The officially unidentified intelligence community official who filed the complaint that sparked the impeachment investigation is back in the headlines. Why? Because The New York Times, the flagship publication for yellow journalism, claims that anonymous sources say President Donald Trump was briefed about the complaint filed by the erroneously-titled “whistleblower” before he authorized the release of aid to Ukraine.
The first question this information inspires – if true – is: So what? Even assuming the report is accurate, is it really going to avert the nose-dive into which Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has steered this investigation – along with his party’s 2020 prospects? Unlikely. When it comes to Trump, the left has cried wolf too many times and, now, every new attempt to pin on the president some terrible transgression is met with a collective yawn.
The Ever-Changing Ukraine Aid Story
Previously, the Democrats and their media gremlins – who they are clearly feeding after midnight – had been claiming that Trump, who allegedly held up the aid in order to coerce the Ukrainians into investigating the Bidens, green-lighted its release after the impeachment investigation was opened. That timeline has since been debunked: The aid was released well before the Democrats began their latest coup attempt. Before that, the story was that Trump held up the aid in order to appease Vladimir Putin.
This latest angle on the aid hold-up may not have legs but The Times has done at least one thing right: It revived the memory of the so-called whistleblower, who Democrats had probably hoped was long forgotten. This shadowy figure is still at the very center of the impeachment investigation. He (or she) was the person who set the whole thing in motion – assuming he (or she) is a real person and not just the fictional writer of a complaint put together by Democratic Party staffers and lawyers.
Whistleblower Complaint In the Spotlight
It is still imperative that any Senate impeachment trial, if it is to be completely fair and proper, feature this “whistleblower” as the star witness. Without this appearance, there is no fair trial. He or she is the president’s primary accuser and Trump cannot have a fair hearing without the opportunity to confront his accuser. In fact, the Constitution does not require that the Senate even hold a trial and Senate Republicans should refuse to do so unless the “whistleblower” appears as a witness.
A careful comparison of the complaint and the transcript of Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reveals several discrepancies that need to be explained by the individual who allegedly wrote the complaint.
The document begins: “In the course of my official duties, 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.”
This immediately sets up the Democrats’ main impeachment narrative: That Trump’s real crime was trying to get the Ukrainians to take action that would benefit Trump’s reelection campaign. Why would the “whistleblower” make that assumption, though? Trump made no request of the Ukrainian president that would necessarily have any direct effect on the next presidential election.
One might just as easily propose that, in negotiating trade deals with China that would be more favorable to the U.S., Trump was soliciting China’s interference in the 2020 election. The U.S. president does not know whether Joe Biden will be nominated to challenge him in 2020, but he does know that Biden was vice president in the previous administration, which weaponized the Department of Justice against him, Trump, and spied on his campaign with the aim of preventing him from becoming president.
Perhaps that is why Trump still harbors bitter feelings towards the Democrats’ 2020 front-runner and still wants all matters related to the 2016 election fully investigated – including Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainians.
Complaint Precisely Follows Dem Narrative
This unfounded allegation about the 2020 election is a central theme of the complaint against Trump. How very convenient for the Democrats? “ … after an initial exchange of pleasantries,” the complaint says, “the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests.” Again, this is purely an assumption or a matter of opinion. “Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take action to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.” Yet again, the so-called whistleblower is not reporting facts or events but second-hand information from which he or she then chose to interpret in a particular way.
The complaint goes on to talk about Trump’s request to Zelensky that he look into the Biden matter. One cannot help but wonder: Why, on hearing about this request, did the alleged whistleblower immediately make the leap to the 2020 election? That is not how the mind of an apolitical intelligence community official works; it is how the mind of a political partisan works.
The Biden-Burisma connection – now widely known – remains a matter worth investigating. Burisma, as acknowledged by most of the witnesses called to testify in the impeachment investigation, had a reputation for being involved in money laundering and corruption. Joe Biden’s son had no experience with either Ukraine or with the energy sector, yet he landed a lucrative directorship with that company. Ukraine’s top prosecutor was investigating Burisma when Joe Biden, then vice president, threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if the prosecutor was not immediately fired.
Another red flag in the whistleblower complaint – one that just happens to exactly mimic the Democrat narrative that Attorney General William Barr is acting as if he is the president’s personal attorney – is the allegation that Trump “pressured” the Ukrainian president to “meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys in these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr.”
While Trump did mention both men, there was absolutely no suggestion made that Barr was acting as Trump’s “personal envoy.” This is where it begins to appear as though the entire complaint was contrived to exactly support what Democrats had planned to accuse the president of doing and that the author – or authors – of the complaint had assumed it would never be made public.
This, then, is why the whistleblower – if such a person exists – must be required to testify in any Senate trial. That individual must be asked, first of all, who the sources of the information are, as such chatter about the contents of presidential phone calls is a potentially grave matter of national security. Also, the whistleblower should be questioned about why he or she chose to specifically make and repeat the allegation that Trump’s intent was to benefit his reelection campaign.
Schiff and his co-conspirators know full well, of course, that – even if there is an actual whistleblower – his or her testimony would crumble under questioning by Republicans. That is almost certainly why – having countless times promised to have this individual testify – Schiff then refused to allow it.
Read more from Graham J Noble.