Vindman Not Whistleblower Was Driving Force Behind Impeachment
The most interesting thing about Byron Yorks exhaustively reported and richly detailed new impeachment book, Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishments Never-Ending War on Trump, is that the whistleblower who filed the official complaint that got impeachment rolling isnt ever identified.
It turns out that the heated discussion over the whistleblower, who was previously identified by Real Clear Investigations as the CIAs Eric Ciaramella, was a diversion from allowing the American people to understand who was the actual instigator of the failed effort to oust President Donald Trump from office.
Rather than being a witness who independently supported the claims of the whistleblower, the National Security Councils Lt. Col Alex Vindman was the driving force behind the entire operation, according to the books interviews with key figures in the impeachment probe and other evidence. The whistleblowers information came directly from Vindman, investigators determined.
Vindman was the person on the call who went to the whistleblower after the call, to give the whistleblower the information he needed to file his complaint, said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.
For all intents and purposes, Vindman is the whistleblower here, but he was able to get somebody else to do his dirty work for him, explained one senior congressional aide.
Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishments Never-Ending War on Trump was released today.
What Has Mr Trump Said
On Sunday evening Mr Trump retweeted a Fox News guest who warned that if Mr Trump is removed from office it will spark “a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal”.
Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger condemned Mr Trump’s tweet as “repugnant”.
I have visited nations ravaged by civil war. I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.
It came as part of a massive Twitter volley against his critics, in which Mr Trump said he wanted to meet the whistleblower.
“I want to meet not only my accuser… but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower.’ Was this person SPYING on the US President? Big Consequences!”
On Monday, Mr Trump resumed his Twitter campaign against the whistleblower, as well as Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who is playing a leading role in the inquiry and has been one of the most vocal critics of the US president.
“I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” wrote Mr Trump.
Over the weekend Republicans began to mount a campaign to defend Mr Trump, however some prominent Republican officials appeared to condemn Mr Trump for this latest scandal.
Tom Bossert, who served as Homeland Security Advisor under Mr Trump, told ABC News: “I’m deeply disturbed by it as well and this entire mess”.
Quick Facts On Impeachment
- Impeachment is the first part – the charges – of a two-stage political process by which Congress can remove a president from office
- If the House of Representatives votes to pass articles of impeachment, the Senate is forced to hold a trial
- A Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority to convict – unlikely in this case, given that Mr Trump’s party controls the chamber
- Only two US presidents in history – Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson – have been impeached but neither was convicted and removed
- President Nixon resigned before he could have been impeached
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Trump Condemned For Tweets Pointing To Name Of Ukraine Whistleblower
President posted link to article that identifies official then sent a further tweet containing the name
Donald Trump has retweeted material that publicly names the purported whistleblower whose complaint about the US presidents dealings with Ukraine led to his impeachment.
The president on Friday night sent a retweet from one of his supporters containing the alleged name of the individual. Trump drew the attention of his 68 million Twitter followers to the post which, along with publicising the name, inaccurately claimed that the whistleblower committed perjury by making false statements and is being protected by Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee. There is no evidence to support these assertions.Earlier, on Thursday, Trump had also retweeted a post by his re-election campaigns war room that linked to an article by the conservative Washington Examiner news website. The article, published on 3 December, has the name of the alleged whistleblower in its headline.
Trumps retweet quickly drew sharp criticism. Amy Siskind, president of the New Agenda, a nonpartisan advocacy organisation, posted on Friday: This is not acceptable behavior from the so-called leader of our country, and he must be called to task for it!
With few public engagements, Trump, based at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, has spent the Christmas period furiously tweeting and retweeting false claims and conspiracy theories related to Ukraine and impeachment.
How The Controversy Unfolded
- Mid-July – President Trump orders White House aide to hold back almost $400m in military aid to Ukraine, report US media
- 25 July – Mr Trump speaks to Ukraine’s leader in a 30-minute phone call
- 9 September – Congress learns of a whistleblower’s complaint about the call, but is blocked by the Trump administration from viewing it
- 11 September – Military aid for Ukraine is cleared for release by the Pentagon and Department of State
- 23 September – Mr Trump confirms he withheld Ukrainian aid, saying it was due to concerns about “corruption”
- 24 September – Mr Trump says the aid was withheld so that other countries would pay more.
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Gop Rep Gohmert Publicly Names Person Some Republicans Say Is Whistleblower
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaking Wednesday at a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on impeachment, said the name of a person Republicans believe is the whistleblower who sparked the inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Gohmert, a vocal defender of Trump in the impeachment fight, uttered the person’s name while rattling off a list of witnesses he said should have been called in the impeachment inquiry.
