Doesn't Trump's reaction to the whistleblower itself warrant impeachment?

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Horgen

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#1 Horgen  Moderator
Member since 2006 • 121754 Posts

Threatens the whistleblower with big consequences publicly, and death threats at more private events.

Lawyers representing the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine's leader warned in a letter over the weekend that Trump has put the safety of their client at risk by describing the anonymous individual as a traitor and issuing open threats of retaliation.

"The purpose of this letter is to formally notify you of serious concerns we have regarding our client's personal safety," Andrew Bakaj, the lead attorney for the whistleblower, wrote (pdf) to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. "The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client's identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm's way."

Bakaj cited Trump's suggestion behind closed doors last week that the people who informed the whistleblower should be executed as an example of the president endangering the safety of his client.

"The fact that the president's statement was directed to 'the person that gave the whistleblower the information' does nothing to assuage our concerns for our client's safety," wrote Bakaj. "Unfortunately, we expect this situation to worsen, and to become even more dangerous for our client and any other whistleblowers, as Congress seeks to investigate this matter."

The letter was sent hours before Trump took to Twitter Sunday night to accuse the person who informed the whistleblower of "spying on the U.S. president" and threaten "big consequences."

"Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called 'whistleblower,' represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way," Trump tweeted. "In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND and THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information."

Trump's tweets sparked alarm among human rights advocates, who warned the president is clearly attempting to intimidate the whistleblower and others who may be considering sounding the alarm about his behavior.

"Threats against a whistleblower are not only illegal—the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989—but also indicative of a cover-up," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

Political scientist Miranda Yaver said in response to Trump's tweets, "If we saw this behavior in another country, the word 'democracy' wouldn't leap to mind."

The whistleblower's complaint, made public last week, alleged a frantic effort by the White House to cover up Trump's conversation with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the U.S. president asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

"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," the whistleblower said.

Ari Berman, journalist for Mother Jones, said the complaint details misconduct that is "as bad, if not worse, than Watergate."

"Instead of hiring burglars to investigate political rival," Berman said, "Trump asked a foreign government to do it for him and then tried to cover it up."

From the second source:

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his defenses on Thursday, likening those who provided information to the whistleblower to spies, according to reports, and tweeting that "our country is at stake" on the day the complaint against the president was made public.

"THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR," Trump tweeted in all caps. "STICK TOGETHER, PLAY THEIR GAME, AND FIGHT HARD REPUBLICANS. OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE!"

Trump, according to multiple media outlets, told a private group at a midtown hotel Thursday morning that the people who gave information to the whistleblower were "close to a spy," and said the U.S. should "handle" them like it did "in the old days" — a veiled reference to execution.

The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times both reported on the comments. The Los Angeles Times was provided a recording of Trump's remarks by a person present for them, while The New York Times cited a person briefed on the remarks.

"I want to know who's the person, who's the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy," Trump said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."

A U.S. official with knowledge of Trump’s remarks at the event told NBC News Trump also ripped the press as "scum."

Diplomats present for the remarks were taken aback to hear such explicitly political comments and attacks on the president's perceived enemies during an event for government workers, the official told NBC News.

In the complaint, which was made public with minimal redactions Thursday morning, the whistleblower makes it clear that a number of White House and administration officials provided information to him and that's largely what his claims are based on, in addition to information from previously published news stories.

From Trump Tower, where he was staying for the United Nations General Assembly, Trump sent out three dozen tweets and retweets in his defense over two hours on Thursday morning, continuing a week of persistent counterpunching at Democrats as they launched official impeachment proceedings against him.

Later Thursday, Trump again defended his call with the Ukrainian president, calling it "perfect" and accusing Democrats of blocking a domestic policy agenda that had little chance of getting anywhere even before the latest round of impeachment talks.

"What these guys are doing to this country is a disgrace, and it shouldn't be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it," Trump told reporters upon landing in Washington on his way back from New York.

As the acting director of national intelligence began to testify Thursday morning before Congress, Trump departed for a Manhattan fundraiser where he was to be surrounded by familiar faces from his former life as a New York businessman.

Raising money has been one bright spot for Trump. Adding to the $5 million haul the impeachment inquiry news brought in on Tuesday and Wednesday, the president raised $5 million at a fundraising dinner at a private home in Manhattan on Wednesday night, according to a Republican spokeswoman.

