House Democrats are rushing to dispense with President Donald Trump before the end of the year, leaving them free to dance on his grave into election year 2020.
A senior Democratic aide told The Washington Post “there will be very few hearings, if any.” They also want to get it over with quickly so they don’t expose vulnerable Democrats to a prolonged impeachment fight. Pelosi doesn’t want such unimportant matters as removing an elected president from office to disrupt the party primaries.
They hope big, bad House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can override congressional precedents and procedures to evade a floor vote while cowering Republicans acquiesce to her bidding, inexplicably playing defense.
Recent internal party polls claim there is an uptick in support for impeachment, but voter sentiment could change.
Their latest hoax is quickly unravelling. They accuse Trump of threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine in a phone call to President Volodymyr Zelensky if they don’t investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son.
As Republicans search for the unnamed whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment push, his credibility is falling apart.
The New York Times reported that he is a CIA officer detailed to the White House, but no official confirmation has come from the administration.
Trump is on solid legal ground in asking for Ukraine assistance to probe the Bidens. The whistleblower alleges Trump abused his power to solicit foreign interference in investigating a rival, but in 1999 Bill Clinton signed a treaty with Ukraine providing for mutual legal assistance on criminal matters. Under the treaty both governments can make testimony and witnesses available.
Biden stated on camera that when he was vice president, he pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings while Hunter Biden was a board member.
The whistleblower stated that Trump offered a quid pro quo in the form of military aid when the transcript shows no evidence any was extended. He also suggested that Zelensky was pressured during the call, but the Ukraine president denied he was under duress, saying it was a “normal call” and “no one pushed me.”
A senior government official told CBS News on Friday, Counselor to the State Department Ulrich Brechbuhl was not on the president’s call with Zelensky, as the complaint states.
He alleged that Trump made a “specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike”. The president mentioned CrowdStrike, but did not demand the server.
He also accused U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker of moving in mid-May to “contain the damage” from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine, a claim disproved by a July 19 text message conversation from Volker to Giuliani.
Fox News obtained the messages on Thursday, showing that Volker had urged Giuliani to reach out to Ukraine stating, “connecting you here with Andrey Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky.”
His complaint said the president “suggested that Mr. Zelensky might want to keep” his current prosecutor general, but the transcript contained no such request.
His most explosive accusation was riddled with disinformation. “In the days following the phone call, 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,” he asserted.
A senior White House officer told CNN that the transcript was placed in a separate electronic system at the direction of National Security Council lawyers. It was a secure password protected server, not a secret server.
The White House had been plagued by leakers like the whistleblower’s source, and “NSC lawyers directed that the classified document be handled appropriately,” since the transcript of the call was already classified there was nothing wrong with moving it to a code-word protected server that held highly-sensitive information. A computer server usually reserved for ‘top secret’ information’ is not a ‘secret’ server.
The whistleblower claimed the phone call transcript between Trump and Zelensky did not contain anything “remotely sensitive,” but the transcript was classified as “secret” due to the sensitive nature of the conversation and national security concerns.
Meanwhile suspicions abound that the whistleblower is part of a bigger intelligence community plot. Many observers suspect he had help from lawyers and Democrats on the Hill to draft his complaint.
The requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings was also quietly eliminated by the intelligence community and the submission form was revised days before the complaint was filed.