In August, an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint with Michael Atkinson, Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), alerting him to multiple “troubling” conversations between Trump and a “mystery counterpart.” The counterpart was a (then) unidentified foreign leader. During at least one of the conversations, Trump allegedly made a promise to the leader, according to the whistleblower.
Though the U.S. Intelligence community determined that the whistleblower’s report was “urgent and credible” and forwarded it to acting director of national intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, Maguire did not give the report to Congress, apparently on advisement from the White House and the Justice Department.
According to the DNI, the report involved “confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the executive branch.”
Later, it was revealed that the “mystery counterpart” was from the Ukraine, and was in fact Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
In addition to suspecting a coverup and an abuse of power on the part of Trump, Democrats now suspect that Trump may have tried to use the promise of U.S. military aid to the Ukraine to initiate a probe into Ukraine business dealings by Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son.
Trump allegedly told Zelensky “roughly eight times” to work with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Hunter Biden. Trump alleges that Joe Biden demanded that the Ukrainian government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son.
Joe Biden denies this.
As if on cue, Rudy Giuliani, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, first denied that he had asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, then later in the same interview, when asked again, said, “Of course I did!” Giuliani later said he had misspoken.
Also as if on cue, Trump deflected attention away from the scandal and toward Biden: “It doesn’t matter what I discussed with world leaders,” he told reporters. “I’ll tell you this: Somebody ought to look into Joe Biden‘s statement.”
And though Trump claimed not to know the identity of the whistleblower, he slammed him or her as a partisan, calling the situation a “political hack job” and ridiculing the news media for covering it.
“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine,” Trump tweeted.
Biden responded by saying “Not one single, credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertion.”
“…I have no comment except the president should start to be president,” Biden added.
Meanwhile, Democrats are calling for impeachment while Trump supporters are citing this scandal as more “proof” that Democrats and the media are involved in nothing but a “witch hunt” aimed at bringing Trump down.
Since its inception, this administration has regularly been the subject of scandals that would have ruined other politicians. For Trump, however. each instance seems to strengthen the support of his base. Though some say this whistleblower’s complaint, if proven, could be especially damaging to Trump, recent history has shown that it will most likely be all but forgotten when the next potentially ruinous Trump controversy du jour overshadows it.
President Donald Trump Blasts Growing Whistleblower Firestorm As ‘Ridiculous’ | NBC Nightly News [2019-09-20]
The Trump WHISTLEBLOWER Story Is A SHAM! | FOTM | ATS | Huckabee