Trump is currently accused of asking the Ukrainian president to help investigate potential misconduct by Joe Biden's son. Are such requests a routine part of the president's interaction with foreign leaders? Are there examples of other presidents directly asking their foreign counterparts for cooperation in a specific criminal investigation?

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    Downvoters: please explain why this is a bad question. The intent is to understand how unusual Trump's phone call was. – JonathanReez Sep 27 '19 at 2:20
  • Given the answer, this is almost a duplicate of politics.stackexchange.com/questions/45960/… – Fizz Sep 27 '19 at 3:52
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    Two things that I find a bit weird. Firstly, you seem to be equating the Trump Ukraine affair with cooperation in a criminal investigation, to my knowledge there is no such US investigation. Secondly, you talk about asking foreign help, whereas it is said that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to get cooperation from Ukraine. If you cite a few fairly neutral sources (quote relevant excerpts from their reporting) and base a question around that, it's easier to take the reader with your train of thought and it may already clarify some questions. – JJJ Sep 27 '19 at 4:17
  • @JJJ if Obama and Bush routinely used the same methods to get other countries to cooperate with the US on various investigations, Trump's behaviour wouldn't be unusual. – JonathanReez Sep 27 '19 at 9:12
  • The crux is in phrasing what those methods are. Either you ask about merely asking for help, which you mention in your question or you ask about the things Trump has done in this affair. Since we don't know what exactly Trump did in this affair, it's hard to know what specific method you're after. You cannot, what you seem to do, talk about merely asking and then equate that with what Trump di because we do not know the full extent, but it's already looking like it's more than merely asking (because his administration withheld military aid). – JJJ Sep 27 '19 at 12:18

It isn't supposed to be common, and to public knowledge, it is not.

Countries often cooperate with one another in criminal investigations. It wouldn't be unusual for the U.S. FBI to ask Ukraine for some investigatory assistance if they were pursuing a suspect of some sort. However, these cases normally are not something the president is concerned about, as the FBI and CIA each have a full complement of staff whose charge it is to take care of things like this.

It is pretty evident that Trump is elevating this issue to the highest office because it involves a potential political rival. This has drawn out whistleblower action from the rank and file, which indicates that it as at least somewhat beyond the pale for the executive branch.

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