Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call

Sep 25, 2019 · 235 comments
PGM (St. Louis)
This whole so called phone call scandal is manufactured and gas-lit by people who simply hate our duly elected President. We are once again witnessing an attempted coup. The pearl clutching Elites in DC are still shocked and horrified over Mr. Trump's election and they know he will win again if they cant impeach him now. Once he does win re election in 2020, all of their flailing about will die out and they will be forced to accept Mr. Trump as they should have when he won the first time because their candidate was lazy, presumptuous and totally unfit for office.
CP (Portland)
“Mr. Atkinson also found reason to believe that the whistle-blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump...” This is totally irrelevant if the facts proved to be true. Every single person has a preference of candidates and to start implying you can only report on or prosecute people if you happen to support them politically is ridiculous and would of course pretty much shut down our judicial system. If someone appeared to actively trying to target a candidate they didn't support than certainly you would want to be extra careful when verifying facts in the case. But most people in the intelligence community are known for being apolitical in their work and unlike our current President and his supporters put their country before politics. And this point most Republicans I know don't even support the re-election of Trump so all that shows me is this person has seen enough, and probably more than us even, to know Trump is a threat to our country. That would give them even more of a mandate to report dangerous and possibly illegal behavior, not less.
Matthew (Loma Linda, CA)
His concern is that the WH released the call, so he can't use it to spin lies about the president anymore.
RjW (Chicago)
I’ll go out on a limb here and posit that when Zalinsky can speak freely, Trump’s true fealty will be revealed in all its vainglory. It’s not that the Ukrainian Prime Minister has a better intelligence agency, it’s that he has the personal intelligence to see Putin for what he is, and Trump for what he is and has been since before the election. I give the reader a scene from the Clinton/Trump debate wherein Trump reflexively and intensely cries in triplicate,” no your the puppet”. It didn’t require an intelligence agency to infer that Trump was projecting, and was obviously a puppet of V. Putin.
Truthiness (New York)
Thank God for the whistle blower! He/she likely saved the country
live now, you'll be a long time dead (San Francisco)
Follow the law scrupulously. And, where there is no law, reach for the highest standards of behavior we should expect from the people to whom we entrust the country. By this measure, judge impeachment. It is a political and it is a legal process. When a person's behavior disgusts society, shun them and certainly remove them from positions of responsibility. Trump has richly earned society's disgust. Unworthy is the moniker. Therefore, remove him.
Mike T (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Would someone please explain what gives the Office of Legal Council the authority to supersede the whistle-blower law and stop the complaint? The whistle-blower law says that once the Inspector General has determined the complaint meets criteria, the DNI "shall" pass it on to the Senate and House committees. In this case, the DNI gave the White House and Justice a heads-up and did not pass it on. What part of the whistle-blower law gives the OLC the authority to insert themselves into the process and act like lord high censors to keep Congress in the dark?
Wondering (NY, NY)
@Mike T The part that says it has to be intelligence-related. OLC said it did not need to be forwarded on that basis -- that the whistleblower law was not relevant. Their interpretation was that the allegation was of campaign finance law violation, which Justice Dept. handles. They analyzed it in that context and determined that it was not a violation of law because nothing of value was involved.
Bill (NYC, NY)
@Mike T, It is the same part of the law that says Trump doesn't have to share his tax returns with Congress. You know, it is that part of the law that Rudi Guiliani would show you except he spilled coffee on it.
A Centrist (Boston)
The transcript is an example of what goes on in much of the business world every day. That's life. For our reality TV faux business tycoon that machismo can only go so far when accountability comes into play. Reality TV meets reality. Hallelujah!
Sparky (nyc)
@A Centrist This didn't happen in the business world. It happened in government, by an elected official who is bound to uphold the law.
Susannah (Syracuse, NY)
I was shocked yesterday by the memo itself, and it just gets worse as I reread it. This is indefensible. (For those still having trouble seeing what the problem is, just imagine Tony Soprano saying it to a little-guy businessman he's squeezing.) As for the fact that the whistleblower is not a fan of Trump--why would he be?
Susan (Virginia)
I would hope anyone who has credible information that the president is seeking foreign assistance to meddle in US elections would not want to see that president re-elected. Trump's behavior has been so egregious for so long that not wanting to see him re-elected is hardly "political bias." It's American patriotism.
Sparky (nyc)
I'm getting a little bored by the constant claim that Democrats can't "get over" losing in 2016. I'm so over it, guys! It's history -- I never think about it. What I do think about is whether there is a person in the WH whose actions show believes he is above the law. That's the issue. He has admitted asking a foreign government to look for damaging info about a political rival. He's admitted asking a foreign government to work with his personal lawyer on this. That's why I want this inquiry to go forward.
John Smythe (Southland)
So a Democrat supporting member of the Deep State who didn't hear the phone conversation reported it anyway despite the fact that it was a diplomatic exchange not an intelligence matter? How is this even credible? This is Washington playing games again.
lwillis (san diego)
@John Smythe. I guess we’ll find out soon enough how credible it is, hand-waving attempts at deflection notwithstanding.
NewEnglandPatriot (Boston)
@John Smythe Yet the Trump appointed IG found it credible and urgent. Or is he part of the “Deep State” too?
Tyler B (Washington D.C)
Funny, “John,” I heard nothing about the whistle-blowers political affiliation mentioned in the article. So you’re telling me you would support the re-election of a President who not only attempted to solicit a bribe of a foreign power in order to interfere in our free and fair elections, the very pillar that holds up our democracy? And not only that, also exposes us to tremendous national security risk? Perhaps open your mind to the possibility that the corruption runs so deep, is so engrained in this administration that eventually the characteristic behavior comes back to bite them. Occam’s Razor says that is far more likely than a “deep state” conspiracy about which the accuser’s have provided zero evidence; convenient that deep state talk always seems to pop up around the time dear leader gets into hot water, eh?
I would like to remind everyone, the money that was being withheld from the Ukrainians was not President Trump’s money. It was taxpayers.
Thomas Murray (NYC)
@THOMAS STITH II "P.S." The $391 million or so 'marked' for Ukraine is 'chump change' compared to the $$$ we've paid already so that trump can go golfing at his own resorts 'darn near' every weekend … with his family and his 'advisors' and his secret service detail in tow -- while all of them pay trump, with our $$, for their trump hotel lodgings and meals … AND FOR USE OF THE GOLF CARTS the service detail needs so they can 'follow-and-protect' the duffer-in-chief as he cheats his way through another 18!
JimBob (Encino Ca)
@THOMAS STITH II Yes, and it was targeted to American defense contractors. Everyone speaks of "aid" to foreign governments, but that money makes a quick round-trip to Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon. You could say, "Well, at least it makes for jobs," but what kind of jobs? Making stuff to kill people? Is that where we want our taxes going as our infrastructure rots?
joe (Ca.)
transcript was so obsequious that is sounded lik Trump wrote it or Zelensky is in his pocket. I imagine significant creative license may have been taken with it. There also were reported to be significant redactions for "national security". Could those be for TRUMP"S security? Stay tuned for Trumpie's sleazy reality show!
Spizzy (US)
"Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call" THIS is what happens when you hand a coked-up Tony Montoya the keys to the White House and let him wander around, free to appoint his criminal friends to high positions, attack anyone his corrupt, demented mind believes are his enemies, conduct his terrible crimes against humanity, the land, the climate, basic human rights... and American democracy itself. If corrupt, demented, lying, criminal, phony president Traitor Trump could, he would aim the biggest military weapon he commands squarely on America, swing it from side-to-side, pull the trigger, and scream "Say hello to my big friend." And THIS is corrupt, demented, lying criminal man who has his hand on the nuclear button.
Truthiness (New York)
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Chris (Minneapolis)
The true depths of trumps insecurity are astonishing. He still wants the world to believe that he won the 2016 election fair and square. I'm also wondering if he still needs to do something to get Manafort freed early or Manafort will offer up some additional bad news for the trumpster. One has to wonder how many people around the world have the ability to extort trump.
Paul (Morgantown, WV)
It's unthinkable that the most "stable genius" we've ever had as president (Trump's words) would jump from a near impeachment with Russian collusion and then do it all over again with Ukraine. I was on the side of let's just deal with this at the ballot box, but now I feel like Nancy Pelosi's back is against the wall. She can't fend off the Democrats in favor of impeachment forever. He forced her hand.
JimBob (Encino Ca)
So if a cop who's a Republican gives a speeding ticket to a Democrat, the Democrat can go to court and plead that because they don't vote for the same candidates, the ticket should be dismissed? Isn't that a bit like Trump saying the whistleblower isn't a fan of mine, so whatever truths he brings to light should be ignored? When the real question is, were you speeding or were you not speeding?
Just Me (Lincoln Ne)
There is of course an inherent conflict when the 'inspector' is the one being inspected. Russia has poison and North Korea to handle these things. America is supposed to have oversight.
JBonn (Ottawa)
While the primary focus is on Trump's act of asking Zelensky for help with his reelection, the behaviors of the DNI and the Justice Dept are probably far more egregious. Their efforts to illegally conceal the whistleblower report and related witness interviews to prevent them from reaching the appropriate House committees, is a crime - - starting with obstruction of justice.... This tentacles of the original incident should reach out to drag in those who aided and abetted what Trump did because they were the first to determine that it was 'illegal and a threat to national security'.
