The Whistle-Blower Complaint Alleges Presidential Abuse of Power and a Cover-Up

Comments

1

been tormented all morning by this queasy feeling...
this whistleblower complaint has a taste of vindictive former employee...
and it is well-written, well-composed...
the complainant had access to nearly everyone in the President's inner circle...
and has taken care to couch his Machiavellianism under a mantle of patriotism...
and the timing fits almost too perfectly...
John Bolton? wtf?
I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

2

Wow. When Trump was nominated, I noted how similar he was to Nixon. He even used the same phrasing ("hidden majority") to pursue his racist, xenophobic policies. I figured he would be corrupt, but I didn't think he would get impeached in much the same way. There are a lot of ways to break the law as president (e. g. Reagan and Iran/Contra) but Trump and Nixon were both caught breaking the law to gain political advantage. Then they both pursued a coverup. Replace "electronic transcript" with "White House tapes" and you have Nixon, all over again.

3

@1 -- That would be wonderful, but I doubt it. Word is that the whistle blower was a career official who didn't like Trump. That makes the case harder. If it was someone like Bolton, then fellow Republicans would start opposing Trump. Fox News would freak out, not knowing which guy to back. But if the whistle blower is a Democrat, expect him to be demonized by the right.

4

@1: Not Bolton's MO.

5

@2, At least Nixon used his own people within this country to try to illegally gain political advantage. Trump is doing him one better: trying to use a foreign government to try to illegally gain political advantage.

6

@3- you bring up a interesting point, the pressure on Republican senators.
Romney at present is an outlier, so we can discount him and ditto the Murkowski and Collins clique who have no influence within the Republican caucus...
But Rubio and Cruz and a few others who at least pretend to be ethical people must be nervously looking around and wondering when is the appropriate time to express their "concern".

7

@4- well you might be right raindrop.
And I hope you are.
But... quite frankly your record of hits to misses hasn't been that good lately-

"...That's all Trump probably did, that could be proven anyway. This story will fizzle out."

raindrop on September 20, 2019 at 7:30 AM ·

sorry, couldn't resist. You set yourself up for that.

8

Dude needs to be impeached for being dumb as shit. Greed really got the best of him. He's supposed to be rich, he could have used some of that money to hire private people to do all this and we'd never know about it. Instead he cheaped out and ordered government employees to do it on the taxpayers dime. And he implicated the AG and Mike Pants. You gotta use outsiders so there is some deniability.

9

Donald Trump for his entire career has operated within a protective cocoon of mob influence, backdoor bribery, and clandestine retaliation for "disloyalty" or for even publicly illustrating superior talent to his own. A gang might call itself a "network" or "brotherhood" or "community," but it is still a gang, and its members are gangsters. Sadly, Trump and his corrupt crew are as much symptoms as causes, and groups all across the political spectrum operate like him and his henchmen. But that does not excuse Trump's behavior or that of his mentor, Roy Cohn, who encouraged him to believe deceit and bullying were the road to success. Let the process play itself out, and be fair to Trump and his cohorts (base accusation on evidence, not hearsay). But, after all of Trump's sickeningly frequent lying, why should anyone believe a word he says? And shame on the Republican Party, Fox News, and the Trump cult that enabled and enables him. And let no one, including those on the left, use Trump's corruption as an excuse to emulate him or oppose him using his methods. Let's raise the bar: honesty, civility, and respectfulness still happen in this world, and The White House should be a symbol of those virtues.

10

@7: Impressed that you research my prior commentary.

Yes, when more info comes to light, previous comments become outdated and previous musings (like yours might be) are proven wrong. So?

11

As a normal person who is subject to the rule of law, it baffles me that trump continues to trust giulliani with sensitive responsibilities when he has repeatedly shown he shouldn’t be trusted with so much as a coffee order. This is what 7 decades of consequence-free living does to your judgement. Not great!

12

@10- so?
so nothing, really.
Just a friendly gotcha, was wondering if you could laugh at a joke at your own expense.
Guess not.

13

Do you know how we all felt when Nixon was forced from office due to the impeachment hearings?

We felt great!

14

The Derp State always gets you in the end! Someone should have told Trump it was risky antagonizing them continuously (actually someone probably did, on multiple occasions).

15

@blip, that is the funniest part, to me, of this whole dog and pony show. It appears that Trump honestly and sincerely (as much as he is capable of) trusts Rudy Giuliani. They're a bunch of scheming mean girls. Seriously, middle school level drama- can't you just hear them talking about this, planning it? In his mind, it's exactly the same as complaining about Rosie ODonnel and Vanity Fair. And since it's nearly impossible that he'll face actual consequences for this, he's not that wrong.

16

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w61pqM4WI2o

WAAAGH!

17

It really doesn't matter whether the 2016 election interference took place on Russian or Ukrainian soil. It's clear that Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear are Russian entities who were caught in the act by the Dutch AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service).

It is also clear that Russian policy always aimed to make the Ukraine a "regent" state, either through corruption of politics, economic pressure or by force. Ukrainian oligarchs are largely entirely in cahoots with the Kremlin, thus making all political and state officials there suspect.

What reeks of suspicion are the ties between Trump and the Ukraine's most corrupt, pro-Putin personalities. Remember, Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chief, was on Putin's payroll advising President Viktor Yanukovych, who was the most pro-Russian president to have been elected in Ukraine.