He was expected to bring in an additional $3 million at the breakfast Thursday morning, for a total of $13 million so far this week.

With his presidency facing what may be its biggest threat yet, Trump has cycled from offense to defense, reviving a strategy that he viewed as effective during Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. He tried to downplay his request for the Ukrainian president to help investigate his political rivals, divert attention to actions by Democrats and presidential contender Joe Biden, and discredit the whistleblower as having partisan motives.

“Nothing has changed with the release of this complaint, which is nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings — all of which shows nothing improper,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement Thursday morning. She added that “the White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats and many in the mainstream media.”

But White House advisers privately have admitted they are now in uncharted waters.

The intelligence whistleblower, whose name has not been released, has said they lodged the formal complaint because they believed that Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 election. In the call, Trump discussed having Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy help investigate the Biden family’s business dealings.

"The interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals," the whistleblower continued. "The president's personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well."

The complaint, which was released with minimal redactions, stresses that there are witnesses who can back up the account, and indicates concern over the handling of the White House record of the call.

The whistleblower says the record of the conversation on July 25 between Trump and Zelenskiy was treated in an unusual way, including part of it being over-classified, in the whistleblower's view.

Before the release of the whistleblower account there were already worries among Trump’s allies, particularly as it related to the involvement of Giuliani.

Two Trump allies, one of whom is a former senior White House official, described a level of concern inside the White House that is far greater than Trump and his supporters have publicly acknowledged. The former official added that Giuliani’s role is particularly problematic legally because he has purely political and personal ties to Trump and no official role with the U.S. government.

"It’s both better than I think many of us thought, given what some of the speculation was, and also worse than many of us thought given what some of the speculation was," the official said. "The way in which it’s worse than people thought basically has to do with Giuliani."

TL;DR? Read the first paragraph in the first quote.

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#2  Edited By LeicaM6  Online
Member since 2019 • 319 Posts

Trump is an utter fool and most, if not all, of his problems are entirely self-inflicted. He’s surrounded by yes men who aren’t able to tell him “sir, that’s a bad idea” and he can’t help himself.

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Vaasman

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#3 Vaasman
Member since 2008 • 14081 Posts

From witness tampering, threatening to kill staff and whistleblower alike, to threatening civil war, he's sure making a strong case to be impeached on his post-inquiry behavior alone.

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#4 Stevo_the_gamer  Moderator
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Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

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comp_atkins

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#5 comp_atkins
Member since 2005 • 36032 Posts

why no one one his staff hasn't smacked the phone out of his hands yet baffles me.

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Serraph105

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#6 Serraph105
Member since 2007 • 34256 Posts

@Stevo_the_gamer said:

Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

Impeachment has only successfully happened to two presidents in US history. The fact that Trump has at least 223 members in the house willing to say yes to impeachment trials in the Senate means we are likely living the days that will be documented by historians at this very minute. It's a really big deal if it gets out of the House and big enough to warrant a few threads.

Just my take anyways.

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Serraph105

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#7 Serraph105
Member since 2007 • 34256 Posts
@comp_atkins said:

why no one one his staff hasn't smacked the phone out of his hands yet baffles me.

I'd say that we need to keep giving Trump more rope to hang himself, but that's not enough on it's own. Congress needs to tug hard on the other side of the branch.

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Zaryia

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#8  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 10453 Posts

I wouldn't be surprised if this was within one of the articles of impeachment if it got to that point, along with all of the stonewalling and potential witness tampering that has been going on for the last half year.

This kind of happened to Nixon too within his articles of Impeachment.

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mrbojangles25

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#9  Edited By mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 45041 Posts

I don't know, I mean I don't like his reaction, but is it in itself impeachable? Not sure. I suppose he did threaten the whistleblower.

I don't even know if Trump considers us people at all. I think he views everyone but him and Ivanka as just tools to be used to further his own ends.

It would be nice if we had a president that put country first and said "I am not happy about it, but we need to support the idea of whistleblowers, and pursue this diligently." I mean I'd rather he at least act presidential on the surface and then try some sneaky shit behind the scenes than to just act like an ass.

@Vaasman said:

From witness tampering, threatening to kill staff and whistleblower alike, to threatening civil war, he's sure making a strong case to be impeached on his post-inquiry behavior alone.

The withholding of Ukranian aid money was also a pretty big deal, at least to me. That is straight-up strong-arming a sovereign nation of guaranteed, tax-payer funded foreign aid.