Bill (NYC, NY)
So let me see if I have this straight: "Mr. Engel, while saying the allegations did not fit within the intelligence whistle-blower system that enables Congress to see complaints, said such a complaint could instead result in a criminal referral." In other words, Mr. Engel, withheld the memo from Congress while agreeing that Trump's actions might be criminal. We know Bill Barr believes the Justice Department has no business investigating, much less inditing, a sitting President. And Mr. Engel doesn't believe anyone other than the Justice Department has any business knowing about Trump's behavior that he believes may be criminal. A perfect storm of corrupt political appointments. Vote for real Democracy in 2020.
Elizabeth (Roslyn, NY)
It is disturbing to read about the DOJ involvement. The whistleblower complaint should have gone directly to Congress within 7 days. Instead, just like the Mueller report, William Barr got to spend time with all the information of the complaint. We know what he did with the Mueller Report and I have no doubt that Barr is again switching things around, withholding portions and editing the sentences to make his client look good. AG Barr is Trump's fixer. He replaces Michael Cohen and Roy Cohn. He apparently would do anything to save and enable Trump. And another insult is that Barr directed the DOJ to concoct the argument that it is not a matter for the DNI to be concerned about. So we are to believe that the Director if National Intelligence should ignore his mission to protect the US from election interference from outside forces and nations? It does not compute. Barr needs to be investigated too. Big Time.
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
Trump said yet another big, big, bigly lie about financial help to the Ukraine to protect itself from Russia trying to take it over again, by saying the EU never gave any money. Why was that not a very important headline? As to the OECD, in 2016-2017 the EU alone provided $425 million in development aid, while the US spent $204 million, Germany $189 million and Japan $180 million.
Bob (Minn.)
Steven Engel is another Kirkland & Ellis attorney, the firm which represented Russian oligarchs and Alfa Bank. In June 2019, Engel issued an OLC opinion supporting the Justice Department's decision not to release Donald Trump's tax returns. It appears he is another one who will protect Trump at all costs.
Michael C (Chicago)
Trump is officially the newest member of the U.S. Hall of Shame. It’s for all the world to see and membership is permanent.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
Wow. This article does a good job of outlining a blueprint of Trump's mindset. Even though a "previous top prosecutor in Ukraine said in May that the Bidens did nothing wrong" Trump had asked the Ukrainian president to investigate them, a second time. If this scenario had not been "interrupted" by someone who heard about the phone call secondharnd but felt compelled to report its contents, then surely Trump's behavior would have gone undetected and he would have used the investigation against Biden if he were to be the Democratic candidate for president. Even with the Bidens having done nothing wrong, that fact would be irrelevant to Trump. The story, the headline, would have been that Joe Biden is being investigated for corrupt practices in Ukraine. Not only is Trump a hypocrite, but his actions clearly point to directly attempting to manipulate the election next year. Perhaps his base are fine with this kind of deception, fraud and blatant manipulation to discredit and harm a person's credibility and reputation, but I keep wondering and asking myself this question: What else has he done to help future and harm this country?
Bev (CT)
If the whistle-blower isn't willing to identify him/herself, then I am not willing to take this information seriously.
Kerrielou (Washington)
@Bev Not sure how that matters in light of the transcript the White House released and corroborating witnesses. A whistleblower complaint is simply an alert something should be investigated and the act protecting them is there for a reason. For example, a CIA operative could face serious risks submitting a complaint about corruption within the intelligence community. If people feel they can't come forward to alert the appropriate authorities, corruption goes on unfettered. This process is also important in preventing illegal behavior.
Expat For Life (Asia)
Since the 1880s, a pesky little thing called the law protects whistleblowers. A law is a...oh forget it.
Chris (Minneapolis)
@Bev The whistle blower obviously HAS been indentified--to the people that matter. The whistle blower has every reason to fear trump because he has proven over and over and over again that he is a petty and vindictive person and does whatever he wants to destroy anyone that gets in his way.
Trump not only doesn't understand the important responsibilities of the office he holds and its national security ties with the intelligence communities, their officers both overt and covert...... He simply doesn't care that his actions can have and have had a detrimental effect on our nations national security....... Our sitting President is a clear and present danger to the safety and security of America BUT More importantly his dictatorial, fascist personal desires are an ongoing threat to our Constitutional form of government.......
Jim (Virginia)
This is what comes of firing everybody. Lots of Presidents declassify things (sometimes unintentionally) in conversations. The IC always squeals, but the Pres has that authority. On asking foreign friends for help, this may have happened occasionally, rarely, in the past, but other Presidents have a consigliere who handles these things discreetly and at a distance. Giuliani doesn't cut it. Weak team, too many amateurs (but what pro would work for this administration?). If the Dems fumble again in 2020, we are really hosed as a country.
S.Einstein (Jerusalem)
Allegations are “deeply disturbing” and “very credible.” A President and Commander in Chief who behaves, by words and deeds, daily, as if he was “deeply disturbed” and NOT “very credible.” Attorney General Barr and selected staff of the DOJ continue to behave in ways which are “deeply disturbing,” not “very credible;” bordering, perhaps, on the incredible. The protracted silence about ongoing challenges and threats to American democratic principle, norms, values and ethics, of Republican policymakers, in the House, Senate, a range of governors, a diverse group of people notwithstanding their party affiliation, is increasingly “deeply disturbing;” their judgement and decision-making being NOT “very credible.” President Trump’s personal lawyer, a former mayor, an experienced politician representative of the law, and multi-experienced husband, increasingly behaves, by words and deeds, in ways which are “deeply disturbing,” daily, and challenge “credible.” The ongoing complacency of so many Americans, a diverse population in a divided nation, manifesting willful blindness, deafness, ignorance and silence about what IS, which should not BE, and the active complicity of so many others, is “deeply disturbing;” challenging America’s responsibilities as being a”very credible” world leader and a model of democracy. The daily empowered culture and operation of personally unaccountable policymakers, at all levels in America, is “Deeply Disturbing.” What are effective,credible actions?
lulu roche (ct.)
Let's look at trump. A six time bankrupted, lying, sociopathic chaos creator who has exploited every avenue for decades to enrich himself financially and an empty hole of need. So far, he has destroyed the US ally relationship, put the soy bean farmers out of business (Russia is now China's soy bean supplier!), allowed waterways to be filled with toxins, approved of asbestos, wants us breathe methane, has lifted regulations that protect food quality, accepted millions in graft through his hotel network, repeatedly lied to anyone listening, threatened detractors, etc. Yet, half the country appears to think this reality show actor is terrific. Now we have a whistleblower, essentially risking their life to come forward with further criminal behavior. Many people will buy the FOX story of Biden being the bad guy while Ivanka waits for her voting machine trademark. We now live in trump's horrid world of 'unfair' as he indulges in childess tweets about a girl with Aspergers. Our country is now a failing department store with a corrupt manager groping the saleswomen. Help!
Richard Higgerson (East Thetford, Vermont)
I'm not worried about Trump. He does not have the smarts or ruthlessness to be a true dictator. Should his actions be allowed to stand unpunished however, it will establish a precedent that a real strongman will exploit. It is time for all Americans to ask a simple question: Are we a nation of laws or have we allowed this man to drag us into the category of a banana republic?
Caleb Mars (CT)
There is so much less in the whistleblower complaint than what was promised. The complaint is made by someone who was not in on the calls and did not see the transcripts of the calls. So it is legally worthless hearsay. Can you read the newspaper and write a whistleblower complaint? Second it was said Trump explicitly threatened to withhold aid and he did this up to eight times in this call. But the transcript does not support this. There was no quid pro quo, no demand, no mention of military aid, no threat of a cut-off. There is nothing illegal or even wrong in asking a foreign leader to investigate corruption. Hunter Biden got a lot of money while his dad directed aid to the Ukraine. Later his Dad used explicit threats to cut off aid to get a Prosecutor fired. You have be more naive than a two year old to think that's all on the up and up. Congress needs to get to the bottom of this. We need a full investigation of the Biden corruption scandal. The DOJ should appoint a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of this.
FL Sunshine (Florida)
History lesson for AG Barr: Nixon's AG, John Mitchell, was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury to cover up breaking into the DNC offices to give Nixon an advantage in an upcoming election.
Victoria Baker (Greater New Orleans area)
The article states that in the conversation memo, trump doesn't mention that the military aid had been held up. Don't you think it 100% likely that Zelensky had already been informed of this fact? In the memo, Zelensky brings up the missiles (Javelins) that he wants, and trump replies that he wants a favor. There is direct quid pro quo.
Claudia Groenevelt (Washington DC)
And what is even more troubling is that Barr was supposed to get involved also. What were his actions, if any?
Theo Trost (Alabama)
I suspect the White House's internal records describing the call Mr. Trump made to Zelensky, when released to the public, will show signs of modification by Sharpie.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
“Ukraine, if you are listening, please investigate Joe Biden and the missing evidence of dirt I can use in my 2020 campaign in the same way Russia helped me in 2016. I only ask for the same beautiful help.”
Michael E. Zall (Suffern, NY)
What is probably most disconcerting is the foot dragging on the aid to the Ukraine needed to protect itself from Russia by our compromised pro-Russian president. These are traitorous acts.
Stefan SF (Paris)
It’s always the coverup.
esp (ILL)
Ho hum, just another day in the current occupant of the white house. He has done so many impeachable offenses it is impossible to count them. And he gets away every time. There is so much evidence of obstruction of justice almost every time the man opens his mouth. So here we go again and again. And nothing will happen. Oh one thing will happen the media will come out the winners. And trump will win the Electoral college vote.
