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By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  President Trump and Congressman Adam Schiff, whom Trump accused of “treason” for chairing an impeachment inquiry

September 30, 2019 – Attorneys for the whistleblower whose complaint launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have sent letters to the Acting Director of National Intelligence and to Chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees requesting federal protection for their client.  The letter cites overt threats made by the President calling for the death of whistleblowers and leakers. On Sept. 26, Trump stated during a meeting with United Nations leaders caught on tape by the Los Angeles Times:

“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? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.”

The penalty for treason, under the Constitution, is death by execution.

The attorneys’ letter states that a $50,000 bounty has also been offered for information leading to the whistleblower’s identity, further imperiling safety of the whistleblower, who has indicated that he or she wants to testify before Congress.

Threatening a federal witness is a felony; witness tampering is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison if a threat of violence is made.

Trump  made repeated veiled threats again in a series of Tweet storms over the weekend, demanding to know the identity of the whistleblower.  He then accused Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee leading an impeachment investigation, of treason, implying he should be executed, too, tweeting: 

I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.....”

Trump’s lashing out against Schiff came after Schiff likened Trump’s actions toward the Ukranian president to an organized crime shakedown and paraphrased some of the President’s statements, a characterization that enraged the president.  In another tweet, Trump called several members of Congress “savages.”

The whistleblower complaint, reportedly by a CIA agent stationed in the White House, accuses Trump of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign leader to find dirt on a political rival for Trump’s personal gain, then covering up the evidence by ordering call records locked up.

 The gist of the whistleblower’s complaint is corroborated by a rough transcript released by the White House which confirms that Trump did ask Ukraine’s president to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s political rival in the 2020 election, for Trump’s personal gain.  In that call, the transcript confirms, Trump asked the Ukraine’s president to work with Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Trump pressured the Ukrainian president one week after unilaterally ordering aid to the Ukraine withheld, even though the Ukraine needed that military aid to combat Russian forces.

James Madison, in supporting an impeachment clause to the Constitution, specifically cited his concern over the potential for a leader to “pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation [embezzlement] or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

No modern president has accused Congressional investigators of treason, even during the Watergate investigation of Richard Nixon or the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, nor the repeated investigations of the Obama investigation.

Trump, who has denied wrongdoing, drew further criticisms from some for potentially inciting violence when he paraphrased a supporter and tweeted over the weekend: 

“If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal."

The Civil War tweet drew condemnation from Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. “I have visited nations ravaged by civil war. @realDonaldTrump I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant,” Kinzinger posted on Twitter.


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WSJ is behind a paywall so I can't read it.

They don't have any free reads, unlike most other news sites that allow at least a certain amount each month.  Even if I could read it (ie if someone donated a subscription) our readers couldn't read the stories if  linked to them, unfortunately.

I did use to link to WSJ stories a lot in our early days, before they started charging for any online access. 


Thanks but that is not an article.It's an editorial by partisans

including the member of Congress who reposted this on his website.  It's his opinion piece, not a story fact-checked by journalists.  If this were an article quoting him and verifying the statements made, I'd have been fine with that.  But not a one-sided opinion piece on either side of the aisle.

I would welcome links to articles on impeachment that include historical perspective with views from both/all sides, if any readers come across that.  There have been misstatements and misrepresentations on all sides about the way prior impeachment hearings were conducted, for instance, so would be good to get accurate unbiased analysis on the process.

I never made the claim it was,

although by definition, it absolutely qualifies as an article, and it was run by the WSJ which, according to recent PEW reports is the only news source trusted by both Conservatives, and Liberals. Is it partisan? absolutely, but so is 90% of what you choose to publish on this site regarding politics. I think what irritates myself and others who enjoy the other segments of this site, is that in your mission statement you proudly make the claim of "reflecting the broad diversity of people" and that ECM is "an award-winning nonpartisan community news organization", yet you consistently ignore anything positive on the Conservative side. "Top World News" is littered with CNN, NYT and the WAPO, yet you ignore sources like FOX (consistently at the top of the pools) or, OANN which is based right here in Sand Diego! I understand that you don't like FOX news, but in the interest of representing ALL of your readers, you can't include CNN and exclude FOX in the same breath, its hypocritical to do so. In the future, I hope you can do a better job of representing the rest of us non-Liberals, and possibly include some coverage for those of us who believe our President is doing a fine job, in spite of the continued obstruction by the Democrats. Oh, and Epstein didn't kill himself.

No it is NOT an article. Get out your dictionary please.

It is clearly labeled as an "Opinion Piece."  That is the definition of an editorial.  It  reflects only one person's views with no attempt at balance.  

An article is written by a journalist (not a politician, as this editorial was) and includes facts along with multiple viewpoints - quotes on both sides of the aisle, for instance. 

I do have a link to a Fox story in this week's  World Watch. However because of their known biases, like MSNBC on the left, I avoid linking to either if I can find a more well-rounded article in a mainstream media outlet. It is not a question of like or dislike.  It is a question of factualness.  Independent fact-checking organizations have found Fox to be factually inaccurate more than any other network.


Oh, really?

I'm not one who enjoys arguing over semantics, but I've decided to make an exception considering your insistence on this subject. I guess you'd dismiss this definition by your beloved NYT as Fake News then? NYT - More information about opinion articles - Enjoy!

The NYT makes its own rules up.

It still calls everyone Mr. or Mrs. throughout its stories, which is not AP Style Guide followed by other publications.

Whatever they choose to call this, it is still an opinion piece written by a partisan source, reflecting only a partisan viewpoint with no effort at objectivity, accuracy, fact-checking by  journalists or balance.

In our World Watch we link to articles written by journalists or subject matter experts who are not partisan, and where the contents have been subjected to fact-checking. 



We've made a breakthrough here! "The NYT makes its own rules up." I hope you know I'm going to use this quote in the future :) Appreciate your honesty in acknowledging this fact. Have great weekend!

Whistleblower Complaint - "Don't shoot the messenger"

This is unbelievable, and as I am currently visiting my hometown of Chicago, the Republican Congressman in this state actually called out President Trump for making threatening comments towards the whistleblower. Listen to the audio of the whistleblower complaint here.