On Thursday morning, the controversial whistleblower complaint that kicked off the impeachment inquiry against President Trump was released in a redacted form to the public, and it confirmed everything we suspected about the Trump administration and how they do business.
CNN reports that the whistleblower complaint, filed by a member of the intelligence community, alleges that the President of the United States and his staff attempted “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the 2020 election against rival candidate Joe Biden and then tried to cover it up. The complaint also details concerns from intelligence agency officials about how the president’s lawyer and personal fixer, Rudy Giuliani, was “circumventing the national security decision-making processes.”
While the redacted complaint offers little new information, it does reveal one crucial point — that Trump’s minions were “already in discussion” about “how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.” In other words, they knew that what Trump had done was bad enough to sink him and all of their careers.
The whistleblower also accuses the Trump team of using classified information designations to hide “politically sensitive” information and — sigh — kept those files on a separate electronic system…much like some kind of…private server.
"According to WH oficials I spoke with, this was 'not the first time' under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — info."
— Shane Harris (@shaneharris) September 26, 2019
House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said the complaint’s description of Trump’s behavior read like “a classic organized crime shakedown.”
That shakedown took placed during a conversation between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainians to “play ball” and legitimize the conspiracy theory that Biden abused his power as Vice-President to get a Ukranian prosector fired in order to protect his son Hunter.
Hunter Biden is at the center of a legal but ethically dubious influence-peddling incident in which Joe Biden’s son Hunter earned $50,000 a month for sitting on the board of a Ukranian natural gas company while his father touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and served as the Obama administration’s “point man” on US-Ukranian relations.
Trump is accused of having withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine in order to try to bully them into giving him dirt on the Bidens, which the Ukrainians could not do because it does not exist.
The President’s efforts to use American soft power to bully an allied nation into giving him dirt on an election rival and then trying to cover it up by labeling it as classified information is a wild abuse of power that definitely calls for impeachment — and the American people appear to agree.
— Millennial Politics (@MillenPolitics) September 26, 2019
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.