We now know that the anonymous White House whistleblower suggesting President Donald Trump had an inappropriate conversation with a foreign power now known to be Ukraine⏤has made that claim based on “hearsay.” This obviously tells me he was told by someone who had seen a copy of the transcript of the phone call and then took it upon himself to file a whistleblower complaint against President Trump. My political call on this; HOW STUPID!
So now it has pretty much come down to a political firestorm that is all based on a whistleblower, still claimed to be a White House intelligence officer. Even CNN admitted that the political firestorm is all based on a whistleblower, with second-hand information, further making the revelation that the whistleblower complaint is based on hearsay, in that he or she didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications.
Let’s talk about the multiple angles on how to approach Washington’s newest scandal over a whistleblower’s complaint about President Trump.
The first⏤is for the President, as there is no political or legal evidence that President Trump violated any presidential protocols. Understand that the President is the nation’s chief foreign policy-maker, and has a broad range of authorities under the Constitution that give him the authorization to change, expand, and of course, execute U.S. foreign policy. Further, the President is also protected by law under Executive Privilege in his communications with foreign heads of state and diplomats in the exercise of U.S. foreign policy and national security matters. Obviously, the White House and Justice Department through their legal counsel have and will exercise their authority to ensure the President’s authorities are supported and protected.
The Second⏤from my standpoint and experience, it is hard to see how any of this ends well, for the whistleblower. Why because, it’s NOT a whistleblower complaint. The person involved, regardless seemed to have a precarious grip on his inside information. For one, the whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their official work. Essentially, someone mentioned the gist of the transcript and whistleblower, obviously young, lacking in experience and just plain stupid, took upon themselves to go running off to file the complaint. As a result, it is based on those details, played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law. I can confidently say that this⏤that determination was made in August or very early in September 2019, making it a dead issue. For clarity, about how this was brought forward, once again, it was the Washington Post, which broke the story.
Of course the narrative fits, because it stems from the likes of what we have seen before — anonymous leaks attributed to former intelligence officials, the Russian Collusion scandal. Whether they are among the stable of former Deep State operatives who have since retired and are now on the payroll at the anti-Trump far-left cable news outlets is not known. While the media supposedly claim to be deeply concerned about Trump-administration law-breaking in classified matters, there is negligible interest in whether the intelligence officials leaking to them are flouting the law.
On Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko denied that the conversation between Trump and Ukraine involved any sort of “pressure” from the president. That puts to bed, the efforts by the political left, the Democrats in Congress, and the mainstream media, in which the conversation or narrative has led to a series of allegations based on what President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky might have discussed.
There have been salacious reports that Trump attempted to coerce Zelensky to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son’s Ukrainian business interests.
This in turn has resurfaced the failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton belief that President Trump asked Ukraine to influence the 2020 elections, tweeting Friday: “The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.” That of course, is so totally ridiculous when one has to rationalize how a country of the capacity and stature of Ukraine could influence an U.S. Presidential. When you compare the ongoing efforts by Russia (over the course of that last 70+ years), not just in 2016, which were minimal, i.e.; less than $400,000 spent on a social media influence campaign in a few states that had zero effect on the 2016 Election, let allow what could happen in 2020 as a result.
So looking at how this went down understand this, at least as it relates to Ukraine. We know President Trump is to have spoken by in an official presidential phone call with newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky took place on July 25, 2019. Accordingly, the so-called whistleblower complaint is believed to have been filed on August 12. Since President Trump took office, in January 2017, there have been residual foreign policy issues between the U.S. and Ukraine, left-over from the Obama administration, which made it difficult for the President to pursue his positions and policy. Hence, the U.S. and Ukraine needed to refocus their efforts to align with the Trump administration. Not a problem, is usually an issue when going from administration to administration and new foreign leadership.
This brings us to the third of this growing and widespread debate former Vice President and Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden. With that, critical and very important to this issue, enter Rudy Giuliani, who is President Trump’s private lawyer who has been open about urging Ukraine to pursue an investigation to get to the involvement of Mr. Biden. Specifically, when he was the Obama-administration vice president, Biden, reports reveal, is said to have pressured the Ukrainian government officials to fire a prosecutor who was conducting a corruption scandal investigation of a natural-gas company. Biden’s son, Hunter, sat on that company’s board, and both Hunter and his law firm was lavishly compensated to the tune of many millions of dollars.
