President Donald Trump and his closest associates have responded to a whistleblower revealing their scheme to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens by lashing out. Now, that whistleblower’s lawyer Andrew Bakaj is demanding that they stop their pressure and intimidation campaign or prepare to face the consequences. This week, Bakaj sent a cease and desist letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, insisting that he get Trump to stop the endless barrage of public insults, which has been peppered with insistence that the anonymous whistleblower’s identity be formally revealed. If something happened to the whistleblower, Bakaj said, they’d hold Trump responsible and take appropriate legal action.
In his letter, he wrote:
‘I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger. I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior.’
Noting Trump’s recent claim to reporters that they’d be “doing the public a service” if they published the whistleblower’s name and his previous commentary about how differently the U.S. used to treat supposed spies, Bakaj added:
‘These are not words of an individual with a firm grasp of the significance of the office which he occupies, nor a fundamental understanding of the significance of each word he articulates by virtue of occupying that office.’
Many times, Trump has taken to Twitter to broadcast his animosity towards the whistleblower to the world.
On November 3, he complained on the platform:
‘The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward. The Fake News Media knows who he is but, being an arm of the Democrat Party, don’t want to reveal him because there would be hell to pay. Reveal the Whistleblower and end the Impeachment Hoax!’
Although Trump and many of his allies have focused on the whistleblower, a large portion of the information in their initial complaint has been backed up by witness testimony at this point. Other key details have come out thanks to a record that the White House themselves released of a phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In the demonstrable reality of the situation, the Trump administration abruptly halted military aid for Ukraine at the same time that they were developing a pressure campaign to get that Biden dirt. Eventually, the Trump administration directly told Ukraine that “everything” they wanted would hinge on whether or not they produced that dirt, according to the Congressional testimony of top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor.
Taylor is one of those set to testify publicly this coming week as part of the impeachment probe. Others, both of whom have already testified privately, include former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and State Department official George Kent. The public hearings are coming soon after the House majority approved a resolution with formal procedures for going forward with impeachment.