@Stevo_the_gamer said:

Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

It is kind of a big deal, I wouldn't say four threads about the various aspects of this topic are uncalled for if they talk about different aspects of the potential impeachment. But that's just me.

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Vaasman

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#10  Edited By Vaasman
Member since 2008 • 14081 Posts

@Stevo_the_gamer said:

Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

Perhaps as a mod you could sticky a single thread to consolidate the conversation?

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Horgen

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#11 Horgen  Moderator
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@Stevo_the_gamer said:

Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

We could do with a sticky really. However due to Trump's own ramblings, information could quickly get lost in the thread.

I wasn't aware of some of the things I posted in this thread, had been posted in another one when I made this.

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narlymech

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#12  Edited By narlymech
Member since 2009 • 1727 Posts

It seems like Trump has done 100 things that would have gotten other presidents impeached really. Republicans would have impeached long ago if it was Obama doing those things.

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ComeOnMan

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#13 ComeOnMan
Member since 2017 • 275 Posts

@Stevo_the_gamer said:

Do we really need 4 threads on this topic alone on the first page?

I guess I'm not sure what the upper limit is for Anti-Trump circle jerks. But we have yet to find that limit here on GS PG.

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deactivated-5de67c4d9cb12

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#14 deactivated-5de67c4d9cb12
Member since 2019 • 392 Posts

Every few months I think that surely Trump can't drag things any lower but he does.

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Horgen

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#15 Horgen  Moderator
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Impeachment is a coup now

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-impeachment-latest-coup-tweet-democrats-ukraine-call-a9128866.html

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#16 rmpumper
Member since 2016 • 727 Posts

@horgen: It's as if Agent Orange is doing everything he can to call his gun nut supporters to take violent action in order to defend their dear leader.

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#17 JimB
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@narlymech said:

It seems like Trump has done 100 things that would have gotten other presidents impeached really. Republicans would have impeached long ago if it was Obama doing those things.

Name them.

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#18 PraetorianMan
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@JimB: fucking a porn star behind your wife’s back and then using campaign money to shut her up.

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jeezers

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#19 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@PraetorianMan: lol you cant impeach him for fucking hoes 10 years before hes president, now if hes fucking interns in the Whitehouse and lying about it, you might have something.

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LJS9502_basic

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#20 LJS9502_basic
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@jeezers: You can't use campaign money as hush money.

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jeezers

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#21 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@LJS9502_basic: campaign money? trump has his own money why would he have to use campaign money? Can you prove that?

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VFighter

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#22 VFighter
Member since 2016 • 5641 Posts

Its amazing watching the left throw hay maker after hay maker and not have even one land, not even get close to its target. This is just getting embarrassing at this point.

Hey Trump had scrambled eggs for dinner...isn't that an impeachable offense?!? Yeah lets get him lol.

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LJS9502_basic

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#23  Edited By LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 167990 Posts

@jeezers said:

@LJS9502_basic: campaign money? trump has his own money why would he have to use campaign money? Can you prove that?

That's not what Cohen said.

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Vaasman

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#24  Edited By Vaasman
Member since 2008 • 14081 Posts
@LJS9502_basic said:
@jeezers said:

@LJS9502_basic: campaign money? trump has his own money why would he have to use campaign money? Can you prove that?

That's not what Cohen said.

It doesn't even matter what Cohen said, because Cohen brought the signed checks to his hearing, and the president has already admitted he made these payments too. This shouldn't even be a debate. Short of the statute of limitation expiring before leaving office, dudes gonna getting indicted for it.

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Nuck81

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#25 Nuck81
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@jeezers said:

@LJS9502_basic: campaign money? trump has his own money why would he have to use campaign money? Can you prove that?

They have copies of the checks.

Pay attention

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jeezers

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#26 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@Nuck81: ahhh gotcha they got the checks ;)

Lol

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comp_atkins

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#27 comp_atkins
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@vfighter said:

Its amazing watching the left throw hay maker after hay maker and not have even one land, not even get close to its target. This is just getting embarrassing at this point.

Hey Trump had scrambled eggs for dinner...isn't that an impeachable offense?!? Yeah lets get him lol.

LOL @ the meltdowns of the trumpkins.

