When the Whistle Blows
One of the downsides of living in California, is that by the time I get up in the morning and post something here, it's almost 11 o'clock in the East and people are beginning to get ready for lunch. So, dealing with "Breaking News" is a near impossibility.
That's why I've decided to at least write something the night before about what may possibly be a huge story by the time my alarm goes off on Thursday morning, and use the Scheduler to get it automatically posted early. It's that CNN reported on Wednesday night that the whistleblower complaint will not only be declassified and released, but it will be posted online. As Dana Bash reported, it's not known if there will be redactions due to security, though I expect so.
Now, of course, as I write this, I have no idea if this will prove to be true. (In fact, I'm shocked that it even might be.) But on the assumption that it is, another thing I don't know is what's in it. I'm sure that there are many Democrats concerned (which I believe is their birthright and a significant part of the DNA...) that that won't be anything problematic in the complaint. And while that's possible, I think "nothing notable" is unlikely, for a few reasons.
One, we already know what Trump himself released in the summary memo which alone got enough Democrats to sign on supporting an impeachment vote. And we also know that the Trump administration went to great lengths to illegally block it. Most mostly, we have these three comments from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee who have actually seen the complaint.
The committee chairman Adam Schiff said of the complaint: “Having read the documents in there I’m even more worried about what happened than I was when I read the memorandum of the conversation. There are so many facts have to be examined.”
Rep. Jackie Speier called what she read in the whistleblower complaint: "Explosive."
And Rep. Eric Swalwell said that "The complaint itself is a five-alarm concern for me."
Equally notable is that I didn't see any Republican members of the same House Intelligence Committee lining up to go on TV and dismiss the whistleblower complaint as the favorite GOP meal, a nothing burger.
So, I think it's reasonable to believe that the whistleblower complaint is not a "nothing," and that there is some serious substance to it, beyond the Ukraine call, which was horrible enough to get Democrats to line up for an impeachment vote.
One thing I do think is likely -- and it's that the whistleblower complaint deals with a lot more than just the Ukraine phone call. For starters, one of the first and most notable news stories about the complaint was that it included some "promise" from Trump -- and that was nowhere in sight in the summary memo.
Earlier in the day yesterday, I saw a comment from Republican strategist Mike Murphy who was on MSNBC. I like Murphy and find him generally very open and outspoken -- and he hates Trump. (The title of his most recent book is Everything Trump Touches Dies.) He said that he heard from a source that if an Senate trial vote was held in private, Trump would lose 30 Republican votes.
When I heard Murphy say this, my immediate reaction was that this is a big deal. Then I realized -- they ALL know "in private" who Trump is. And continue to enable him. So, the fact that Republican senators would vote to convict Trump "in private" means absolutely nothing. It's what they DO that matters. And what the GOP do is enable him.
This is not about Trump. We know who he is. We know that he would do something like this and many likely figured he already had. This is about the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him. Who support him, even through this near-treasonous action. And who are complicit.
9/26/2019 07:13:15 pm
I labeled Murphy's quote "Profiles in Courage" , when I posted the story on Facebook. Sigh, to paraphrase JFK; there's a reason he only published one, slim volume.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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