redid the intro along the lines of Ich's suggestion. Further improvements are doubtless possible. So, he edited "along the lines of Ich's suggestion" and in doing so they may have added a bit more to succinctly capture the summary of this article.
Still, they did edit according to Ich's suggestion. The he wrote "Further improvements are doubtless possible". So, I am not the only one vouching for some sort of status quo - which is a mischaracterization. Additionally, Sandenstein said keeping the lead to a few sentences (or thereabouts) is the best way to go. So this means there is not consensus for adding to the lead, or changing it at this time. And saying it's a bit "wishy washy" is your opinion and in contrast, I think it is very clear and to the point.
Wiki voice is acceptable when backed up by in-line references. Being clear that is comes from different sources - so and so reported this, him and her reported that - can lead to clutter. Also, note another editor chimed in supporting the current version. Please don't make misleading statements such as I am the only one when that is patently not true. I gotta say, it seems you have some sort of agenda here, the way you keep arguing that the lead has to be edited according to your standards. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 19:38, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Also, please read the templates at the top if this page. This page is under sanctions, and editing behavior on a talk page falls under the purview of those sanctions. It says, "The article Trump–Ukraine scandal is currently subject to discretionary sanctions authorized by active arbitration remedies (see WP:ARBAPDS)". Steve Quinn (talk) 19:47, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Err. Okay Steve. At this point I am taking that as a clear and unequivocal threat for something that hasn't happened, been suggested will happen, or likely to happen. I don't believe any edits are in dispute, as no edits have taken place other than the one you so far approve of. I have never edited the page other than to update it today post the page move. You are seriously failing any degree of WP:AGF.
I suggested that the lede could be improved and what could be a potential outline in order to establish a consensus for moving (but to be clear, to make changes to the article does not require consensus, 1RR rule applies to reinstating content which I don't see anyone advocating), I then fed back that the changes made by XOR are not necessarily the best for both format and clarity and my concern over synth (inline citations are irrelevant if we are using multiple such citations to build a synthetic argument).
I do not believe I have mischaracterised anyones comments or your position; "Further improvements are doubtless possible" is saying that it can be improved... that is not an argument for the status quo of even the updated lede. And while Sandstein said to "not to add much more back into the lead" he did also state that he believed it could be more artfully written.
I have done nothing but give completely independent opinion for users to discuss about what I see is a deficiency. In any case, the below would be a suggested format of the existing information. Less happy with the second sentence and balancing the opening paragraphs with the more detailed summary second paragraph but others can feed back. Koncorde (talk) 20:11, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I gotta apologize. I misread XOR's comment. And, I didn't mean to come on that strong. I appreciate that you haven't mischaracterized anyone's comment or their position. Also, in general, consensus is required when edits are in dispute. That is Wikipedia wide. Please read this: Achieving consensus through discussion. In any case, there doesn't seem to be consensus against this. I was wrong. Also, thanks for proposing on the talk page. I will step aside for a bit, and give other editors an opportunity to comment. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 20:59, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I changed the target for the link to the related subsection. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 21:08, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
No offence taken, and I have no intention of negating your input so please feedback and make contributions to the below, or suggest an alternative even if it's the original or the current. Thanks for the fix Ich. Per above, I would recommend anyone and everyone feel free to rip it apart. I am not precious about the current layout or content, I just think it reads slightly better'ish in this structure and I still think it is perhaps a little light on some qualifying information (particularly around other interested parties, and other allegations such as his sacking of the Ambassador to Ukraine). Even a blanket sentence such as "following the release of the call transcript, the conduct of several other Trump Administration, or personal representatives were called into question." Koncorde (talk) 21:13, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I like the flow of the proposed lede. I'd like to see some more clarity around the nature of the investigations, because there been a lot written in the body about how patently false and thoroughly discredited the conspiracy theories about Crowdstrike (and Biden) are. As far as I've gathered, "anti-corruption" is a laughably transparent pretext. Noisily opening a demonstrably baseless investigation serves to muddy the waters and taint public opinion, which is the point, while having nothing to with eliminating actual corruption. How about: ...and to lend support to discredited conspiracy theories... or something that accurately conveys the bad faith nature of the administration's requests. An unfamiliar reader might get the impression that the underlying investigations could be potentially legitimate, which is demonstrably not the case.-Ich (talk) 22:10, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
That's a bit synthy unless attributed. A standalone sentence such as "The accusations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, have been described as unfounded and Trump's demands were rejected by the Ukraine former Chief Prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko." And "While the call to investigate Crowdstrike who were involved in identifying the perpetrators of the DNC cyber attacks has been categorised as a conspiracy theory." Two ugly sentences but easy to cite independent of each other with no risk of bleed (although I am sure we might find one source that tackles both issues). Just need to compose properly. Koncorde (talk) 23:05, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Suggested lede[edit]

The Trump-Ukraine scandal is an ongoing political scandal focused upon the actions of the U.S President Donald Trump and his surrogates in attempting to influence Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into a key political rival. In exchange the Trump administration offered to release $400 million in U.S. military aid that had been blocked at the behest of Trump.

The scandal reached widespread public attention through an August 2019 whistleblower complaint which detailed their urgent concern that on a July 2019 phone call with Zelensky, Trump sought to use political pressure to coerce the government of Ukraine to open investigations into potential Democratic nominee Joe Biden as part of an effort to influence the US 2020 Presidential Election, and find evidence that might undermine the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. It is alleged that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was withheld and made conditional at this time which raised concerns about the legality and ethics of Trump using congressional approved funds to encourage a foreign government to interfere in a U.S. election.

In September 2019 after a summary of the call was published, a formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump by the House of Representatives was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Koncorde (talk) 20:11, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

  • @Koncorde: - we need to stress things that are already confirmed by the White House. The allegations are no longer just allegations. We have corroboration by the White House itself, (1) call asked to investigate Bidens, (2) call asked to investigate Crowdstrike / server, (3) call asked to work with Barr / Rudy, (4) call summary placed in highly classified location, (5) Mulvaney: military aid tied in part to server investigation, (6) Trump publicly: Ukraine, China, please investigate Bidens. starship.paint (talk) 02:18, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
What starship.paint says is accurate. It turns out there was more that Trump and Giuliani wanted besides investigating Joe and Hunter Biden and Burisma. It was actually a widespread plan that included dirt on the Bidens, but also to try to invalidate the Special Counsel's investigations and findings, as well as cook up information that would say it was Ukrainians who interfered in the 2016 election to help Democrats and discredit Trump. That last part is where the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory comes into play. And Giuliani, as we all know, has been a key figure, as Trump's surrogate in the Ukraine, while hijacking America's Ukrainian foreign policy, while subordinating the State Department to his direction, and whatever else. Steve Quinn (talk) 06:58, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Dont stand on ceremony guys, just make the changes and / or suggest alternative wording. I just re-parsed the new lede a little which used the above terminology (I think). I originally suggested we should mention a few notable people but concerns were raised over length so I haven't added that level of detail. Koncorde (talk) 07:32, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
I had to change the sentence about the $400 million in aid so it would be more accurate. It took two edits - see edit history. Although Mulvaney admitted to a quid pro quo, at least in part, because coverage in the media shows Trump wanted more, I don't think Wikipedia should definitively say at this point in the intro that quid pro quo is surely true. First, because so far only Mulvaney appears to literally confirm this, and that is only one person, and investigating the server is only a part of what Trump wanted. Second, I think Mulvaney's admission is now in the second paragraph of the intro. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 08:01, 20 October 2019 (UTC)