JimBob (Encino Ca)
J. Maguire, another person of stature and integrity who made the mistake of tossing his reputation into the reeking flames of the Trump presidency.
Ken (MT Vernon, NH)
“Mr. Atkinson also found reason to believe that the whistle-blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump...” Well, that was about the most innocuous way you could have described that. One would think Democrats would be sick of being made to look like fools. The Democrat leaders and the MSM rile them up with fake story after fake story, they dutifully pour out their outrage, only to find out the whole thing is entirely fake, again. Sick of being lied to? Become an Independent.
Pete (Seattle)
You failed to address the facts that were presented, and acknowledged by the White House. The President asked the Ukraine President to investigate one of his main political rivals. That does not trouble you in any way? If this was really a concern about “corruption,” why not simply assign the FBI to examine the matter, and use them to approach Ukraine officials? An independent Special Council (like the one Trump promised for Hillary Clinton) could then carry out an independent investigation. But independence is the problem. Trump has no desire for truth. He only wants scandal for Biden and headlines for Trump. His game is winning, not truth, ethics or governing.
Ken (MT Vernon, NH)
@Ken You skip over the most important fact there is. Trump is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It is entirely appropriate for Trump to address extortion and corruption used against an ally by senior officials representing the American people, especially when that ally is in the process of trying to clean up what was a very corrupt previous government. You skip around the fact that what Biden did was totally corrupt and emblematic of the rot in government. If you think what Biden and his son pulled is perfectly ok and nobody should ask any questions, you perpetuate the corruption.
RHR (France)
The argument that has been put forward by Steven Engel, the Justice Department's Head of Legal Counsel, that the whistle blower's complaint did not center on the intelligence activities that Mr. Maguire supervises but that it did involve a possible violation of criminal law - soliciting a foreign campaign contribution in violation of the campaign-finance laws, is convoluted to say the least. It was through this piece of legal contortion that Maguire was able to justify his refusal to inform Congress of the complaint. The complaint was referred instead to the Justice Department where, to no one's surprise, it was evaluated for a whole month before it was deemed that there were no legal grounds for a criminal investigation in to Mr. Trump’s behavior. In my opinion this has all the hallmarks of a carefully constructed but ultimately not very effective cover up with the finger prints of William Barr all over it.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
In my memory, “partisans” were those brave civilians who fought against the Nazi regime of Germany and its collaborators during WWII. It was the leaders, followers and supporters of that German National Socialist government who were the despicable ones the United States of America fought to defeat and destroy. The partisans were our allies.
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
@Inkspot Thanks, Inkspot. My father, a scientist, was one of those 'partisans' very narrowly escaping of being transported to Buchenwald after weeks of house arrest. For the rest of his life whenever someone said that America defeated "us", he always said that no, America liberated us.
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
One has to wonder what is going through the oh-so-pious head of Mike Pence and his wife he affectionately calls mother? Are they already measuring the drapes in the White House? I think the nation can live with a President Pence for a fairly short period because if he ran for president in 2020 he'd lose 'bigly'.
Michael Kelly (Bellevue, Nebraska)
Republican members of Congress maintain that what we know now is not grounds for impeachment . Their short term memories overlook the long list of offenses of Trump's time in office. An impeachment process is necessary; the fact that McConnell will once more lead his troops in protecting Trump no matter how strong the case speaks to the failure of the Republican Party to value politics over country.
Victoria Baker (Greater New Orleans area)
@Michael Kelly The fact that the Senate voted unanimously to release the whistleblower complaint belies the assumption that Republicans will defend trump no matter what happens. I see the edifice crumbling, and there are reports of a Republican insider (or 2 or 3) stating that if the vote to convict on impeachment could be secret, there are 30 R Senators right now who would do so. And this is only day 3.
Kristi (Atlanta)
Trump really does think that he is above the law. Given the conspicuous timing of his call to the Ukrainian President (one day after Mueller’s testimony), he appears to have interpreted the Justice Department’s position that a sitting President cannot be indicted as meaning that he can break the law at will. He also knows that his sycophants in the Senate will never vote to remove him from office. Remember his ominous words about how he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and his supporters would remain loyal? He is testing the boundaries of that boast every day. Thank goodness for the courage and patriotism of this whistleblower - and the people inside the administration who confided in him or her.
JJ (California)
What we have is a high crime followed by a cover-up that implicates not only Trump but assorted others. Many of us have always known that Trump is up to no good and all this is not really a surprise. However if formal impeachment inquiry had not been initiated much of it would have been hushed up. I do fear for the whistle blower - he or she will have their identity leaked, reputation mercilessly tarnished, career destroyed, and be the recipient of assorted threats by many wackos who are part of Trump’s base.
Grey (Charleston SC)
Trump will bury anything illegal. He won’t permit people to testify. He will have them dodge subpoenas. Why would anyone think the full story and the truth will emerge?
wyatt (tombstone)
I just cannot fathom to this day how Republicans elected this guy to be their President. It is mind blowing thinking about it. What kind of patriots and conservatives are they? Its beyond logic they continue covering for him day in and day out.
EW (Glen Cove, NY)
Trump’s enablers will pay the price for his unethical behavior. Giuliani, Barr, Pence, Pompeo, and the rest of the GOP have learned nothing from the experiences of Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn. They need to put down their copies of “Atlas Shrugged” and reread greatest American novel ever written, “The Great Gatsby” because Fitzgerald captures our times perfectly. The racism, extreme wealth inequality, and the abuse of privilege, are all embodied in the character of Tom Buchanan. Meanwhile the people around him pay for all his sins because their own greed draws them to his money.
Worried but hopeful (Delaware)
Not a lawyer, but common sense suggests that if the whistleblower was not a direct witness and is relying on evidence supplied by others, then it is irrelevant that the whistleblower might not support Trump's reelection. The evidence should be examined impartially, including witnesses who allegedly could corroborate the whistleblower's concerns, and should speak for itself, without regard to the political interests of the whistleblower.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
And Barr, Pence, Pompeo et al support the re-election of the President. They don’t have any clear bias? Wait! “Committee to Re-Elect the President” (“CREEP”)! Where have I heard that term before?
JVK (Brooklyn)
With Trump hogtying the House of Representatives with this (sure to go nowhere) impeachment thing, he has effectively guaranteed they won’t have time to deal with pesky “socialist” issues like climate control, education standards, and gender equality.
Ross Stuart (NYC)
The perfect example of the politically biased deep state in action. It doesn’t get any worse than this. Credible is apparently a word no longer used.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
Yes the politically biased deep state that has honorably served these United States through every presidential administration of both parties from at least Roosevelt through Trump.
Knute (Pennsylvania)
The so called "whistleblower" should be immediately fired. This is yet another example of Trump derangement.
Carey (Brooklyn NY)
"...The complaint also alleges a pattern of obfuscation at the White House, in which officials moved the records of some of Trump’s communications with foreign officials onto a separate computer network from where they are normally stored the memo on the phone call is not a verbatim account. " "A cautionary note on the document warns that the text reflects the notes and memories of officials in the Situation Room and that a number of factors, including accents and translations, “can affect the accuracy of the record..." So much for transparency.
Limegreenjeans (US)
It is Good we are investigating this claim. However, it does not seem very good to proceed with impeachment hearings until after the investigation. The lack of due process could hurt the validity of any actual impeachment and just further divide the country. Zealousness can be a detrimental attribute.
Tsippi (Chicago)
According to this article, the dozens of people listening in on the call and/or reading the full transcript didn't think the President's actions were constitutionally problematic or threats to our democracy. If the whistle blower hadn't happened to hear about the conversation third hand, we still wouldn't know about it. It's distressing to realize that so few public servants consider themselves guardians of our democracy. The whole story makes me wonder what we might find in other Memoranda of Conversation and interpreter's notes. I hope Congress checks them *all*.
Marianna (Houston, TX)
The civil war has also divided the country. Does not mean that starting it was the wrong thing to do. Sometimes you have to do the right thing even though it is hard.
Joe (California)
It isn't just this complaint, or this call to Ukraine, or dealings with Ukraine. This is how Trump operates. What he did here, he has surely done elsewhere too, in multiple contexts. He needs to be removed from power because this is who he is.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
I agree. But it needs to be proven, not just assumed that (even if correctly) this is part of a pattern of behavior. Getting stopped for speeding once doesn’t prove you always speed. There is clearly enough evidence to prove the case of Benedict Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors, but they do need to be proven first before he’s placed before he’s placed before the firing squad of the Banana Republic he’s been creating here.
ARNP (Des Moines, IA)
When was the last time Donald downplayed something he'd done that was "perfect" or "beautiful"? When last did he fight tooth and nail to keep information from the public that showed him to be honest, intelligent or trustworthy? For a guy who worships toughness and strength, he's remarkably quick to cry "harassment" when we dare to hold him accountable. And can we stop pretending that William Barr is fulfilling his duties as Attorney General? He may be working hard to protect someone or something, but it ain't the constitution or the country. The US has lost all credibility in the eyes of the world.
William (Massachusetts)
Only a open door hearing with the Whistle blower testifying to the House Judiciary Committee will satisfy. Broadcast it on TV.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
@William Yes and name the WH people that know that Trump did this and get them in front of the Congress.
David (Palmer Township, Pa.)
