DEMOCRATS LAUNCH IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, FULL WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT NOW REVEALED

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

Inspector General for intelligence community warns that whistleblower complaint is “an urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”

Hear audio of the declassified whistleblower complaint read aloud here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.)  -- A whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump has been declassified and released today in its entirety.  The complaint states that the President abused his power during a July 25, 2019 phone call,  pressuring the Ukraine’s president to investigate the son of Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in an effort to influence the 2020 election.

The whistleblower, whom the New York Times reports is a CIA agent assigned to the White House, also alleges that Trump tried to hide his actions by locking up records of the call. The Washington Post reports that just one week before the call to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump ordered a halt to military aide promised to the Ukraine. 

The Trump administration’s own intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson warned that the whistleblower complaints to be both credible and an “urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will launch a formal impeachment inquiry over the allegations.  “The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution,” said Pelosi, adding that the President betrayed his oath of office and “must be held accountable—no one is above the law.” After the unredacted transcript was released today, Pelosi stated, “This is a cover up.”

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said he made no effort to pressure Zelensky over Biden’s son. He denounced the impeachment inquiry as “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”  and “Witch Hunt garbage” in a series of Twitter posts.

But even a summary of the call finally released by the White House confirms that Trump did push the Ukranian leader to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, who worked for a Ukranian oil company, for corruption---even though a prior investigation by the Ukraine found no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden, the Ukranian prosecutor confirmed.

According to the White House summary, Trump told Zelensky, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump also pushed Zelensky to work with Attorney General Barr and to meet with Trump’s personal attorney,  Rudy Giuliani.

The summary, which resembles a transcript, is reportedly some 19 minutes shorter than the length of the phone call, leading to questions over what was left out.  Trump has been documented at least four times in the past altering transcripts on issues ranging from his conversations with Vladimir Putin to his golf scores. 

The President later made a veiled threat against whoever leaked information to the whistleblower, the Washington Post reports. At a private United Nations event, caught on tape by the Los Angeles Times, Trump said, "I want to know who’s the person that gave the whistleblower, who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information, because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right?” Treason, according to the Constitution, is punishable by death.

Former Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller has broken ranks with the party to denounce Trump’s actions and defend Biden’s. In an editorial, Miller explains that Biden’s son was doing consulting work for Burisma, a Ukranian oil company under investigation for corruption.  Vice President Biden, along with European allies and U.S. diplomats “all called on the prosecutor to be fired so the corrupt oligarchs could be investigated MORE AGGRESSIVELY,” Miller observes, noting that Biden even called for a deeper investigation into the oligarch running the company that Biden’s son worked for.

Miller concludes, “Donald Trump was allegedly pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate a domestic political foe on a bogus conspiracy for personal gain. Joe Biden was pressuring the Ukrainian government to root out corruption in their own country and bring about democratic reforms.”

The former Republican National Committee advisor, who also served as communications director for Jeb Bush, concludes that the President’s efforts to pressure the Ukraine’s president for political gain “is not a game. Sometimes things are cut and dry Sometimes one man is fighting corruption and the other guy is corrupting all of us, on purpose. This is one of those times.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, a Republican running against Trump in the primary, went even further.  “"Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a US election, it couldn't be clearer," Weld said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And that's not just undermining democratic institutions, that is treason. It's treason pure and simple."

Constitutional experts disagree with Weld, since the Constitution defines treason narrowly as "levying War against [the US] or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

But Trump’s action could meet the standard for other impeachable offense.   The president, the Constitution says, "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Some other Republicans have circled the wagons to support Trump.

San Diego Congressman Duncan D. Hunter released a statement sent to media denouncing the impeachment inquiry as a “weak attempt to score political points…not based on any evidence or facts,” adding, “Democrats know  that the Senate will not convict this President, but they continue to pursue impeachment for the simple political purpose of being able to claim he was impeached.”  Hunter, long a staunch Trump supporter, is currently under indictment for 60 federal counts of corruption; if convicted a presidential pardon could be his only recourse to avoid prison.

