Five days ago we wrote about a notification from the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) to Rep Adam Schiff that a whistle blower had come forward and disclosed matters of urgent concern about something that had happened in the Executive Branch. The disclosure properly went to Trump’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who was legally obligated to pass it on to Congress for their review, but it was never passed on. So Schiff wrote to Trump’s acting DNI demanding disclosure. But the acting DNI refused. So Schiff issued a subpoena to appear before Congress, and the DNI rejected that as well, claiming it was too short notice. Here’s our post:
For five days nobody has known what the actual whistle blower complaint was, or who it was against. But late last night the Washington Post was able to fill in much of the picture.
The whistle blower is a member of the Intelligence Community who was gravely concerned about a phone call Trump had with a foreign leader where Trump made a promise to the foreign leader that the whistle blower was so troubled by that he or she risked their career to disclose it to the ICIG. Whereupon the ICIG was so troubled that he deemed it an “urgent concern”, gave it to the DNI and alerted the appropriate House Committee, Schiff’s Intelligence Committee.
Social media and cable TV were full of speculation last night about the identity of the foreign leader and the nature of the promise. It’s still anyone’s guess what the promise was, but the consensus seems to be that Trump was speaking to Vladimir Putin. Here’s the coverage in WaPo:
This story has the potential to be explosive. Yes, Trump has avoided any consequences for his many, many scandals and potential crimes, and every day he drags our nation and his office deeper into the gutter, but we will almost certainly find out, sooner or later, what the nature of this promise was, and if it turns out to be a betrayal of our nation, or a self-enriching quid pro quo, or both, it could be deeply problematic for Trump. It could even be grounds for impeachment more compelling than anything that has come before. Former Ambassador to Russia under Obama, Michael McFaul, said this on Twitter last night:
I cannot remember a whistleblower trying to blow a whistle on a president, & this cant just be about Trump’s handling of classified materials. Like it or not, the president can declassify whatever he wants. Something bigger seems to be going on.
The ICIG will be testifying to the Intelligence Committee in closed session tomorrow, and the DNI will be testifying publicly next week, so stay tuned to this developing story.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”