The Trump supporters see no wrong in what the President wanted. It's perfectly okay for him to attempt to influence a foreign leader to find dirt on his opponent. The amazing thing is that Trump's core supporters, which is about 40% of the electorate, believes that he is correct whatever steps he takes. Without reading the Mueller report they find nothing wrong in the ten obstruction of justice charges that Mueller carefully laid out. The question is, will the same voters who voted for change in the last Presidential voter, stay with him this time. If they do the damage might be irreparable. The irony is that their children will suffer!
Talbot (New York)
I thought this case was supposed to be straightforward, and that's why the Democrats moved forward with impeachment. But we can't even see the complaint. And the whistleblower wasn't there, but based the complaint on heresay and may be politically motivated. I'd like some clarity on those things.
EJS (Granite City, Illinois)
“It also dealt in part with the unusual manner in which White House officials handled internal records describing the call. The atypical proceeding heightened internal concerns about the content of the call, the two people said.” The article kind of glosses over the “unusual” handling, but that is potentially another bombshell. Did they actually doctor the document? If so, kiss Trump goodbye (and good riddance).
Avatar (New York)
There are so many disturbing aspects of this story. A president asks a foreign power (which was receiving U. S. aid that has been withheld) for a “favor” to investigate a political opponent. An AG is enlisted by the president to cooperate with a foreign power in the investigation of a political opponent. A credible whistleblower’s complaint is withheld from Congress by the accused president. A major political party refuses to see anything wrong with all this. I hope that in 2020 American voters will see something wrong with all this.
Independent American (USA)
If Trump really wanted to be transparent, he would have released the transcript in full verbatim format, not that "reconstructed" memo. Secondly, if transparency was truly Trump's goal, he wouldn't have sent or used his personal attorney, Gulliani, in the first place! Lastly, in addition to the U.S., the International Community shared the belief, Shokin, former Ukraine General Prosecutor, was corrupt and wanted him out. Facts matter! Republicans need to hold their own people to the same standards they're demanding from Democrats and Independents!
s.whether (mont)
Seems as though at MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace, a former G.W.Bush Republican aid, that promoted W.M.D.,cut into President Trump's speech on MSNBC to call him a liar. I think the public had a right to hear the President of the United States giving a press conference to the United States. “We hate to do this, really,” the anchor Nicolle Wallace said as video of Mr. Trump, mid sentence, was shoved to the side of viewers’ screens. “But the president isn’t telling the truth.” She then proceeded to tell us why Biden didn't do anything wrong, her point of view. What is happening to this country? When was it ever protocol to prevent the voice of a President from being heard? We are losing our rights, even our most liberal, Democratic broadcast will control this election. To whom do we turn?
Mary Elizabeth (Boston)
@s.whether" prevent the voice of the President from being heard"? We have heard more of his voice and tweet and driveway rants than anyone thought possible from a working President. Donald Trump has dominated the airways since he came down the escalator. His lies should be called out. He is a serial liar misleading the country on every level, mocking and ridiculing then playing the victim.
Bill R (Utah)
@s.whether There was a time that the President of the United States did not use the bully pulpit to spread a false narrative every time he uses it. Sadly, that time is not now. I have no problem with the responsible media cutting his falsehoods short and pointing out the misrepresentation.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
@s.whether Which of the 12,000+ lies that Trump has uttered and tweeted in the last 3 yrs do you want rational people to hear/read ...again ?
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
The more I read about this lurid call and the full whistle-blower's compaint, the more questions I have. First off, why don't laws on the books apply to the president? Who is the DOJ to be involved with any of this, were it not for McGuire who should have known better than to involve William Barr? Then, why should the whistleblower's political identity be revealed? Would the complaint be more credible if he were a Trump supporter or appointee like Atkinson and McGuire? Have we reached the point in this country where ordinary citizens one day will have to state their party affiliation before receiving "justice" in court? This whole affair driving impeachment says as much about how sick this country had become under President Trump as it does about his specific malfeasance.
I have been for the impeachment of Trump for quite some time and this latest phone call incident is just another example of just how corrupt he is, but I am bothered that this whistle blower complaint is coming from someone with only secondhand information. I'm troubled because I'm afraid it will give Trump and his enablers wiggle room to get out of this situation. Unless the House can get direct testimony from corroborating witnesses I think there's trouble ahead for the Democrats.
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
The whistleblowers complaint will be used by Congress to locate first-hand witnesses to agree with the statements therein and prove them or to dispute them. The complaint itself is hearsay, but the statements within it can help produce real evidence.
Rosco (Canberra)
Mr Trump might run a sham Olin administration but he has ably demonstrated his mastery at escaping accountability for the most disgraceful of conduct. My fear is that he will successfully manipulate public opinion into believing he is the victim of a witch-hunt and a concrete example of the deep state out to get him. Make no mistake, the impeachment proceedings will be just as dangerous for the Dems and Jo Biden as they are for Mr Trump. It wouldn’t even surprise me to learn Trump has set up this whole thing. Surely he knew that his calls were being monitored by intelligence officials and that without crossing the line by directly asking for a quid pro quo, he would provoke a whistleblower into taking action.
macman2 (Philadelphia, PA)
Every thing we have learned about how Trump operates is totally consistent with strong arming Zelensky about a political rival and using this time, the threat of withholding US military funds to get dirt on Biden. Trump uses his mob boss tactics, honed from the real estate world, to get his way. Problem for him is that the money is not his - its the American taxpayers money appropriated by Congress for specific purposes and certainly not to be used as a cudgel for his reelection. His misdeeds are finally being exposed. Or as they would say on "The Apprentice", "you're fired".
rhdelp (Monroe GA)
The whistle blower restores my faith in humanity.
Pat Kilroy (Lake Elsinore, CA)
Some people never learn. To this day Trump fails to understanding that U.S. Election Law states...”it is illegal to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election”. The Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election has been thoroughly documented by the U.S. Intelligence Agencies & the Mueller Report. Trump still denies these facts. Earlier this year, Trump said he’d take a meeting with foreign governments that had dirt on a political opponent, just like his son’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. Sadly, we must admit that President Trump believes he’s above the law.
Paul McGlasson (Athens, GA)
We already have the profound misdeed. It is hiding in plain sight. Trump invited a foreign power to interfere in a free US election. For that he should and must be impeached. Ordinarily investigations run from the bottom up, as Mueller did. You identify the lower level crimes, and try to squeeze testimony to reach the highest level. This is different. We already have the highest level crime. The president sold out the country, on transcript, and in fact by his own admission. Now we need to work from the top down. Everyone who knew of it and tried to cover it up, or manipulate knowledge of it, or mischaracterize it in some official capacity, or block access to it, now needs to to be identified and prosecuted. Start with AG Barr.
Mary (Oklahoma)
Perhaps you need to correct one detail in your story. "Mr. Maguire and Mr. Atkinson then made referrals, an official said, but the Justice Department closed the matter without charges.)" Is it true that the criminal referrals were closed without investigation? That has been referenced in other accounts and would be an aberration from Department of Justice practice. Usually one investigates before closing without charges.
Wondering (NY, NY)
@Mary There was nothing to investigate. They determined that asking to open an investigation into someone is not a "thing of value", therefore campaign finance laws are irrelevant.
Mary (Oklahoma)
@Wondering Not a "thing of value"? What an interesting legal interpretation. A private attorney acting on behalf of the United States is nothing worth investigating? Withholding appropriated military aid is nothing worth investigating? Possible extortion of an ally, especially one under attack by Russia, is nothing worth investigating? If that is the reason given for not investigating, the focus is too narrow.
Barb Campbell (Asheville, NC)
Trump’s interaction with Ukrainian President Zelensky closely mirrors what happened in 2016. Throughout the Mueller investigation, Trump denied any culpability in coordinating with Russia to influence the election. He denied knowing anything about the Trump tower meeting between his advisors and several Russians providing “dirt” on Hillary. He obstructed Mueller’s investigation. The only reason Trump was not charged with crimes was because the Justice Dept. believed that sitting presidents could not be charged. Fast forward to 2019 and we have Trump actually admitting to similar behavior that he denied took place in 2016 — conspiracy/collusion with a foreign government to undermine Trump’s likely rival in the 2020 presidential election. This time it appears that extortion, using the resources and power of the US government, is involved. Trump’s treasonous activities in 2019 confirm that he participated in the 2016 conspiracy to throw the election.
Rose (Massachusetts)
Atkinson and McQuire are Trump appointees trying to do the right thing without political bias. Let that sink in. It’s good that the Whistleblower was forthcoming about not liking Trump but is supported in his claims by people INSIDE the Whitehouse who have been interviewed. Nevertheless, this is going to get spun as a “witch hunt” and I fear for this Whistleblower. But I fear for my country more. Barr and his DOJ will try and obstruct the release of the truth so that Trump can control the narrative but we must not blink. All people of conscience need to do the right thing for this nation. Let the truth will out.
Victorious Yankee (The Superior North)
Criminal enterprises like the trump crime family cannot comprehend how anybody can conduct business honestly.
Jackson (Virginia)
Can’t wait to find out the name of the whistle blower.
ARNP (Des Moines, IA)
@Jackson If and when that happens, I predict a generation of kids born in 2020 will be named after him or her.
Skiplusse (Montreal)
Breaking news: all countries member of NATO have offered asylum to the whistleblower. Some have even offered a free house on the ocean and a fat pension.