Some other prominent Republicans locally have also slammed Democrats for the impeachment effort.

Retired Congressman Darrell Issa, who today announced he is running against Hunter, denounced Democrats’ impeachment efforts as “treacherous” at a press conference this morning.

Conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio, who is also running for Hunter’s seat, when asked by a reporter about the situation, retorted, “The only abuse of power I see in Washington today are the continual witch hunts…I’ve seen no impeachable offense by the President.”

Meanwhile support for impeachment is growing among Democrats and the American public.  The charges against Trump of pressuring a foreign power to influence a U.S. election also parallel allegations that Trump’s campaign solicited help from Russia to defeat Hilary Clinton back in 2016.

San Diego Congresswoman Susan Davis this week announced her support for the impeachment inquiry.  ““President Trump’s actions surrounding Ukraine epitomize his disregard for checks and balances as well as normal practices and protocols. It adds to a growing list of illegal acts and abuse of power showing that this President does not have either the capacity or the interest to follow the rule of law,” she states, adding, ““It is time to open an impeachment inquiry. To not move forward would make Congress complicit in the President's behavior. The President admitted he made the call, leveraging the power of his office to get what he wanted from a head of State.”

Tonight, CNN reports that a majority of the House of Representatives now supports an impeachment inquiry.  A Newsweek poll finds that a majority of Americans support impeaching Trump if he suspended military aid to Ukraine to pressure the foreign nation to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son. Forty-four percent of those polled said they'd "strongly support" removing Trump if the allegations are true, while another 11 percent said they'd "somewhat support" it. Only 20 percent said they would “strongly oppose” impeaching Trump for such an action, and 6 percent said they'd "somewhat oppose" impeachment.

An impeachment inquiry does not necessarily mean that an impeachment vote will be held, depending on what investigations now being conducted by House committees find.  If the House does vote to impeach, the Senate would then hold an impeachment trial to determine whether or not the President should be removed from office.  While the House is controlled by Democrats, the Senate is controlled by Republicans, making the odds against a conviction even higher.

Impeachment carries some political risk for Democrats, if the Senate were to vote against ousting Trump and he claims vindication, galvanizing his base to turn out and vote out Democrats. Not acting, however, risks alienating Democrats’ own base.

No president in U.S. history has ever actually been removed from office through an impeachment trial, though both presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached by the House, but exonerated by the Senate.  Richard Nixon resigned from office after high-ranking members of his own party advised him that he face impeachment if he did not resign, after tapes proved his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

There are parallels to Watergate, which involved Republican operatives breaking into Democratic party headquarters to influence the outcome of an election, prompting comparisons and images going viral on social media between Trump and Nixon, the last president to leave office mid-term due to an impeachment threat.

 

Comments

A reminder of our rules.

Some comments have been removed for violating them with personal attacks on other posters or our staff.  If it happens again the offenders will be blocked.  Our staff works hard and deserves respect, not hate speech. To suggest that an article author has no right to post to respond to vicious attacks is offensive.  Please be respectful of everyone, and I wil remind our staff to do the same. Break the rules, and it's bye-bye time. You're entitled to your opionions about politics or anything else, but not to insult everyone else.

Question for the Editor

Why did you edit your previous comment and remove/reword your statement "Anyone who thinks Trump has done nothing wrong must be either brain dead, divorced from reality or a Russian troll." I'm hoping it was becuase you realized it was a violation of your own rules in that it was 1. A personal attack 2. Disrespectful 3. Insulting. Anxious to hear your resoning. Thx.

Yes

I edited my own comment to be more courteous, in addition to deleting some of the rude and insulting comments directed at myself and others here that provoked the earlier response. 

What actions constitute grounds for impeachment

When Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House he ordered Republicans NOT to socialize with Democrats outside of the House. Prior to this, Democrats and Republicans would argue different positions on the House floor; but maintained cordial relationships outside, relationships that allowed for friendlier, less adversarial discussions than the "posturing" for an audience on the House floor. This was the beginnig of the polarization of current American politics.