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jeezers

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#28 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@comp_atkins: hes right tho, everytime they try, it falls flat, I mean look at this whistleblower thread, its fallen flat, its so weak they are talking about stormy daniels again up in here lol

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LJS9502_basic

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#29 LJS9502_basic
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@jeezers said:

@comp_atkins: hes right tho, everytime they try, it falls flat, I mean look at this whistleblower thread, its fallen flat, its so weak they are talking about stormy daniels again up in here lol

Weak? There's an impeachment inquiry and trump's melting down.

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#30 VFighter
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@comp_atkins: I'm laughing at the meltdowns the left are having daily, kinda like I'm laughing at your mini meltdown there lol.

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#31 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 167990 Posts

@vfighter said:

@comp_atkins: I'm laughing at the meltdowns the left are having daily, kinda like I'm laughing at your mini meltdown there lol.

trump is the only one melting down...……..meanwhile the administration is pointing fingers at each other.

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#32  Edited By comp_atkins
Member since 2005 • 36032 Posts
@vfighter said:

@comp_atkins: I'm laughing at the meltdowns the left are having daily, kinda like I'm laughing at your mini meltdown there lol.

the "i know you are, but what am i?" response.

perfect :|

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Horgen

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#33 Horgen  Moderator
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@jeezers: You’re completely okay with Trump’s behaviour?

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#34 foxhound_fox
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Isn't impeachment a trial that combines a large amount of evidence in order to justify to members of the Senate that the President no longer is fit for office?

The great thing about Trump's Republicans, is that he's filled his office with a bunch of people that won't hesitate to throw any other member under the bus to save their own skin. There isn't enough backbone in his office to fill a single human being.

I can't wait for the Twitter post the day he finally realizes it's over.

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jeezers

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#35 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@horgen: his behavior in regards to what? The Ukraine phone call or in general?

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#36 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 167990 Posts

@jeezers said:

@horgen: his behavior in regards to what? The Ukraine phone call or in general?

Don't worry he doubled down today and invited China to investigate his political rivals as well.

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jeezers

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#37 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@LJS9502_basic: dude I just wanted clarification from horgan not your 2 cents damn lol

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#38 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 167990 Posts

@jeezers said:

@LJS9502_basic: dude I just wanted clarification from horgan not your 2 cents damn lol

Yeah I know....don't let the facts sway you.

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jeezers

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#39 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@LJS9502_basic: Bless your heart

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Horgen

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#40 Horgen  Moderator
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@jeezers said:

@horgen: his behavior in regards to what? The Ukraine phone call or in general?

Both really.

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jeezers

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#41  Edited By jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@horgen: I could say alot about trumps "behavior".

In regards to the whistleblower I think his response is justified. He released the transcript very quick, hes pointed out Ukraines presidents statement that he felt no pressure, hes also calling out the hypocrisy of Bidens buisness in Ukraine, good! If they want to impeach him over this stuff hes going to make them work for it, good!

Hes blunt and brash but hes telling how he sees it. Hes alowed to do that, people seem to think the media should be able to accuse him of anything and everything and how dare trump respond to it, why?

Kamala for example, trying to tell jack dorsey to ban him from Twitter... Why? if hes lying you now can document it and use it against him, hes utilizing it as a direct feed to the country. I diddnt like how he was utilizing social media at first but at this point I actually enjoy it. Whether you agree or disagree hes putting his thoughts out there. I like that.

What have the president's before us done, get thier political aides to help draw out these long dragged out political statements, tripple checked over to make sure they get the max amount of head nods.

My whole life ive seen every president speak in a robotic language, they make sure they tell people what they want to hear. Not what they are thinking, what they think people WANT to hear. Then they do nothing.

I voted for him in 2016, not because I liked trump, but out of disgust of the Clintons. In 2020 I plan on voting for Trump because he proved me wrong.

I thought he was not actually going to be tougher on border security ( many republicans and democrats in the past said they would and ended up doing nothing nothing)

I thought he was bullshitting on being tougher on trade with China ( well I was very wrong, hes being very aggressive, pleasently surprised, and now after doing some research hes been calling out bad trade deals with other nations since the 80's)

Tax cuts ( again surprised he followed through, trump was seen as a liberal disquising himself as conservative, FOX news for example HATED Trump when he announced his campaign.)

Our media since 2016 or even before in 2015 alluded to Trump causing the end of America, hes going to destroy the economy, hes going to get us into a bunch of wars, this just flat out diddnt happen, as much as people complain.. We were much worse off under both Bush and Obama.