Kim (New England)
The only great thing this president is doing, in my opinion, is showing us where the holes are in our constitution regarding presidential power. We have some work to do to be confident that a president can not wield power to a degree that jeopardizes our integrity and security. And that our elections are legitimate. At present, we are treading precariously near the edge of being the kind of country we would not want to live in.
Preserving America (in Ohio)
Who wants to bet that Trump will blow this whistleblower out of the water by revealing his identity? That way he can add this name to his enemies' list and ruin him (her), too. All's fair in love and war, or in this case, Trumpworld. Look, the sooner he's gone, the better off we'll all be.
matty (boston ma)
@Preserving America ....and in so doing violate another law revealing their identity, which republicans won't bother blinking at, since Dicke Cheney perfected it.
November-Rose-59 (Delaware)
The whistler has already established a GoFundMe page in order to solicit funds to cover legal expenses, didn't waste any time. Maligning Joe Biden for whatever scheme his son was involved in smacks of retaliation tactics, and smells a little like dirty politics. This whole situation could end up as a big, nothing burger, and could backfire on both parties.
Imagine this: President Biden talks to Ukraine's president and during the phone call mentions that he is concerned that former vice-president, Donal Trump, withheld a billion dollars in aid from Ukraine for his own personal motives. Turns out that shortly after vice-president Trump was assigned to monitor Ukraine, Donald Trump Jr. got a job as a Board member of a Ukraine oil company, being paid $50,000 a month. So Mr. Trump told Ukraine no billion dollars in aid until the prosecutor investigating his son's company was fired. President Biden says to Ukraine president, we need your help with this. Headline from the press: "President Biden, rooting out corruption."
EJS (Granite City, Illinois)
@MZ In your extremely confusing hypothetical, did President Biden threaten to withhold aid from Ukraine until Ukraine “investigated” VP Trump who was running for President against President Biden? If so, the headline would be that President Biden abused his office by seeking a personal campaign benefit from a foreign country.
Anna (NY)
@MZ: Nope. Conspiracy theories don’t hold up against the facts. Besides, even if the Bidens had robbed Fort Knox, this doesn’t in any way exonerate Trump’s illegal behaviors.
Margo Weinstein (Chicago)
NYT, obviously, this is an important and quickly developing story. But that is even more reason to take a moment, get it right and write a real story. You are not some blog. Throwing together disconnected paragraphs of disparate facts gathered by reporters is not what we expect of the NYT. Don’t become what Trump accuses you of. Tell the truth and tell it well. Take a minute and do it right. You are not the only news source, I can get garbage elsewhere. I need and expected more from the NYT. This story does not cut it.
Revoltingallday (Durham NC)
I cannot wait to watch the first Presidential debate, when the Democratic candidate asks Trump “just how many foreign countries did you illegally request help from to defeat me?” “How many favors did you get from Putin in exchange for taxpayer money?” “Why did you ask Ukraine to investigate your 2016 election, was Wikileaks too busy?” “Why is it so important for foreign officials to make sure you know where they spent the night?”
Inkspot (Western Mass.)
Yea, and zot’ll be disgraceful to watch the conman tap dance around the answers. The panel will need to have 3-4 follow up questions to push Trump somewhere into either the vicinity of truth or to drop his cloak of “I don’t need to answer that” mentality
Annied (New York, NY)
@Revoltingallday - I doubt that Trump will show up for a debate.
michael powell (british columbia)
The AG has to be removed .
Technic Ally (Toronto)
A Nobel Prize for the whistle-blower would be lovely. Perhaps trump could attend the ceremony.
Ed (forest, va)
Folks, do you really believe that we should have a Clown as POTUS? That's who a majority of you elected in 2016. Trump is a disgrace to this nation, and we will be paying for the damage he has done to us for many decades.
Andy (Middlebury, VT)
@Ed It was a minority by 3M votes, but your point is taken.
Beth (Anywhere But Here)
@Ed Actually, no. The majority of American people vote for Clinton.
matty (boston ma)
@Ed NO!!!!! That's who the electoral college elected.
John (Simms)
Unfortunately, this is how it plays out 1. The House investigates and votes to impeach Trump 2. The Senate predictably does not reach the 67 votes needed to convict. 3. During the Impeachment process Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and Trump himself say the words "Biden, corruption, Ukraine" 7,435,030 times. 4. Biden loses the nomination to Trump's preferred candidate Elizabeth Warren 5. Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Trump himself say "Radical Harvard socialist Elizabeth Warren" 7,435,030 times. 6. Trump re-elected.
David H (Washington DC)
... and all because of House impetuosity hinging on the testimony of an unidentified “intelligence officer” opposed to the Trump presidency with second-hand access to the “damning” information.
Tammy (Key West)
The information is hearsay, which is a concept many Americans understand.
CF (Massachusetts)
@David H The information itself, however, is first-hand. The transcripts made available seem to indicated that the second-hand information was quite accurate. That's all that's important here.
scott k. (secaucus, nj)
Bill Barr is even more dangerous to our democracy than Trump or Moscow Mitch. I have never witnessed a more blatantly dishonest and corrupt law enforcement official in my lifetime.
Max (Marin County)
Barr is just a heavier version of Nixon’s criminally convicted Attorney General John Mitchell. He should be impeached forthwith.
Pat (CT)
So, Dems would like to believe that Hunter Biden got his profitable Ukrainian gig just because he was such an international business talent and not because he could solicit his daddy’s help. Such willful naïveté from the constantly morally outraged readers of this paper! Such hypocrisy! The Dams must do what they hope can get them back the presidency in 2020, but if they believe they can win my vote with this, they are sorely mistaken. And frankly at this point, with a history of constant attempts to undo an election, there is nothing the Dems can do to win my vote, period.
jonathan (decatur)
Phil, the Dems would not have you believe anything. He got the position on the board not because his Dad helped him but because they knew who he was. What should the Democrats do? Tell that company they cannot choose their board members? They have no standing to do so.
MarilynW (Boston)
@Pat your comment is nothing more than the scourge of false equivalency. Sure, politicians use their influence all the time to get friends and family members plumb positions, but how on earth does that equate to pressuring the leader of a foreign government to "do a favor" and investigate a political opponent, while holding up taxpayer funds promised to that nation to defend itself against foreign aggression? Oh, and by the way, anything related to the investigation of the company H. Biden sat on the board for happened BEFORE he was asked to join the board. His position on the board was likely part of a rebuilding process for the company.
Jonah Giacalone (NYC)
That is totally besides the point.
GlennC (NC)
President Trump is as lawless and immoral as a person can be. He casts people as traitors and despicable when they do their jobs to try to protect whatever is left of our justice system. Mr Barr will clearly sell out the justice system to protect Trump so whistleblowers must risk even more to get their reports into daylight. Trump and Barr working together is a travesty. I have nothing but respect for the whistleblower and for the IG who was a Trump appointee and who still pushed the complaint up. May it ultimately do some good for our Country.
Robert Price (UK)
This type of thing is not only found in the U.S. The UK establishment act similarly. Whistle-blowers are bad news for authority figures who go beyond bending the rules and abusing their positions. Whistle-blowers caught up in such situations are very brave because they rarely have support from those who they might ordinarily turn towards. An elite cliche circle exists in every nation, but that doesn't mean it should exist at all. These cliche's act to suppress genuine complaints against anyone in their circle and totally ignore right from wrong, often claiming that they do so in the national interest rather than the truth of it being in their own interest. Trump is therefore not alone in how he deals with whistle-blowers. However, it is hoped that the democracy of the United States is capable of removing any authority figure who abuses their position to an extent that may threaten national security. Should the system fail to do so their allies must also suspect that their own national security has been put at risk. This is no way to maintain a world peace that has endured for decades. I hope that we have finally reached a point, thanks to a whistle blower, that Donald Trump will finally be to account.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@Robert Price - Huh! One can easily find corrupt politicians everywhere? Go figure.
Mark (DC)
It should not go unmentioned that Trump initially claimed that the whistle blower, whose identity he is supposed to not know but undoubtedly will have been informed of by AG Barr, was "a partisan." As if the President himself and AG Barr were not partisans? So the President was ready to tweet-storm this individual at the earliest available opportunity. It's what the President does to intimidate people. Significantly, Trump has backed off his initial road to slander of the whistle blower, because doing so is prohibited by law, just as handing over the whistle blower's complaint was demanded by law. But law means nothing to Trump. Nor to AG Barr. The Justice Department through AG Barr has clearly made itself Rudy Giuliani's legal partner in representation of the President. The whistle blower's complaint is very much not trivial. It has forced Trump's compliance with a law he was flouting, and apparently illegally covering up. White House handling of the call records to cover them up is apparently part of the whistle blower's account. Two crimes here, not one, and the mysterious withholding of taxpayer financed military aid as the leverage over the Ukraine's President to get him to dig up something on Biden makes this anything but partisan. I'm a taxpayer, and I don't want one cent of my money to be used by Trump to buy foreign interference in our elections. Foreign interference is what Trump was trying to buy. The pish-poshing of that by the GOP is treasonous.
Wondering (NY, NY)
@Mark I'm sure someone told him the complaint was snarky and smacked of political bias. That does not mean someone told Trump the identity of the whistleblower.
Peycos (Rochester, NY)
From the article: "reason to believe that the whistle-blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump" I have to laugh when this is emphasized. Of course the whistle-blower doesn't support Trump's re-election. If the whistle-blower believes Trump is engaged in criminal activity and is aware of Trump betraying national security and his oath of office, then if the whistle-blower still supported Trump for re-election the whistle-blower would be a very strange person indeed.
