General Impeachment inquiry launched

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Jan 21, 2015
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This reminds me of how the whole Russiagate thing started;

MOUNTAINS of horrifying stinking dirt came out about Hillary, Podestas, Clintons etc... but the focus was immediately shifted 100% from looking into that dirt whatsoever (covered it all up in fact), and all attention re-directed to who may or may not have leaked the dirt illegally to 'interfere with elections'. STILL no one looks at those DNC crimes, pretend they are not there even though they are 1000x worse than whatever collusion may or may not have occurred to leak them.

Now we have proof that actual collusion was done by Biden involving billions of dollars (ACTUAL money transactions and admitted interference with foreign Attorney Generals)... but oh no lets pretend that's not real and focus on a phone call instead.

Crazy.

View: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1176219043965079552
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
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Dec 31, 2014
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New whistleblower memo:

26 July 2019

The following is a record of a conversation I had this afternoon with a White House official about the telephone call yesterday morning between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The official who listened to the entirety of the phone call was visibly shaken by what had transpired and seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague within the U.S. national security apparatus about the call. After my call with this official I [redacted] returned to my office, and wrote up my best recollection of what I had heard.

The official described the call as "crazy," "frightening" and "completely lacking in substance related to national security." The official asserted that the President used the call to persuade Ukrainian authorities to investigate his political rivals, chiefly former Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter. The official stated that there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion because, in the official's view, the President had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own reelection bid in 2020.

The phone call lasted approximately half an hour. The two leaders spoke through interpreters. My conversation with the official only lasted a few minutes, and as a result, I only received highlights:

  • The President asserted that "it all started in Ukraine," referring to the allegations of foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent investigation into the Trump campaign's contact with Russian individuals
  • The President asked Zelenskyy to locate the "Crowdstrike server" and turn it over to the United States, claiming that Crowdstrike is "a Ukrainian company," (Note: This appears to be a reference to the DNC server from which Russian hackers stole data and emails that were subsequently leaked in mid-2016; the DNC hired cyber security firm Crowdstrike to do the forensic analysis, which informed the FBI's investigation. It is not clear what the president was referring to when he claimed Crowdstrike is a Ukrainian company; one of its cofounders was born in Moscow.)
  • The President told Zelenskyy that he would be sending his personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to Ukraine soon and requested that Zelenskyy meet with him. Zelenskyy reluctantly agreed that, if Giuliani traveled to Ukraine, he would see him.
  • The President raised the case of Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden's role in the company, and former Vice President Biden's role in setting Ukraine policy. The President urged Zelenskyy to [end page 1] investigate the Bidens and stated that Giuliani would discuss this topic further with Zelenskyy during his trip to Kyiv.
  • The President urged Zelenskyy not to fire Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who the President claimed was doing a good job. (Note: Lutsenko has spearheaded various politicized investigations, including on Burisma Holdings and alleged "Ukrainian interference" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Lutsenko is widely reviled in Ukraine, and Zelenskyy has pledged to fire him but has been unable to secure approval from the legislature.)
  • The President stated that he wanted Attorney General William Barr to speak with Zelenskyy as soon as possible. (Note: It was not clear whether this conversation was to be in reference to Crowdstrike or the investigations of the Bidens.)
  • The President reiterated his concern that Zelenskyy was surrounded by people who were enemies of the President, including "bad oligarchs."
The President did not raise security assistance. According to the official, Zelenskyy demurred in response to most of the President's requests.

I did not review a transcript or written notes, but the official informed me that they exist.

  • The standard White House practice for Presidential-level phone calls with world leaders is for the White House Situation Room to produce a word-for-word electronic transcript that memorializes the call. The transcript is typically then circulated to key White House officials to be transformed into a formal memorandum that is distributed as an eyes-only document, to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA.
  • In this case, the official told me that such a transcript had indeed been produced and was being treated very sensitively, in hard copy only. Moreover, several additional senior White House officials listened to the entire phone call in an adjacent room in the Situation Room suite and they presumably took written notes on the call.
  • The official did not know whether the President was aware that other people were listening and that the call was being transcribed. The official also was not certain whether anyone else was in the Oval Office with the President during the call.
  • On the Ukrainian side, it is unclear who listened to the call or whether a record was produced.
 