As a result, and as I understand it now, the narrative of the political-left and the anti-Trump camp is that an intelligence officer who supposedly was privy to details of the July 25 call surmised that must the President made a deal with Ukraine Prime Minister, with the U.S. promising some kind of assistance in exchange for speeding up an investigation that could politically hurt Joe Biden, potentially President Trump’s potential 2020 opponent.
The other real concern I have, has been, if you recall, there has not been much Congressional interest in examining Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign dealings with Ukraine in 2015-16, when our government encouraged Kiev to investigate Paul Manafort, and a leak about a claim of lavish cash payments to Manafort resulted in his removal as Trump’s campaign chairman and since being charged and jailed by Robert Mueller, not for that, but old tax infringements. Had they dare go after and charge Manafort on Ukraine⏤that would have opened up a can of worms on Biden and his son.
We have learned that a still unidentified “whistleblower” from within the intelligence community has filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general (IGIC), that relates to and states that President Trump had recent (July) interaction with an unidentified foreign leader during which the president made a “promise” which is not further described outside certain offices of the Executive Branch. To that end we know nothing about the whistleblower other than that the whistleblower found it very “troubling.” Understand that the inference and complaint that President Trump is the subject of, derives from the fact that intelligence officials have indicated that it involves “someone” who resides (the scope of) “outside the intelligence community,” and that there are issues of “privilege” that justify non-disclosure to Congress. That said, the only people that fits that description are the President (and Vice President), who are officially “outside” the intelligence community, because of the fact that the President is not an intelligence officer or official and resides over it as chief executive. As I reference earlier in this article, I noted that the President has and maintains “executive privilege,” which shields his official, private communications with his, and those individuals with which he as confidential communications, to include foreign leaders.
Since late last week, President Trump has been discounting both the whole story as well as whistleblower’s complaint as a fabrication once again by the Democrats and their fake news partners, led again by Representative Adam Schiff (CA-D). That last derogatory reference is none other than that of the lead anti-Trump antagonist and Chairman the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff conveniently claims that facts omitted by the president include; (1) the whistleblower has tried to comply with federal law and go through the proper government channels rather than leaking information to the Trump-hostile media; (2) the IGIC to whom the whistleblower made his report is a Trump appointee, that being Michael Atkinson, a career Justice Department prosecutor who selected as the IGIC in 2018 by President Trump; and (3) Mr. Atkinson concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint was credible and sufficiently serious to be deemed a matter of “urgent concern.” But deemed protected as a result of executive privilege.
Unfortunately, for Chairman Schiff is his misuse of the meaning of “urgent concern. You see, urgent concern is a specialized term in federal law. Under Section 3033 (of Title 50, U.S. Code (Intelligence Activities)), an “urgent concern” relates to specified problems involving intelligence activities and classified information that are within the responsibility of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Understand, the DNI is the cabinet official who works for and answers to the President and oversees the Intelligence Community and its agencies. The urgent concerns Section 3033 outlines includes; violations or abuses of laws or executive orders, or deficiencies in the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity. Section 3033 urgent concerns also include misleading of Congress regarding intelligence activities, and reprisals against whistleblowers who report an urgent concern. But the difference between the common and statutory meaning, and in this case, it does not apply to the President who is protected by Executive Privilege.
Nevertheless, Atkinson notified Joseph Maguire, the acting DNI. Maguire, in turn, did not believe the matter met the Section 3033 definition of an urgent concern, because it related to an activity by someone not under the authority of the DNI (inferentially, the President). Consequently, Maguire declined to pass the complaint along to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
Certainly, to no surprise, the current and former intelligence officials (obviously from within the Obama administration) continue to leak like sieves in their years-long campaign against this sitting President. Thus, the public are knowledgeable of the existence of the complaint, the report of it to the IGIC, and the acting DNI’s refusal to alert Congress became known to the media and to Chairman Schiff. Again, not surprising, Chairman Schiff is hysterically claiming that the Trump administration is violating the law by failing to notify Congress of an urgent concern, as mandated by Section 3033.
