“I began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency and that if the cancer was not removed the president himself would be killed by it.” – John Dean, counsel to President Richard Nixon, in testimony to a Senate subcommittee, 1973.
The simple facts are these: President Trump called and asked a foreign official for help in finding dirt on a U.S. citizen, possibly a 2020 presidential candidate, and the White House aided in covering up the phone call.
“In the course of my official duties,” the whistleblower complaint states, “I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
The whistleblower has been identified as “…a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” The New York Times reports (Sept. 26).
“In the days following the phone call [to the Ukrainian President],” the whistleblower continues, “I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary-by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.
“…the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective. …
“I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another…
“I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters…
“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. They told me that there was already a ‘discussion ongoing’ with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain. …
“I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”
In a secondary story, The Times reports, “President Trump told a crowd of staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday morning… ‘I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.’ ”
Now the President is clearly threatening members of his own staff.
Think this is a piece of “fake news”?
The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 26), posted an audio recording of the president’s remark.
With information from multiple sources, House and Senate Intelligence Committees – Democrats and Republicans – need to immediately take whatever steps necessary to interview all White House National Security staff to corroborate the whistleblower and then follow the guidance of the Constitution.
If this isn’t a clear impeachable abuse of power, nothing is impeachable.
The cancer that is President Trump is growing and if Republicans cannot acknowledge it; if they obstruct, they are complicit.
It’s as simple as that.