Then the Republicans initiated the investigation of Blill Clinton, beginning with Whitewater, a real estate deal conducted 10 years prior to his Presidency. I repeat, 10 years prior to his Presidency. The Impeachment Clause of the U.S. Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Obviously this refers to time in office.

During the Kenneth Starr investigation of Whitewater, Susan McDougal, a friend of the Clinton's involved in the real estate deal was jailed by Starr for almost two years for "Contempt of Court" for not answering questions in ways that confirmed his investigation. Never before has anyone been held in jail for Contempt of Court for even close to this amount of time. During this time, among other things, she developed cancer and was not allowed to choose her doctors. Starr also sent Deputies to a local school to get the son of a close associate of Clinton's, hoping to pressure him to "talk." Only the school principal's refusal to release the kid stopped this. Turns out that the Clinton's lost money in the Whitewater deal. Then, Starr went on to investigate Clinton's sexual behaviors while Governor of Arkansas. Again, not covered by the Impeachment Clause. Finally, he got Clinton to perjure himself on obtaining oral sex from a Whitehouse intern. While I didn't like Clinton, how does any form of sex relate to his "duties" as President, affect national policy. It was utterly sickening to watch Clinton point his finger and state: "I didn't have sex with that woman". But, so what? 

Hypocrisy is rampant in this nation. People who support Trump criticize any investigation by Democrats; but if it were a Democratic President, many Democrats would criticize Republicans. The QUESTION is when is such an investigation warranted. Now Trump is again looking at e-mails to and from Hillary Clinton. While NO sensitive information was found, it still displayed an extremely stupid lack of sense on her part to use an unsecured e-mail. But why is Trump again looking into them? Obvious, isn't it.

And I really don't care if Trump asked a favor of the Ukrainian President to look into Biden's sons business dealings, if there was NO quid pro quo; but there was, a withholding of funds to a nation fighting for its survival. And this was done while in office.

So, how does one compare the abuse of investigational authority by Republicans in Congress for things occurring prior to a Presidency, a real-estate deal and private sexual matters, continuing the investigation until they hopefully will find something, lying about a private sexual experience, something that has nothing to do with affecting anything within the purview of the Presidency, to witholding/delaying funds appropriated by the Congress as a quid pro quo?

Again, I didn't like Clinton, the best Republican President we've had in years. He got legislation passed that NO Republican President could have. Just as many Republicans who really don't like Trump support him, Democrats voted for legislation they wouldn't have if a Republican President had wanted it, including: ending many welfare programs (harming poor people), increasing number of Federal crimes with Death Penalty, creating the 3 strikes law that exponentially increased number of prisoners in U.S with draconian sentences., many for minor possession charges, and ending the Glass-Steagel act that kept commercial and investment banks separate, making them too big to fail. 

The bottom line is that we have become a polarized nation, each side hypocritically attacking the other. However, if Trump did, indeed, withhold intentionally the funds to the Ukraine for information against a potential political rival, this happened while he is in office and does affect national policy. Clinton's immoral sexual escapades in office didn't affect national policy, though despicable.

With this said, I still don't think it is politically wise to try to impeach Trump. Those supporting him will just ignore anything and redouble their support and the Senate won't convict in any case. However, the House should continue investigations of both the Ukraine and breaches of emoluments clause, etc. and ONLY if they have conclusive proof, beyond any question, use it during the upcoming election.

I can agree!

