The Trump administration has ended up again engulfed in serious scandal with a reported whistleblower complaint from a so far not publicly identified source in the intelligence community, who reportedly sounded an alarm in a filing with the intel community’s inspector general about President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president. As further reporting asserts that Trump had been seeking to have Ukraine try and dig up dirt on the Bidens in exchange for military aid, and as the Trump administration continues to feverishly work to block details of the whistleblower complaint from getting out, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has demanded in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr that the Trump administration release the complaint.
In a weekend public statement, she shared:
‘If media reports are correct that President Trump delayed military aid appropriated by Congress in order to get Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, it’s difficult not to see that as an abuse of presidential authority, plain and simple.’
The apparent abuse of power hearkens back to an incident during the 2016 campaign season when the Trump team — meaning in this case Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort — freely accepted an offer for dirt from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton. Although in an attempt at defense, Trump Jr. has repeatedly pointed to that the meeting didn’t produce any actual substantive dirt — that doesn’t erase the fact that he himself said he “loved” the idea in the first place!
In this case, Trump’s reported attempts at private pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens correspond to public campaigns his team has been waging to paint former Vice President and leading Democratic presidential primary candidate Joe Biden as corrupted by his dealings there. They’ve alleged that when in office as vice president, Joe garnered financial gain for his family via pressuring Ukrainian authorities to fire a corrupt top prosecutor who’d been handling an investigation into a company his son Hunter was involved with. The reality is — there’s no evidence Joe even knew of Hunter’s involvement, let alone procured anything inappropriate at all.
Trump has insisted in response to scrutiny that “now that the Democrats and the Fake News Media have gone ‘bust’ on every other of their Witch Hunt schemes, they are trying to start one just as ridiculous as the others.”
In response, the former vice president has denounced Trump as a “serial abuser” of power and demanded that his team release the transcripts of his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if they’re really so innocent.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has been among those beating the drum to try and get after details of the whistleblower complaint. This past week, he hosted the intel community’s inspector general for private testimony, although at the direction of higher-ups in the administration he did not reveal the substance of the complaint. This coming week, Schiff will be hosting acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire for public testimony. The DNI is required to send complaints to Congress, but they’ve been refusing this time.
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