MMAHAWK

@MMAHAWK21 Coast 2 Coast Combat Hour @COMBATHOUR
Feb 5, 2015
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Memo from separate whistleblower?
Yes but it’s the source of the first one. Basically someone told someone what happened. That person came forward first. Now the person who told them is coming forward. He could have told 30 more people but it’s all the same source.
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
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Dec 31, 2014
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Yes but it’s the source of the first one. Basically someone told someone what happened. That person came forward first. Now the person who told them is coming forward. He could have told 30 more people but it’s all the same source.
I believe this new memo is from the same first whistleblower. It is a memo they wrote after talking to officials directly on the phone call.
The timeline and detail is of importance because credibility goes up if somebody has recorded things fresh. The original memo from this person says they talked to many people after this that all verified. But this is a time stamp from July.


The second whistleblower is unknown and it's not clear that #2 is the same white house official this person references. As such, if #2 has direct knowledge of the call it might not be the same source.
 

MMAHAWK

@MMAHAWK21 Coast 2 Coast Combat Hour @COMBATHOUR
Feb 5, 2015
10,067
24,679
I believe this new memo is from the same first whistleblower. It is a memo they wrote after talking to officials directly on the phone call.
The timeline and detail is of importance because credibility goes up if somebody has recorded things fresh. The original memo from this person says they talked to many people after this that all verified. But this is a time stamp from July.


The second whistleblower is unknown and it's not clear that #2 is the same white house official this person references. As such, if #2 has direct knowledge of the call it might not be the same source.
Don’t we have a transcript of the call?
If we do I don’t care what someone’s feeling were.
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
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Dec 31, 2014
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  • The transcript is typically then circulated to key White House officials to be transformed into a formal memorandum that is distributed as an eyes-only document, to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA.
  • In this case, the official told me that such a transcript had indeed been produced and was being treated very sensitively, in hard copy only. Moreover, several additional senior White House officials listened to the entire phone call in an adjacent room in the Situation Room suite and they presumably took written notes on the call.
Since this exists, unless this new transcript comes up disagreeing, we must assume the trump released transcript is accurate. You can't hide a second transcript for long under these pretenses.

Doesn't change that the transcript was apparently unusually moved to a classified server.
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
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Dec 31, 2014
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Don’t we have a transcript of the call?
If we do I don’t care what someone’s feeling were.
Intention has been the reason nothing sticks to Trump. He has a halo of people that have gone down and "I didn't intend that" goes a long way on getting you out of quid pro quo. It also matters for the electorate.

If those around Trump have a list of reasons these topics were on the phone call, then Trump can point to his handlers as encouraging topics for unrelated and official reasons.

If the executive branch held up Congressional authorized funds, then acted not just independently as a branch but Trump independently from the rest of the white house, that builds intent on the President himself. If everyone around Trump was not involved in the decision making of this call and topics, you are left with Trump himself directing the holding of funds, asking a non-government employee (Rudy) to negotiate off the record dealing with Ukraine, to investigate Biden. The defense of corruption concerns as a policy fall flat at that point.

If this was truly about corruption, then there should be a white house apparatus in play. These memos increasingly show there was not. Quid pro quo case is being built.

The congressional funds and Rudy are huge problems. Wtf is the explanation on why Rudy, a non-government employee with no clearances being instructed to meet with Ukraine about this?

And don't forget, the bar for impeachment is intentionally NOT criminal. It is broad and ambiguous as a check against the executive doing things that run afoul of congress. Blocking congressional funds (the purse being congress' main power) with an executive shadow policy made for political gain is just about the exact thing impeachment was made. This is going to go poorly for Trump.
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
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Dec 31, 2014
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Did we talk about this?

White House says it will refuse to cooperate with impeachment inquiry

After that happened I read a bunch of legal scholars, for I am not even close to understanding American legal doctrine. Nixon's process apparently cemented that congress incredibly broad discretion in impeachment processes and that the Supreme court would absolutely come down on the side of congress here.
Beyond that, this seems to me to play poorly with the electorate. The guy will eventual go before Congress and now they will play up that he was originally blocked.