With much of what you've stated here. While we won't ever agree on everything, I think we've found some common ground here. I've stated previously, both sides are predictably devious and will do anything to retain/increase power. However, two wrongs don't make a right and just because Clinton had some crap pulled on him, shouldn't equate to it being Trump's turn in the barrel. Trump has been under investigation and constant attack since taking office, actually even prior to that. Including things that happened in his past i.e. Stormy Daniels, Billy Bush recordings etc. I maintain I don't care what Trump did with a porn star anymore than I cared that Clinton was getting his whistle blown in the White House! That's between them, their wives, and their God. I voted for Trump for the simple reason that he WAS NOT a career politician, and I think most of his supporters feel the same. We're at a slippery slope with this whole impeachment thing, and one thing you can be sure of is that if the Democrats do decide to Impeach, they can expect the Republicans to return the favor when the next Democrat takes the office, I guarantee it. That's where we'll and up, just an ever increasing level of tribal politics from which we'll never return.

I think most would agree with you on some of this ---

Covering up an affair with a porn star, just as Clinton covered up an affair with an intern, while illegal and wrong, are probably not serious crimes in most people's eyes to remove a president form office.  Pelosi realized this and did  not support impeachment on solely that relatively flimsy though troubling action.  I would hope however that the parties would stop being vindictive and hunting witch hunts against every president in every party.  What Trump has done, that we know about so far, is clearly the most serious string of offenses of any president ever to hold the office. What about putting the interests of America first over partisan politics for a change?

This is a perfect example

of what divides us politically and is tearing our country apart. Your statement above regarding what Trump has done is ludicrous, the man has been under investigation for almost 3 years and they've managed to prove he's done absolutely NOTHING! Every time we turn around, its another accusation from some anonymous source, but the Left are the only ones who believe this crap, the rest of us know better by now. This latest article you've chosen to publish by the discredited NYT regrading moats, alligators and "flesh shredding spikes" is nothing but fiction, but what else would we expect from the NYT. This Ukraine scandal is nothing but more of the same, the media is calling a sworn statement from a Ukrainian prosecutor a conspiracy theory......but they call second hand information from a "whistleblower" a credible claim. It is insanity. When Trump took office, his family STOPPED doing foreign business deals, but when Joe Biden became VP, his family STARTED doing foreign business deals. Imagine if Hunter Biden were Don Jr.??? Heads on the Left would explode! How come nobody on your side want's to address the fact that the whistleblower requirements, which previously required direct first-hand knowledge were revised to exclude that requirement right before this recent filing??? Nobody on your side thinks that might be a little fishy??? C'mon, read this article and be honest......Intel Community Secretly Gutted Requirement Of First-Hand Whistleblower Knowledge And, for the record, I do enjoy much of what you write and I was perhaps a little harsh in my previous dig, but I take offense when you take liberty with the truth in politics.

Deplorable girl you are always truthful and say the obvious!

This B.S. about Impeachment is just another way for the dems to try to cover up their criminal actions. I find it humorous that they are accusing our President of doing EXACYLY what Joe Biden did while the Vice President, and bragged about it. He is done for. Now Pocahontas is at the top of the hopefuls. Can’t wait to see her try to defend her character regarding the lies she has told. Like Biden, she will fall too. Non of this really matters because President Trump will win the 2020 election anyway. My dream is for the liars and thieves to be found out by the American people. Oh, and Shifty Schiff should be arrested for his lying to the public about what was in the Transcript he pretended to read. What a weasel. Now that guy is despicable. Trump 2020!

Your statement is full of falsehoods. Trump's family is still

doing all kinds of foreign dealings. Where on earth did you get info saying they don't?  Now there are stories coming out about foreign governments buying rooms in Trump's resort in Scotland and not even staying there - clear efforts to buy influence.  Ivanka has all kinds of foreign dealings in China with her clothing business. Jared still has overseas dealings. Not sure about Don Jr.   Trump has very clearly done MANY things that are flatly illegal. The NYT is not a "discredited" publication by any means. It is one of the most respected journalism publications in the world and has won many Pulitzer Prizes. How many has Fox won?  Zero.  No media outlet is perfect. All make mistakes on occasion, but overall the NYT is one of the best. Trump's attempt to discredit credible media is exactly what dictators and authoritarian leaders do.