“Now that we have the articles of impeachment a vague abuse of power, obstruction of Congress the very things the majority has done in preventing us from having the witness that could shed light on this, not opinion but fact witnesses, we need to hear from those witnesses, Gohmert said. He then proceeded to say a list of names of witnesses he wanted to testify, which included the person alleged to be the whistleblower.
NBC News is not reporting the name.
In his remarks, Gohmert did not specifically identify the person as being the whistleblower. Democrats on the panel did not immediately react to the remark.
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Democrats have repeatedly asked Republicans not to say the name of anyone believed to be the whistleblower, citing legal privacy and safety issues. Gohmert was the first to do so.
“I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name,” Paul said.
The efforts to identify the whistleblower have received some pushback from other Republicans.
Trump’s Defense Shifts To Not Impeachable’ Even If True
Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lead lawyer, has said that disclosure of his client’s name would deter future whistleblowers, and he has threatened legal action against anyone who reveals the name. In a statement in November, the whistleblower’s lawyers said “identifying any suspected name … will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm.”
The CIA has taken security measures to protect the analyst, who has continued to work at agency headquarters on Russia and Ukraine issues, The Washington Post reported.
For instance, if a whistleblowers colleagues or supervisors turned against them as a consequence of their being identified, it could be argued that the act created a hostile work environment, from which that person would be federally protected.
Furthermore, the lack of federal law specifically protecting a whistleblowers anonymity does not preclude civil legal consequences for someone who unmasks or publicly identifies that person.
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Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Whistleblower ‘is Cia Officer’
Did Trump ask for “a favour” in return for aid to Ukraine?
The whistleblower whose complaint has led to an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump is a CIA officer, US media report.
The unnamed officer once worked at the White House, several US outlets said.
The whistleblower says senior White House officials tried to “lock down” all details of a phone call between Mr Trump and the Ukrainian president.
Mr Trump demanded to know who gave information to the whistleblower, saying the source was “close to a spy”.
In the call on 25 July, Mr Trump pushed Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his leading Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.
The complaint, released on Thursday, says the call transcript was not stored in the usual computer system. Instead it was stored in a separate system used for classified information.
Impeachment is a two-stage political process, rarely exercised, by which a US president can be removed from office for wrongdoing.
Even if President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, he is unlikely to be forced out of the White House because Republicans control the Senate.
Speaking to BBC’s US affiliate CBS News, 2016 Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton said she supported an impeachment inquiry into the “illegitimate president”, whom she also called a “corrupt human tornado”.
Cia Impeachment Whistleblower Forced To Live Under Surveillance Due To Threats: Report
The CIA analyst who was the whistleblower in President Trumps impeachment case was forced to live under strict security measures after receiving multiple threats, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The Post reported that the CIAs Security Protective Service implemented the measures after they noticed violent threats on the internet every time the president mentioned the whistleblower, who has not been identified by the government.
Officials said the threats increased when Trump tweeted about the analyst. The presidents allies also sought to reveal the persons identify, with Sen. Rand Paul , for instance, reading the name of the alleged whistleblower aloud during the impeachment trial.
Top lawmakers throughout the impeachment process stressed the need to protect the identify of the whistleblower, whose complaint alleged that Trump sought to get Ukraines help in the 2020 election by announcing an investigation of Democratic rival Joe Biden. Whistleblowers enjoy federal protections against retribution for coming forward.
The president was tweeting, Wheres the whistleblower? Wheres the whistleblower? a former senior U.S. official involved in overseeing the whistleblowers protection told the Post. The official said the analyst was never in immediate danger, but without security, there is a strong possibility that grave harm would have come to him.
The Hill has reached out to the CIA for comment.
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Here’s A Timeline Of The Trump Impeachment Saga:
- Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was elected in May, in a July 25 phone call.
- During the call, he urged Zelensky to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as a bogus conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.
- Trump wanted Zelensky to launch an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company that Hunter served on the board of. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity on the part of either Biden with regard to Ukraine.
- Trump during the call also mentioned former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, referring to her as “bad news.” Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her diplomatic post in May 2019 after the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, orchestrated what she and other officials have described as a smear campaign against her.
- Roughly 90 minutes after the phone call, the Office of Management and Budget officially froze about $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.