Other issues as well, our government has much corruption, from way before Trump, life long politicians have sold us out special interest groups both domestic and foreign. Constitutional rights have been picked away at, right to privacy, freedom of speech, the 2nd amendment, our government has been picking away at the constitution for much to long. Clinton, Bush, Obama, all are guilty of this. The biggest offense by trump at doing this, is proabably bump stocks. Which I understand people concerns with, but is miniscule imo compared to what ive seen from past leaders.

And another thing id like to note, is our media is a JOKE, its an absolute embarrassment, I'm sure its also got to do with the rise of social media and clickbait for quick cash, who can write the most outlandish headlines gets the biggest bucks.

In the age of Trump he certainly is the focus, Trump is almost all that is talked about at this point.

Russian colusion delusion for 2 and a half years..,

24/7 Trump russia over and over and over, russia hacked the 2016 election, holy **** its been insane, and in the end mueller finds NOTHING on Trump. Just a big stupid distraction for the left to ignore the fact that Hillary just fucking lost, because hillary clinton SUCKED. They just put thier heads in the sand and scream russian bots at any opposition. Now we have the Ukraine "bombshell" Is rachel maddow licking her lips now or what lol after

Some seem to like this because most headlines are attacking him, but I would make an argument, that all press is good press. Especially for someone like Trump. It becomes the boy who cried wolf situation, there's a whole lot of bitching for so little evidence.

In 2016 the attacks were nonstop and he made it work for himself, nothing has changed since. They are still kicking and screaming, and Trump is still dragging them along for the ride.

Besides Tulsi and Yang, im disgusted by the democrats, they are pathetic, ive never seen them so low. What did hillary say, " when they go low, we go high" well that was a big fucking lie, ive never seen this level of spite in my life and yeah i though the bitching of obama was overboard, but this is next level shit. I mean hell just the kavenaugh hearing accusing him of being a gang rapist was when i accepted that our government has fucking lost it.

This is a new low point for the country.

If only we had elected fucking Hillary Clinton we would all be smiling and picking posies I guess lol

I know this i a rant horgen, im typing off my phone, but for such an open ended question thats what i think.

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DEVILinIRON

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#42 DEVILinIRON
Member since 2006 • 5238 Posts

Oh wow. That was posted from a phone? Impressive!

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#43 LeicaM6  Online
Member since 2019 • 319 Posts
@jeezers said:

@horgen: I could say alot about trumps "behavior".

In regards to the whistleblower I think his response is justified. He released the transcript very quick,

This is a lie. They didn't release the transcript, the White House released an edited summary of the conversation. And it still looked absolutely terrible for Trump lol. The actual, unedited transcript of the conversation has not been released to the public.

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#44  Edited By Vaasman
Member since 2008 • 14081 Posts
@DEVILinIRON said:

Oh wow. That was posted from a phone? Impressive!

When the talking points come from a farm script it's easy.

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#45 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@leicam6: well you can bet all your money that the "real" transcript has the goods if you want.

But I'm not banking on it, especially when the guy he was talking to has openly said it was a normal coversation and he never felt any pressure. But you do you.

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#46 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@Vaasman: what do you mean farm script?

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#47 LeicaM6  Online
Member since 2019 • 319 Posts
@jeezers said:

@leicam6: well you can bet all your money that the "real" transcript has the goods if you want.

But I'm not banking on it, especially when the guy he was talking to has openly said it was a normal coversation and he never felt any pressure. But you do you.

I said nothing about what is in the unedited transcript. I didn't even read the rest of your post because you lied about the document that the White House released, that they themselves didn't even call a "transcript".

I don't think I'm asking for too much that we have a mutual understanding about what the facts are.

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#48 jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@leicam6: is it an edited transcript or not a transcript at all? Read what you typed again.

either way, the president of Ukraine said the conversation was normal and he felt no pressure, so explain that? Hes the actual guy he was talking to....

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#49 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 167990 Posts

@jeezers said:

either way, the president of Ukraine said the con

@leicam6: is it an edited transcript or not a transcript at all? Read what you typed again.

versation was normal and he felt no pressure, so explain that? Hes the actual guy he was talking to....

I don't care what the Ukraine says. We don't involve other countries in our elections. It's Unconstitutional by the way. No American should be okay with this. None.

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#50  Edited By jeezers
Member since 2007 • 3678 Posts

@LJS9502_basic: unconstitutional my ass, you have nothing