Thursday, October 10, 2019

For the sake of argument let's stipulate that the whistleblower is Hillary Clinton's beloved nephew

We have a president who does not respect his office and politicians who do not respect our intelligence.
Tom Cotton
Sen. Tom Cotton and Donald Trump deserve each other
via Getty Images
Let's further stipulate that all of the information in the complaint was gathered from scribbling on toilet stalls. None of that makes the slightest difference. What we are witnessing is dishonest political theater.

Thursday, two posts at the Heritage Foundation's blog captured my attention. The first of these is titled: Sen. Tom Cotton Unloads on Intelligence Community IG Over ‘Evasive’ and ‘Obstructive’ Testimony About Trump Whistleblower. Senator Cotton is part of the Cashew Caucus. The text from GianCarlo Canaparo (???) goes on to say:

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton accused Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson of being “evasive” and “obstructive” during a closed-door hearing on Sept. 26 in which he refused to shed light on the potential political bias of a Trump whistleblower.
Cotton argued that information regarding possible bias is “urgently relevant” to determining whether the complaint is part of a “well-coordinated partisan attack” aimed at impeaching Trump.
Obviously, Cotton is trying to discredit the whistleblower to promote the idea that the complaint is somehow defective. Atkinson is being careful not to provide information that would shed light on who the whistleblower is. Atkinson is required by law to protect the identity of a whistleblower.

The second post, also by Mr. Canaparo, is titled: Ukraine Whistleblower Appears to Skirt Law by Going Straight to Rep. Adam Schiff’s Office.
The relevant law, called the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, details how “an employee of the intelligence community” may bring to Congress’ attention information about wrongdoing such as “violation of laws” or “abuse of authority.”
That is incorrect. The source of the law is 50 U.S. Code § 3033. Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. There is a procedure for contacting the intelligence committees once a complaint has been filed. However, there doesn't seem to be anything in the law that prevents someone from speaking with the chair of the House Intelligence Committee for guidance prior to filing a complaint.

Heritage Foundation is trying to advance their version of a defective complaint by tarnishing the reputation of the whistleblower.

But let's say, again for the sake of argument, the the whistleblower did not follow the required procedure.

None of this is at all relevant to the impeachment of Trump
Whether the whistleblower is biased (Hillary's nephew in my extreme example) or did not follow procedure, the complaint has turned out to be accurate.

Even the doctored call summary provided by the White House has demonstrated that the whistleblower's complaint was accurate. And if that is not enough, Trump, “in his infinite wisdom,” has confirmed the accuracy of the complaint and has gone so far as to ask China to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.

We are long past the point where the whistleblower is a participant. If he (or she) did not follow procedure he can be disciplined but that has nothing to do with the complaint itself.

Trump's claim is that he is only asking Ukraine and China to investigate corruption. There are (at least) two problems with that assertion. The first is that Trump is a pathological liar. We can believe absolutely nothing that comes out of his mouth. The second is that, while making wild accusations about Biden, he has not produced the slightest shred of evidence that the former V.P. did anything wrong. None. All we have are Rudy Giuliani's drunken tirades.

The simplest explanation is that Trump withheld allotted military aid to Ukraine in order to extort a commitment that Ukraine would dig up (perhaps manufacture) dirt on Biden. Trump reached out to Ukraine just as he probably reached out to Russia in 2016. Only because of his obstruction of justice do we not have sufficient evidence of his collusion.

Secondly, Trump wants to confirm a wild conspiracy theory that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election. It was really Ukraine and the DNC's server is now in the Ukraine.

We have a corrupt president who subscribes to any conspiracy theory that seems to be in his favor. That is the leader of the free world. He is still a Birther.

We are going to remember these dishonest politicians like Tom Cotton. Trump's enablers who, among other things, have allowed a level of corruption that makes Nixon look angelic. George W. Bush is, in my estimation, a war criminal. Trump makes even him look like a champion for justice.

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