The scandal of President Donald Trump’s communications with Ukrainian authorities is continuing to grow to the point of the infamously reluctant House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announcing that the House was pursuing a full, formal impeachment inquiry. Concerned investigators may need to start — or rather, keep — looking at other figures too, since in the newly released, mostly unclassified and therefore available to read whistleblower complaint about the communications that helped spark the scandal, the so far not publicly identified whistleblower directly and explicitly implicates Attorney General Bill Barr in the scandal as well.
‘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… The president’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General William Barr appears to be involved as well.’
The Trump administration let a record of a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president come out, and it helps reveal what the whistleblower is talking about. Trump admonished the Ukrainian president to get in touch with Barr (and Giuliani) to help get investigations into the Bidens going. These investigative efforts are based on little more than conspiracy theories suggesting some kind of nefarious intent behind then-Vice President Joe Biden’s efforts to get Ukraine to fire a widely believed to be corrupt top prosecutor who happened to have also been handling an investigation into a company that Joe’s son Hunter worked with. There was, and remains, no evidence suggesting any kind of actual wrongdoing on the Bidens’ part in that situation.
That hasn’t stopped the Trump team. Barr has already been involved in the whistleblower scandal on a publicly facing front, declining — to the surprise of pretty much no one — to launch any kind of investigation into the president’s behavior despite the inspector general for the intelligence community deeming the whistleblower complaint in question to be credible and urgent. Considering Barr is himself implicated in the scandal, it’s not like there can be any kind of respect paid whatsoever to the Barr-led Justice Department’s decision not to pursue an investigation in this case. Of course they’re either not going to investigate themselves or investigate themselves and conclude nobody did anything wrong.
A similar situation unfolded surrounding the Russia scandal when the final report from now former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation came out. Barr concluded that Trump hadn’t actually done anything to warrant criminal scrutiny on charges of obstruction of justice, despite the ample instances of Trump doing just that outlined in the report.
House Democrats are proceeding anyway. This Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee is hearing from acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who they’re scrutinizing for failing to comply with the law demanding that the complaint be handed over to Congress in a much more timely fashion. They’re also apparently soon set to hear from the whistleblower themselves.
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