Why Is The Phone Call Controversial
A rough transcript of the conversation, released by the White House this week, shows that the president urged his newly elected Ukrainian counterpart to investigate discredited corruption allegations against Mr Biden and his son Hunter.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that,” he told Mr Zelensky.
Democrats accuse Mr Trump of illegally seeking foreign help in the hope of smearing Mr Biden – who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.
The US president also called on the Ukrainian leader to talk to US Attorney General William Barr and Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani about investigating Hunter Biden’s past business dealings in Ukraine.
Mr Trump is also accused of using military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining tool. The package – which has since been released – had been appropriated by Congress to support the interests of US interests in a friendly country.
Mr Trump, a Republican, denies any wrongdoing and has dismissed the impeachment proceedings as a “hoax” and “another witch-hunt”.
He acknowledged that he had personally blocked nearly $400m in military aid to Ukraine days before he spoke to Mr Zelensky, but denied that it was to pressure the Ukrainian leader into investigating Mr Biden.
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Gohmert Names Whistleblower During Trump Impeachment Hearings
Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, representing District 1, is being criticized by some and praised by others for slipping the name of the alleged whistleblower into the President Donald Trump impeachment hearings during a speech on Wednesday.
It was the first time the name was publicly mentioned during a live hearing. However, Gohmert did not say the person was the whistleblower and only mentioned his name. The newspaper will not release the name until it is confirmed and released.
Gohmert said he has watched accusations against President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and now Trump, and he has had enough. He said only the accusations against Trump reached this level. Trump retweeted a Gohmert tweet around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Democrat Hank Gilbert of Tyler is running against Gohmert and had strong words for the speech.
It is absolutely unconscionable that Louie Gohmert would name the alleged whistleblower during a televised hearing, Gilbert said in a news release. This conduct is sadly typical of what weve seen from him over the last fourteen years. However, this time his headline grabbing antics are putting real people at risk. It is disgusting.
Even though Louie Gohmert has actually done this very thing before, doing it before a televised audience of millions is a new low, even for this goober, Gilbert continued.
The video of Gohmert naming the alleged whistleblower is on his official YouTube channel and on his Twitter page.
Explanations After The Fact
The most infamous explanation for the withholding of US aid to Ukraine came from Mulvaney, who said on October 17 that there was a quid pro quo involving an investigation into the 2016 election and the Democratic National Committee server before walking it back hours later.
Did he also mention to me, in the past, the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But thats it. Thats why we held up the money, Mulvaney said.
Later that day, he issued a statement to clarify: Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption.
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Counter Punching Carries Its Own Risks
Donald Trump is frequently at his most unfiltered over weekends – and this last one served as evidence in the extreme. Since Saturday morning the president has fired off more than a hundred tweets and retweets, lashing out at Democrats in Congress, the media, his political critics and even conservative Fox News.
The recently announced formal impeachment inquiry has become all-consuming for Mr Trump – and is turning the man who likes to fashion himself as a “counter-puncher” into a whirling frenzy of fists.
The risk for the president is the more he lashes out, the more it reminds the American public of what they see as Mr Trump’s greatest flaw. Polls consistently demonstrate a majority of Americans – on the left and the right – disapprove of the president’s penchant for social media invective and the apparent lack of discipline it represents.
If a weekend spent on scorched-earth responses mark Mr Trump’s impeachment battle plan – with him tweeting the shots from his phone – it may make for a shaky defence and cause growing unease among Republicans who contemplate the challenges of campaigning for re-election under the president’s banner in 2020.
Trump Retweets Post Naming Alleged Whistleblower
- President Donald Trump retweeted a post that included the alleged name of the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment by the House.
President Donald Trump retweeted a post that included the alleged name of the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment by the House.
The retweet then reappeared Saturday night. Twitter told The Associated Press that an outage with one of its systems caused tweets on some accounts, including Trump’s, to be visible to some but not others.
Trump has repeatedly backed efforts to unmask the whistleblower. But his Friday night retweet marks the first time he has directly sent the alleged name into the Twitter feed of his 68 million followers.
Unmasking the whistleblower, who works in the intelligence field, could violate federal protection laws that have historically been supported by both parties.
The whistleblower filed a complaint in August about one of Trump’s telephone conversations with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other dealings with the Eastern European nation. The complaint prompted House Democrats to launch a probe that ended with Trump’s impeachment earlier this month. The matter now heads to the Senate, where the Republican majority is expected to acquit the president.
Speculation about the whistleblower’s identity has been circulating in conservative media and on social media for months.
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