Kim (New England)
@Peycos Whether the whistle blower was a Trump supporter or not, that should not be relevant here. Either what Trump did was wrong or it wasn't. Let's keep politics out of it and focus on our nation's --and our nation's leaders--integrity.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
The Trump Administration never could stand the truth, facts or full disclosure. Trump the shady dealmaker has always operated under the cover of corrupt darkness, preferring to obscure, reject and cover up facts when they make unwelcome appearances. That's why Trump is the only modern President to hide his tax returns from the American public. "Democracy dies in darkness", as The Washington Post's motto goes. Let there be whistle-blowing light shed on the Trump Titanic.
robert (bruges)
What happens these last days is a relief, not only for me, I think, but also for all of us who are preoccupied with the values where the US has always stand for and the terrible attacks launched against it by Mr. Trump & associates. Finally, the truth is coming to daylight and it is horrifying to see the depth of the corruption and immorality of the president and his entourage. Now Congress must act, fast and decisively. It is not even about dethroning Trump in the first place, it as about serving the truth and the wellbeing of the United States and its allies.
Doctor B (White Plains, NY)
The whistle blower is a great patriot who has assumed tremendous personal risk by making this complaint. If their identity is made public, they will be targeted with harassment and death threats. Trump has frequently urged supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies, so they would be operating with Trump's tacit approval by targeting this whistle blower. Intelligence officers perform a vital function. Their ability to function depends on preventing their identities from being revealed. Once they are "outed," they can no longer effectively serve in that capacity. Do Republicans even care about compromising the safety & effectiveness of US Intelligence officers? The answer to that can be summarized in 2 words- Valerie Plame.
Sarah (Raleigh, NC)
@Doctor B And what about the Russian high level person working for the US and a most valuable informant for years? He was recently abstracted to a safe place somewhere in the world to protect his life because of loose lips Donald.
Doctor B (White Plains, NY)
@Sarah Yes, these dictators are ruthless. They stop at nothing in efforts to quash all dissent. Trump would love to do to his enemies the same thing MBS did to Khasoggi.
CJ (New York)
Well, the people who expressed concern of illegal behavior while on the call should have brought this forward. They swore an oath to protect the country but failed. Second, this is pure Trump: deny, deflect and refuse to cooperate. Take him out of office. He is a threat to national security. I shudder to think what else he has asked foreign leaders for in the past 3 years.
PeaceLove (Earth)
The involvement of Attorney General Barr in Ukraine, reveals a level of corruption never seen in American politics. The Ukraine story may just be the tip of the iceberg. 1. What blackmail deals does the President have with Russia, China…etc? 2. We are looking at a possible compromised Republican congress, this is a danger to National Security. We must remember the IRS whistle blower, says dirty dealing are going on with Trump’s taxes from the inside. How many Republicans are compromised, under threat of Trump blackmail? This may show shows why Republicans have stood by Trump no matter what he does. The real question is how many more blackmail stories are going to emerge now that someone has come forward.
JANET MICHAEL (Silver Springs)
The Watergate drama came to a conclusion when Alexander Butterfield said under questioning that “yes” there was a taping system in the Oval Office.Hopefully the Trump assault on the Constitutional norms will end because of the courage of a whistle blower who heard calls from Trump which he found deeply troubling.The situations are parallel because in each case the words of the presidents are the crucial evidence against them.Both men ignored the importance of their conversations and were so involved in their agendas that they were careless about how their conversations were recorded.
Panthiest (U.S.)
I suspect that Trump's obsession with Ukraine is based on what he's told by Putin, who probably suggested to Trump that he withhold the military aid to Ukraine being used to keep the Russians at bay.
Tony (New York City)
@Panthiest Trump showed yesterday that he is the puppy dog to Putin, how pathetic it was that Trump was telling the President of the Ukraine that he needed to patch up his relationship with Putin. Trump either doesnt know history, current events or he was informed by the Russians to make that statement in plain sight. So terribly sad that Americans elected Trump. However racism is a strange bedfellow, you kill yourself to be white and right.
Mark (Pennsylvania)
What is a “reconstructed transcript”? Do we really think we’re getting an honest and accurate version of the call? Why isn’t there a recording of the call? We should be able to hear it.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@Mark - "Why isn’t there a recording of the call?" One word: RichardNixon
E. Chother (Mid-South)
@Mark: exactly. It look more and more like the call was reconstructed in the most favorable light possible to Trump. That says a lot, since it is damning on its face.
Tiffany (Utah)
The White House stopped recording these types of calls after the Nixon fiasco. Now they have a few people take notes and compile a memorandum.
Son of the Sun (Tokyo)
"The whistle blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump". Might not. Which means she might support him? And if her 2020 election preference was unclear (after all the WB couldn't know what alternatives to Trump "might" be on the ballot) would that be so unusual? Are the genuine political opinions of intelligence officers working at the White House well-known? If they were all solid Trump supporters would that be a desirable state of affairs?
From Where I Sit (Gotham)
So Trump’s intent was to cause an investigation into alleged corruption by making an unethical request for a foreign country to investigate his political rival? Talk about two wrongs not making a right. Isn’t there an official procedure/agency that does that within our very expensive government?
OpieTaylor (Metro Atlanta)
Amazing how Trump will pursue revenge and spend his energy on his next election with unethical, unfounded tactics. He spends his energy berating the past, Obama, Hillary, now Joe, and then claim that the Dems need to address other concerns. Trump creates the scandals and never comes clean with proof of the so called Witch Hunts. If our president wants the country to move forward, then come clean and let us move forward putting the scandals and time consuming investigations behind us. PROVE the media is wrong. But Trump won't or can't? Just a continued "witch hunt" accusation, nothing to convince Americans that the "fake news" is wrong. Consistent deflection that just supports the unethical, ignorant, incompetent leadership of this Presidency. A consistent change of stories from this White House that any investigator would question and doubt, thus substantiating more exploration. Let's be done with this presidency, get rid of the problem so we can move forward.
Kim (New England)
@OpieTaylor His "great strength" is to create chaos and noise, just like Fox News, his information source of choice. The danger of these people is that it's all about them, everything is personal, and they can't see the forest for the trees. As the world gets more complicated, diplomacy is very more important. Understanding other points of view and being intelligent and thoughtful in discussion is paramount.
Ted Siebert (Chicagoland)
Sounds to me that both Trump and Barr and possibly Pence need to go making Pelosi the next President. What irony that would be.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
@Ted Siebert What a pleasant thought that is Ted! Unfortunately however, Mike Pence, unlike his boss, has the ability to keep his mouth shut when it is wise to do so. As Washington stated, "Unless you opinion is specifically requested, it is better to remain silent as it is much easier to make enemies than friends". I would prefer to see Trump in the White House than Pence. Trump serves himself. Pence serves God. Trump, at some level perceives his inadequacies. Pence believes he has none.
Susan (Reynolds County, Missouri)
I imagine Michael Atkinson will soon be a target of Trump's wrath; he may well need Whistleblower protection himself.
Daphne (East Coast)
This has to be the most convoluted and hard to follow back pedal ever. Here is a more direct synopsis of what you are trying to say. (source WSJ 9/25) OLC’s legal opinion stated that the inspector general was wrong because Mr. Trump is not a member of the intelligence community and that a “routine diplomatic call” does not count as “intelligence activity.” The Justice Department statement said the Criminal Division determined there was no “violation” and that “all relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion.” Oh, and IG’s review acknowledges “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” But, like everything else anti-Trump, if you don't get your way, start with a leak to the press.
andyo123 (NYC)
Atkinson, the IG, is a Trump appointee. Political bias notwithstanding, he took the complaint seriously enough to investigate and found it credible. What does that say to you?
JM (San Francisco)
Nothing matters except for Trump AGAIN admitting he solicited a foreign power to provide dirt on his political adversary. Abuse of power, pure and simple.
Tony (New York City)
@Daphne Well either you are in search of a solution or you are not. Either you care about democracy or you do not. Apparently you dont care one way or the other or you are very ill informed. The dots are easy to follow, let us remind you that Trump was the one with his Russian loving minions who started this whole process. He released the transcript, he made the statements on TV. No one told him to do it. Apparently you see a crime being committed you would keep it to yourself, which is the way you live your life. The rest of us want our president to be more than a talking head for the Russians or to advance his own political/financial greed. I dont see any Democrats investigating the Trump family. I am glad there are some people excluding you who stand up for democracy when others are sitting down.
JP (Sayville)
If Biden were not running and not one of the leading candidates Trump would not have brought him up on the call so I say he's guilty as charged. Be that as it may, Hunter Biden getting paid 50k per month from a company located in what was then a corrupt country and what still may be is obscene into itself. The Biden's are not squeaky clean and trumps base will use that fact as a rallying cry. Trump will win again and again because absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Misophist (Abroad)
@JP I don't know zilch about the Bidens beeing squeaky clean. The same with the level of corruption in Ukraine. If Mr. Trump or his aides did know, or suspect anything, why didn't they made their case in front of an attorney, asking for a full fledged investigation, no matter whether a domestic one, or one in Ukraine, or in Cypus, (where the employer of Biden Jr. resides), or all of them. Instead, he chose to gossip over informal channels, and an special envoye. This alone could be read as hint, that in fact, he has nothing on the Bidens, And so the dirt perceived on the Bidens coat *might* be the dirt Trump photoshopped, or flung into their direction. We might never know which is which.
downeast60 (Maine)
@JP "Be that as it may", after Donald Trump was elected China awarded Ivanka Trump 16 trademarks for her merchandise, Qatar helped bail out the Kushner family from their failing property at 666 Fifth Ave, & Donald Trump enriched himself by earning millions of dollars with stays by foreign & domestic officials at his resorts & golf clubs. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/06/ivanka-trump-gets-initial-approval-from-china-for-16-trademarks.html https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/qatar-666-5th-ave-jared-kushner https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/17/us/politics/trump-emoluments-money.html How about we investigate THAT?