Chairman Schiff’s claim, based on IGIC Atkinson’s interpretation of the statute, is wrong as it does not apply to the President’s negotiations with or commitments to foreign powers, or to a President’s sharing of classified information with foreign powers. To repeat, the statute applies to intelligence activities by government officials acting “under” the authority of the DNI. The President is above that and again exempt. As a result, President Trump and his administration should not be accused of law-breaking for declining to follow Section 3033, even if the whistleblower claims he has an “urgent concern” in his or her mind.
Under the Constitution, the conduct and implementation of foreign policy is a nigh plenary authority of the chief executive⏤ the President. The only exceptions are explicitly stated in the Constitution (Congress regulates foreign commerce, the Senate must approve treaties, etc.). Congress may not enact statutes that limit the president’s constitutional power to conduct foreign policy; the Constitution may not be amended by statute. Likewise, in conducting foreign policy, the President may make commitments to foreign leaders (subject to the Constitution’s treaty clause). The President, unlike his subordinates, also has the power to disclose any classified information he chooses to disclose. Like all presidential powers, these may be abused or exercised rashly. When there is a credible allegation that they have been, that should cause all of us urgent concern.
As President Trump noted on Sunday in one of his tweets on the whistleblower … the “…real and only story’ is Joe Biden’s Ukraine scandal.” The President used a video which points out that despite Biden’s insistence that “not one single credible outlet” gave credence to the story, several media outlets reported on the Biden episode.
It is clearly obvious what was going on and had transpired during the Obama administration⏤Hunter Biden’s lucrative position on the Ukrainian energy firm Board while his father was Vice President was exposed. President Trump further noted that the media’s focus on his repeated request to Ukrainian authorities to investigate Biden was deceptive and misplaced. He defended his conversations with the Ukraine prime minister about the Ukraine probe as being “perfectly fine and routine.”
The President went on to say that, “Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster.” President Trump further claimed that, “The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!”
In the meantime, in true fashion, “temper tantrum Nancy Pelosi,” House Speaker on Sunday issued a warning to Republicans: If the Trump administration blocks the disclosure of a whistleblower complaint involving the president’s interactions with his counterpart in Ukraine, then “they (Democrats) will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness.” So childish!
Not withstanding, now Adam Schiff has threatened to withhold funding for the intelligence community if the Trump administration does not release the transcripts of his Presidential phone call with the Ukraine president⏤another ridiculous and reckless move on the part of the Democrats.
Bottom line, the President in his executive phone conversation with Ukraine President Zelensky requested status to complete an investigation involving a questionable, i.e.; corrupt deal with Ukraine and the Ukrainian oil company and Hunter Biden, while Joe Biden was Vice President, and manage the U.S.’s official policy portfolio on Ukraine. Note, that there actually were three separate internal investigations involving this since 2015 by the Ukraine government that the Biden and the Obama administration were trying to shut down the investigation.
The point of the leak of and about the whistleblower who based his complaint on hearsay and stupidly running it up the flag pole. Going even further to make is or her call to point the finger at President Trump implying and heavily suggesting that the President committed yet another crime. All this, when the President has 10-15 people at least, involving senior national security staff, the Situation Room, State Department, lawyers officially listening in, monitoring the call, taking notes to ensure the call is managed and documented. And not one single one of those officials heard anything wrong in anything the President said. It’s totally ridiculous. I know⏤been there, done that.
All this once again is nothing more than a partisan effort on the part of the Democrats in Congress, the political-left, and of course the massive help of the mainstream media to undermine the President on the part and under the guise of the DC Swamp. In all likelihood, there is someone who is probably leaking and using this as a cover to do so. We’ve seen dozens of examples of this in this over the course of this administration.
The real story and worse is the failure over the last four-years of the mainstream media to cover the story of Joe Biden’s alleged efforts to stop a Ukrainian investigation into his son, Hunter.
In fact, even going as far as the Washington Post’s Fact-Checker gave Three Pinocchio’s, about the initial, early revelation of the deal set in place involving Vice President Biden and his son. The Democrats, the political-left and the media hate this President with a vicious passion and they are willing to give a pass to anybody who criticizes him and brings forth anything that they think will stick.
You want the real facts, President Trump was absolutely correct of the weekend when he tweeted; “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a…story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!”
This is yet another partisan effort to embarrass and or take down President Trump by any means necessary!