The verdict is out on whether the Bidens engaged in any wrongdoing. But even if they did, there are legitimate channels through which those could/should be investigated -- not by a  president attempting to extort foreign leaders.  Anyone who thinks Trump has done nothing wrong is not educating themselves through impartial sources.

 

 

Much of what the whistleblower claims is confirmed in other ways

and even the White House doctored transcript (19 minutes shorter than the call) has Trump asking the Ukraine president to investigate Biden's son.  His blocking military aid a week before is also documented and his own cabinet and intelligence depts. did not know why he did that.

Blocking the military aid to the Ukraine benefitted Russia, since that's whose forces the Ukraine wanted the weapons to battle.  So this aided a company long viewed as an enemy of the US, in addition to Trump attempting to get dirt on his political opponent for personal/political gain.

The whisteblower's unredacted acccount lists various visits and meetings involving Barr and Guiliani which can likely be confirmed with travel records and other documents. 

Once the Dems begin subpoening people to testify and documents we will have to wait and see what more comes out. 

If Biden did anything shady, and so far there's zero proof of that, it can and should be investigated separately through our own intelligence agencies. Trump could have asked the FBI if he had any reason to believe this,  other than just wanting to launch a witch hunt of his own.  His asking a foreign leader to do this was improper, and his own transcript/summary shows that he did exactly that.

 

 

Good luck with that!

The Dems have a consistent habit of overplaying their hand, i.e RussiaGate, Muller Report, etc.....the same will happen here. Also, "doctored" and "redacted" are not words that can be used interchangeably, as a self proclaimed journalist you should know this. It only highlights the bias in your reporting. Bribing a foreign country with federal funds is a crime. Asking that same country to look into it, is not. The fact that this has to explained, speaks volumes to the level of brainwashing in this country. Remember when Bill Clinton committed provable perjury, and the Left considered it wrong because he was a still a sitting president? I remember.....FLASHBACK - NADLER IN 1998

You're not a journalist, Deplorable Girl.

I have 350 major journalism awards including many of the top awards presented in the industry, notably including political and investigative reporting at both regional and national levels. so I'm pretty sure I know more about the rules of journalism than you do.

As for Clinton, most Americans polled did not consider lying about sex to be a "high crime or misdemeanor" as the Constitution requires for a president to be removed through impeachment.  Extorting a foreign government by withholding aid in order to pressure a foreign leader to provide dirt, true or not, on a politial opponent for a president's personal gain is a far graver crime, especially when withholding that miltary aid helped Russia, a long-standing enemy of the U.S.

 

Rarely Respond

As I read your latest, "Deplorable", I see again your consistent lack of simple respect and humility. You are too fainthearted to post your own name but you smear Miriam as a "Self Proclaimed Journalist". You Sir, are cowardly and I would suggest your Bone Spur's are all too apparent too those that look beyond the bluster and bombast you spew. Perhaps you should consider creating something here in East County that is similar to ECM! I'm sure you would do a great job with the added value of expressing whatever aligns with your values. 

Redacted...

can also mean "to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release". My objection was targeted at your statement above that the White House transcript of the call was "Doctored", that's an opinion, not a fact.

The dems just want Trump gone.

How unfortunate. A whistleblower who was not present and only had hearsay information started an inquiry of Impeachment. I read the entire transcript of the phone call and the entire whistleblowers report. We will see what transpires, but it is just another thing for the democrats to try to stop Trump from being president now and in 2020. Schiff lied as read the transcript adding his own BS. For theatrics and the listening citizens believe Trump actual said those stupid things. How Schiff can still hold his position is disgusting. He is an out and out liar. He also said prior to the Mueller report he had evidence Trump had colluded. Two years he never said he really didn’t have any evidence. He needs to be reprimanded in front of Americans. I can tell you what I believe will happen. If they actually do try to impeach it will never pass. Trump will run and win. Americans are sick of the witch-hunt. Biden won’t be a candidate after this. His shady dealings regarding his son will be his demise. Trump 2020!