The Ukraine whistleblower complaint was released yesterday to the public and Congress, and it detailed a broad effort by White House staff to conceal the transcript of the call between Trump and the president of Ukraine by storing it in a place normally saved for highly classified material (as well as suggesting there were other such discussions containing inappropriate content concealed in this way). The storage of these transcripts in such an unusual way suggested consciousness of guilt–that White House staff knew Trump was discussing things he shouldn’t, things that could get him and others in trouble, and were trying to hide the transcripts from anyone outside a small circle of loyalists. They were trying to cover it up.
Democrats will now have to investigate the cover-up as well as the underlying acts that the whistleblower reported, including alleged participation in the Ukraine collusion effort by William Barr and Rudy Giuliani. All of these investigations could add to our picture of what has happened but it bears repeating over and over that Trump’s own words to the Ukraine president in the summary of the phone call provided by the White House were enough to impeach:
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.”
That statement alone was a betrayal of Trump’s oath of office, placing his re-election bid ahead of our national security interests by pressing a foreign power to get dirt on Biden. Before the transcript was released, Trump even confirmed on TV that he mentioned Biden to the Ukraine president, as the transcript summary corroborated. This is all Congress needs to support an article of impeachment. Everything else is just the Trump regime’s panic and obstruction around this underlying scandal. His Ukraine request was certainly an abuse of power, it was certainly unethical, it was certainly a betrayal of his oath, but it was also likely illegal. The Mueller probe underscored the fact that asking a foreign power for help in an election is illegal as long as the people asking know the law. Donald Jr. escaped indictment because it was not clear that he knew he was breaking the law by sitting down with Russians to hear dirt on Hilary. But there’s no way Trump can claim ignorance of the law after the Mueller investigation. Asking Ukraine for help to smear Biden was an illegal act, and Trump knew it, and his people knew it.
Republicans have been saying, “the whistleblower complaint is all hearsay, the whistleblower didn’t actually hear any of the phone call,” and while this may be true, it’s irrelevant. The summary of the call released by Trump’s own White House showed an impeachable offense that Trump himself acknowledged in front of TV cameras. Pressing Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden is a crime, full stop.
Let’s make sure that Rep Delgado and other Democrats feel our support as this impeachment process moves forward. This is a serious matter and there will be a lot of smearing and push-back by the corrupt GOP who are now terrified at the prospect of a humiliating loss of power. And Trump himself might do any number of horrible things as the investigations move forward.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed sooner.