It remains unclear at this point where President Zelensky's political allegiences lie. I did a little background reading, and noted that he's a popular TV personality with no political experience who swept the popular imagination in the recent elections. (Where have I heard this tune before?) And that his election was "surprisingly" close, requiring a run-off election which, wouldn't you know it, delivered him the presidency in a landslide. (A taste of things to come?) Interestingly, Zelensky eschewed conventional media coverage, campaigning instead primarily through social media (Twitter and Facebook). Could the Kremlin have perhaps perfected their corruption of these media?

Note also, that since his election he's shown an eagerness to overhaul the political process by promoting the use of popular referendums, which prove highly succeptible to the influence misinformation and outrageous propaganda through social media (see Brexit). He's also suddenly sought both a major house-cleaning of the departments of state and judiciary, and also a sudden willingness to make a peace deal with Putin.

Yet Zelensky plays to the public as a hero against corruption, something Trump mentioned again and again in his rambling press conference address. Is he really? Or is he just cleverly leaning on the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for a true draining of the swamp?

I hope our own government can guide us through this house of mirrors.

18

well, darn, it looks like my feverish speculation that Bolton is Deep Throat is off the mark.
But that won't stop me from embarrassing myself twice in one day...
Like @17, I'm curious about this Zelensky chap.
We know he's a political novice, a comedian by trade... and he looks like a kind of simple, bewildered, doe-in-the-headlights kind of guy...
but what if he is instead a Ukrainian Borat and he has been playing a role, suckering Trump into hanging himself?
"Dah, dah, Mr Cool-guy Trump, we can do deal. We eliminate corruption, look into that guy, what's his name again? Yes? Repeat please, connection not so good...Biden, yes...sorry Mr Trump, name again? Louder please..."

19

@18 As amusing as that would be, the truth is usually simpler. A lot of people have trouble accepting just how incompetent the people in power often are. It's far more likely that just two celebrities are in positions of power and they gossip and play games with world affairs just like they would if they were playing social drama or having affairs or making business deals. This is how the world works, just they are less polished (being outsiders) and therefore don't know the legal ways to do horrible scheming unethical things- you know, the way the Bidens do.

The whistleblower was a CIA employee. A former CIA employee (director of counter terrorism under Bush) was on the Burisma board with Hunter. The Podesta Group has been involved in Ukraine politics and business. The Clintons as well. Michael Flynn too, trying to make deals over nat gas and sanctions right after Trump won.

Honestly it's all about money and energy politics, the Russia stuff too. It's palace intrigue. I don't know why any average person takes a side with one oligarch or another. Zoom out bigger picture- this is a microcosm for how the US intelligence community and political class operate around the world in order to further the interest of the very rich. This is how capitalism works.

Trump is breaking laws because he's a buffoon, not a mastermind, and because he thinks he's above the law, which is probably true. The take-away for average folks should be just how corrupt this system is. That the Dems choose THIS to close ranks around, and that it's entirely for show (b/c it's impossible he will be found guilty by a 2/3 majority in the Senate) should make people realize just how screwed average folks are and just how deeply they are all in this to further their own interests. It gives people spectacle, modern bread and circuses. Not like we could impeach him over, I don't know, rape, deals with KSA, running concentration camps, conflicts with his business, lying under oath, etc. Nope we have to go after him for trying to make a deal with another celebrity politician fool to get dirt on his political opponent's fail son in a make-work position enriching himself by doing nothing at all but shmoozing with mafia members and former CIA directors and foreign oligarchs.

The whole spectacle makes me so fucking depressed.

20

@18 Zelensky was a protest candidate, and it turned out Kiev was so tired of Russian Oligarchs, Ultranationalist Oligarchs, and Western Puppet Oligarchs that the protest vote carried the day. Not sure why Gaspar neglected to mention the Ultras (e.g. Koshulynskyi) Western puppets (e.g. Pororshenko) or candidates with looser ties to them (e.g. Tymoshenko).

If he looks like a deer in the headlights, it's because Zelensky doesn't know how to play Oligarch Hardball, and Trump is very much an Oligarch, not just by inheritance but also by his approach to politics.

21

One thing that is kind of incredible but getting almost no attention today: at the precise moment impeachment is gaining steam due to the revelation that Trump blatantly abused his office in an effort to smear an opponent, the administration (at Trump's bidding) is blatantly abusing its regulatory authority in an effort to exact retribution on its opponents. You might think they would maybe put the brakes on their extremely transparent attempt to harass the state of California, under the current conditions, with their sudden out of the blue zeal for enforcing environmental regulations, but...nope.

22

He's also at this very moment deploying troops to KSA and also just launched an attack that killed 40 Afghani citizens, the first without Congressional oversight, the latter despite vetoing the bill that passed both houses that would rescind the AUMF just a few weeks back, etc.

I mean, that's sort of my point, there's no shortage of serious evil doings we could focus on, rather than his battles with other filthy rich corrupt oligarchs.

23

Nice article CF, well explained. Great comments too! Go EmmaLiz! sucks that the truth is so depressing...

24

@20 Robotslave: I didn't mention the Ultras or Pororshenko (or the other tongue-twisters you cited) purely out of ignorance. I just looked at the Wikipedia article on Ukrainian-Russian relations to get some idea where Zelensky and his immediate predisessor's loyalties lie vis a vis Pappa Vladimir.

I get confused by all the ousting and the fleeing and the invading over there.