Curious (Anywhere)
@JP What do the bad acts of the Bidens have to do with Trump? They can both be corrupt actors.
Allen82 (Oxford)
~”It also dealt in part with the unusual manner in which White House officials handled internal records describing the call. The atypical proceeding heightened internal concerns about the content of the call…”~ "Heightened internal concern" - There is also some indication that the number of people with access to the memorandum of the call was restricted, all leading to the conclusion that this account was put into deep freeze because of what it contained. The people creating restrictions to access need to be put in jail as accessories, after the fact.
Joy (Georgia)
@Allen82 Yes, it does look like the WH aides tried to build a wall around this conversation. But with aides careless enough to spread the GOP talking points about the whistle-blower all over the Dems offices, you'd expect any cover up attempts to go wrong.
JM (San Francisco)
In other words, Barr whose name was included in the complaint as a witness, “barred” the complaint from going forward.
dbrum990 (West Pea, WV)
We could always buy Ukraine, then it wouldn't be illegal.
Steven (Chicago)
@dbrum990: We could trade Alaska for Crimea. “I can see Russia ...”. .
TravelingProfessor (Great Barrington, MA)
It’s amazing to me how hard the Democrats are working to get Trump re elected.
JM (San Francisco)
Republican strategy 101: When Trump is caught red handed in scandal, insist that the scandal will only help Trump get re-elected.
Ryan m (Houston)
So what we know of the whistle blower: person did not hear the call, did not see the log (until Wednesday), got this info second-hand, does not support Trump’s re-election, but allegedly has info on how the Trump admin handled records of the call. I realize some find this to be a big win for the Resistance but it seems, well, light.
Jack Robinson (Colorado)
@Ryan m You obviously did not read the whole article or read it through Trumpian blinders. The independent inspector general concluded after investigation that the complaint was credible and involved a national security risk. Please note that the Inspector General conducted his own investigation of the claim. Also the article states that there was indication of “an arguable political bias,”, not that the whistleblower or any of his sources did not support Trump's re-election. Details and accuracy are important in critical comments.
Anna (NY)
@Ryan m: Were it not that the whistele blowers boss, a Trump appointee, found the report credible and an urgent matter that needed to be reported to Congress, as the law states.
William Perrigo (Germany (U.S. Citizen))
@Ryan m...oh it gets much worse... The president of Turkey supplied us with video of a U.S. Greencard holding freedom-fighting reporter (w/pen, not sword) going into, and bones coming out of the Saudi Embassy...but we want to support Ukrainians 110% in their quest for freedom from government oppression. I could write more but my political-decoder-ring is slow today.
Aurace Rengifo (Miami Beach, Fl.)
Well, the cover-up MO did not work this time. The same way that WH personnel is starting to come forward in denouncing presidential misconduct, I hope that Trump voters see that Trump does not deserve their vote and, that uses the flag as a cape to look patriotic. His behavior is not. Part of his own intelligence people do not trust him and think a national security risk! Why not believe the professionals? Now, it is in the hands of Congress. Then, the GOP in the Senate will vote in agreement with the polls of their states.
Lisa Simeone (Baltimore, MD)
@Aurace Rengifo: "I hope that Trump voters see that Trump does not deserve their vote." Ha! Dream on. Trump supporters are impenetrable. The only true words this man ever spoke were about standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shooting someone and not losing any support. I used to think it was metaphor; now I know it's literally true.
Hamid Varzi (Iranian Expat in Europe)
I hate to admit this, but the whistle-blower's account will be portrayed as tainted: 1. He did not hear the phone conversation first-hand. Trump's lawyers and sycophants will dismiss it as "he said, she said." 2. The whistle-blower is anti-Trump, like most of us, so he will be portrayed as biased. Notwithstanding the above, as an outside observer, I strongly welcome impeachment proceedings for one sole reason: It will uncover much of the treason that has been hidden so far, and which wasn't adequately highlighted by Mueller during his own disappointing hearing, consisting almost exclusively of vacuous "I stand by my report" statements. Moreover, there is a possibility to subpoena the original tapes (or tapes of similar threats and extortion) if the whistle-blower alludes to these. The tape(s) would be as effective as those that destroyed Nixon so many years ago.
David H (Washington DC)
That’s because it IS tainted.
Allen82 (Oxford)
@Hamid Varzi IG Investigators interviewed the original sources to confirm the whistleblower's account. Those people, internal to the White House, are the real heroes and, hopefully, have Whistleblower protection from trump and his minions.
Mark (Michigan)
@Hamid Varzi I'm not sure the whistleblower is anti-Trump. All I've heard Trump's defenders say if that the whistleblower "isn't a Trump supporter", possibly wanting the public to assume he/she is anti-Trump.
Yakker (California)
I would be surprised if William Bar was not named as one of the "witnesses" to either the phone call to the Ukrainian president, or of the plot to coerce him into reviving a dismissed investigation into Joe Biden and his son. The list of Trump administration officials who deserve to be impeached along with our president continues to grow longer every day, confirming the fact that displaying abject loyalty to a corrupt leader, thus betraying the American people and their oath of office, has consequences.
Allen82 (Oxford)
@Yakker I hope you are correct about Barr, but since Justice has issued a statement denying his involvement it seems he, Barr, is trying to distance himself. The idea that trump was not getting anything of "value" from the conversation because it can not be quantified is absurd, and Barr would know that. But, I could be wrong and Barr had knowledge.
Tony (New York City)
@Allen82 That's rich ,Barr must think he is going to skate as he did with the Iran Contra affairs.
Yakker (California)
@Allen82 Barr is at minimum complicit in obstruction of justice in both the quashing of the Mueller investigation, and now in his attempts to block the release of the Whistleblower report. He should immediately recuse himself from any matter concerning the white house, or Congress can do it for him. He has destroyed his credibility as a lawyer, but perhaps after this is all over he can get a gig on Dancing with the Stars, or more appropriately, a late night reality show detailing life in prison.
Greg (Washington, DC)
I don't know much about how the intelligence community honors its distinguished members, but I hope when this is all over they recognize the whistle blower the highest honor they have. This person is, right now for me, the greatest patriot in the land.
Allen82 (Oxford)
@Greg The real patriots could be the original sources within the White House who provided information to the whistleblower. The IG is said to have conducted interviews of people in the White House who confirmed the information. Hopefully, they will have whistleblower protection as well.
John Smythe (Southland)
@Greg I think you confuse patriot with traitor. The so called whistleblower is abusing his position to attempt to overthrow a legally appointed president doing his lawful duty all because said whistleblower supports someone else for president.
Jack Robinson (Colorado)
@Greg And, unfortunately, the bravest and most endangered .
David K. GREENWALD (Paris)
We have a republic, if we can keep it. Republicans, are you listening? Or can this glorious nations go even lower?
OpieTaylor (Metro Atlanta)
@David K. GREENWALD Amen, and let's speak our support for impeachment in hopes that it will move it toward more yes votes. It is what Americans want and should do.
Patrice (Andover,MA)
It baffles me where the House is accepting anything less then a complete transcript of the call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
DMurphy (Worcester MA)
@Patrice I believe because the call was not memorialized with a complete verbatim transcript.
Anna Benassi (Iceland)
@Patrice Why stop there? Are these phone calls tape-recorded? If not, this debacle shows clearly why they should be.
Ray (New York)
@Anna Benassi The call must have been recorded because the disclaimer refers to reconstructing the memo using voice recognition experts. Also, I agree that the verbatim transcript should be reviewed. The demand likely was more blunt given the source.
Like Mr. Trump said, there is nothing there except political animosity. Next?
OpieTaylor (Metro Atlanta)
@MRM and like Mr. Trump said: "Do me a favor though" and "Russia, if you are listening" and "I see no reason for Putin to lie" and "and if it is what you say, I love it" Having a personal lawyer go to Ukraine? Not having the facts before criticizing and pursuing Hunter Biden? Next? Clear signs of a mindset not for the interests of the American people- putting them first. Clearly a President UNFIT for the President of the United States. Our expectations are much higher than what we have now.
RJM (Ann Arbor)
@MRM Mr. Trump says a lot of things, few of them true (unless by accident). There's a story -- The Boy Who Cried Wolf -- that neatly sums up The Orange One. And, like the villagers in the story, they'll eventually turn away and let the wolf have his snack.
DL (Colorado Springs, CO)
@MRM You are implying that a Republican shouldn't be allowed to blow the whistle on a Democrat (and vice-versa). Was that your intent?
Robert Jennings (Ankara)
The most important point here is that hearsay is NOT evidence. The fact that we ALL dislike Trump intensely does not make hearsay into solid Evidence. There is solid evidence (video) that Vice President Joe Biden bragged about stopping a corruption inquiry into his Son’s activities in Ukraine. The fact that Joe Biden is a likeable chap does not give him a free pass to do what Trump is alleged to have done.
Sparky (nyc)
@Robert Jennings My understanding is that the investigation of the Ukrainian gas company Biden's son was involved in had already ended when Biden spoke to the Ukrainian government about changing prosecutors. There were no plans to reopen the investigation, which found no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden. Therefore Joe Biden could not have been bragging about stopping "an investigation into his son's corrupt activities". Accuracy matters.
OpieTaylor (Metro Atlanta)
@Robert Jennings Is that you Trump? The White House gave the statements in writing that exhibits the "do me a favor" and an intelligence officer comes forward. Provide us a link of Joe Biden bragged about stopping a inquiry? Wow, touch base with the facts and prove your solid evidence.
Steven Carter (Irvine, CA)
This is not heresay. They are notes from a White House or intelligence official describing the call. If those notes did not accurately reflect what was said, then why did the White House release them?
jpduffy3 (New York, NY)
This all seems like a tempest in a tea pot, and shows, once again, that the Democrats cannot face up to the reality that their candidate ran a very poor campaign and lost the election for that reason and only that reason. There could not have been a quid pro quo as the Ukrainian president did not know the aid had been suspended. As for wanting to gain a political advantage, what politician doesn't do that every day? And, by the way, the President's request was only presented as "a favor" with no consequences if it were not granted. The real problem is that there must be a Democrat spy in the White House who is deliberately trying to manufacture problems. Shades of the Steele dossier once again! It is time for the Democrats to get to work. The time, effort, and energy they are wasting on these matters, and the extremely detrimental effect they have on the orderly administration of our government has to stop. Getting rid of Trump by any means is not a plan for governing. But that is all the Democrats seem interested in. If the Democrats do not get on with a serious candidate and a reasonable plan for governing, they are going to be out in the cold again when they fail once more in the next election.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
@jpduffy3 "It is time for the Democrats to get to work." How about the pile of bills the House has passed that are piling up on Moscow Mitch's desk, as he refuses to allow the Senate to even consider them.
Steven Carter (Irvine, CA)
The Ukrainian President hadn’t received the money. Of course he knew something was afoot, especially after Trump asks a favor of him.
Anna (NY)
@jpduffy3: There doesn't have to be a quid pro quo for that request to be illegal. And Michael Atkinson is a Trump appointee. No "Democratic spies" needed. Just a patriot, irrespective of political affiliation.
Brian (Oakland, CA)
The whistleblower (WB) could be a kind of person who stands up to Republicans the way Joseph Welch rocked the Army-McCarthy hearings. But that's unlikely, given intel's desire for secrecy. So instead he's a kind of deep-throat. The key thing wasn't just a phone call, but the response of those around the President. This may be road-map to witnesses. An impeachment needs at least one, and probably two, very credible witnesses. Cohen was an example of a not credible witness. Mueller was not a witness, but an investigator. Witnesses are people like John Dean, participants who decide they don't want to be criminals. As for Engle's claim that the WB opposes Trump's reelection, Engle's the kind of lawyer McCarthy used, who claimed they could show some witness was a secret communist. It was White House officials themselves who informed the WB of Trump's criminal behavior. If there are high-ranking White House officials who believe Trump committed criminal treason, they're the key players for an impeachment.
e w (IL, elsewhere)
I hope the whistleblower is being heavily guarded by non-Justice Department personnel. I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear of an attempt on his/her life--I am no longer surprised at anything the GOP does to stay in power.
David H (Washington DC)
“Mr. Atkinson also found reason to believe that the whistle-blower might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump and made clear that the complainant was not in a position to directly listen to the call or see the memo that reconstructed it before it was made public... Instead, the officer heard about the call secondhand from unidentified White House officials who expressed concern that Mr. Trump had “abused his authority or acted unlawfully in connection with foreign diplomacy.” So the House will now attempt to invalidate the results of the 2016 election because of the testimony of a tattle-tale?
JP (Illinois)
@David H Where do you get "..the House will now attempt to invalidate the results of the 2016 election"?? That's not how impeachment works. That would not be the result of an impeachment. Removing Trump from office does not "invalidate the 2016 election results."
Dorothy N. Gray (US)
@David H If that's the current talking point of the Trump crowd -- to call the impeachment effort "attempting to invalidate the results of the 2016 election" -- then from your point of view, sure. In reality, it's an attempt to throw the bum out, after he's been given far too many chances already.
Joseph (The West)
@David H might be worth considering that a “tattle tale” brought down Nixon.
syfredrick (Providence)
Notably, no one has questioned the truth of the whistle-blower's assertions. Of course, no one has actually questioned the truth of the Mueller report. The administration may still find a way to slow roll the whistle-blower report such that the public tires of this episode in our nation's reality show. I hope that the Democrats are cognizant of how important the media is in this impeachment. I hope that the media is keeps in mind this administration's hostility to a free press when the character assassination of the whistle-blower begins in earnest. For all of Trump's ineptitude, he is a master of media manipulation, especially when abetted by his personal news outlet.
Silver John (RVA)
@syfredrick "he is a master of media manipulation" Please … how hard is it to manipulate minds of clay?
Wondering (NY, NY)
@syfredrick Actually, yes they have. The whistleblower asserts a violation of campaign finance law. Many (Trump, OLC, DOJ) have disputed that assertion. Also, whistleblower asserts a quid pro quo, which also has been disputed.
Jon Harrison (Poultney, VT)
Trump supporters will point to the fact that the whistleblower supports a different candidate for president, and that he did not hear the actual conversation. The intelligence community has played politics before, and the circumstances here will play into the Deep State narrative. It seems clear that Trump was, yet again, behaving in a slimy and dishonorable way. At the same time, any legal violation would appear to be technical -- and a technical violation of campaign finance laws is not something that should cause Democrats to impeach. Trump should be removed from office -- at the election in November 2020. Impeachment is of no value in this regard (the Senate will not convict), and could still backfire on the Democrats. It will further radicalize Trump's strongest supporters, with possibly dire consequences in 2020 and beyond.
OpieTaylor (Metro Atlanta)
@Jon Harrison Though this is the prediction of "radicalizing Trump's strongest supporter" it is very concerning that so many just say, let the next election vote him out. Party over country. The oath that is taken for our politicians is that they are to support and defend the Constitution. That is their job. And like Kennedy said in his Profiles of Courage, they must put the interest of the country first, not their party or themselves. If our country is one that has now resulted with the oath or even the Constitution not being supported then as one politician stated, then we should just shred it all and forget it. If Americans have now come to ignoring what is best for our country by ignoring these investigations, then our America has now come to a place in history for which our democracy has failed us. Seems to me more energy should be spent on educating those that overlook our Constitution and true patriotic duty. If Trump supporters overlook impeachment probabilities, Republicans included, then truly America is being led down a scary path jeopardizing our country's democracy, and it is this that we need to work on. Trump has to be held accountable: He is not above the law.
downeast60 (Maine)
@Jon Harrison We don't know that the whistle-blower "supports a different candidate for president". What we learned, according to this article, is that he or she "might not support the re-election of Mr. Trump". Let's list a few other people who, for various good reasons, might not support the re-election of Donald Trump: Rex Tillerson H.R. McMaster John Kelly Dan Coates Gary Cohn Reince Priebus Tom Price Kirstjen Nielsen K.T. McFarland Rob Porter Anthony Scaramucci Don McGahn John Bolton Just because a person believes Donald Trump shouldn't be re-elected doesn't mean that person is a Democrat or a member of the "Deep State".
Jon Harrison (Poultney, VT)
@OpieTaylor: Party over country? I don't understand what you're driving at with that, at least not in the context of my comment. The fact is that there is no chance of convicting Trump in the Senate, certainly not over this Ukraine business. Impeachment is simply a feel-good exercise for Democrats and leftists. It will accomplish nothing, and could backfire and help Trump.
King Philip, His majesty (N.H.)
Richard Nixon had the coverup of a two bit breakin. Now we learn that trump made efforts to conceal both the substance of the call, and the release of the whistle blowers complaint.
AM Murphy (New Jersey)
I want to thank the whistle-blower for having the courage to start the process.
RjW (Chicago)
@AM Murphy Amen! The Whistle Blower Hall of Fame seeks an architect and prime real estate for its future site. An bets on who it is ?
Molo (Australia)
The whistler blower was right on every count. When this is all over and sanity returns to your democracy, this man/woman deserves a presidential citation. And couple of statues.
srwdm (Boston)
"Striking while the iron's hot"— Means canceling the House's upcoming two-week break. It's that important. [And Republicans should also want to deal with this as quickly as possible, especially with their primaries coming up.] If Republican senators agree, Trump could be rather quickly gone—like a Nixon scenario, where he was told they had the votes and resigned.
Sendero Caribe (Stateline)
@srwdm--Nixon didn't go quickly. It took over one year--my recollection is that the Senate Select Committee got going in the summer of 1973. It was broadcast on television each day. We learned from Butterfield about the existence of the tapes. We saw and heard some disturbing testimony all through the summer. Eventually, the House got going on impeachment. It wasn't until August 1974 that the senators went to the White House and told Nixon to go. It wasn't quick.
srwdm (Boston)
@Sendero Caribe He went rather quickly once he was told they had the votes. Things are moving rapidly, and we're living in a different era.