Whistleblower Week Roundup

In case you missed it — Chris Hayes did a great standup routine on Trump’s Ukraine, um, problem.

Greg Sargent wrote that the batch of State Department texts released by House Democrats provided three significant revelations:

First, the texts show that State Department officials, taking direction from the White House, explicitly conditioned a meeting with Trump — which Zelensky badly wanted — on Ukraine helping to rig the next U.S. election on Trump’s behalf, by carrying out the investigations Trump wanted. …

…Second, and importantly, the texts also show that Ukraine understood that the fate of its country’s relations with the United States rested on whether it carried out Trump’s political marching orders to interfere in a U.S. election and investigate Trump’s political opponent. …

…Third, the texts set up a clear line for further inquiry that will likely produce even more damning revelations. They strongly suggest that Trump made hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine directly contingent on that country doing his political bidding.

See Greg Sargent’s column for details.

News stories report that a second whistleblower with direct knowledge of Trump’s interactions with Ukraine has come forward.

Josh Marshall writes about State Department officials coming forward to testify.

Secretary Pompeo threatened a dogged fight against any attempt to depose State Department officials or get documents for the House inquiry. Volker, Yovanovitch, Sondland and others could have used that shield Pompeo threw up around them to refuse or at least delay or negotiate over testifying. That was clearly the intention. But they haven’t. Volker resigned his appointment and quickly testified. Now Sondland, much more of a Trump partisan and apparently much more of a driving force in the extortion scheme, is doing the same.

Yovanovitch, of course, is Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed by Trump because she wouldn’t go along with his extortion scheme. Yovanovitch will testify to three House committees this Friday, October 11. Gordon D. Sondland is a Trump supporter who became Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, and he was on the “team” of Trump officials, along with Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, who were pressuring Ukraine President Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.  It seems some people have decided they aren’t going down with the ship.

See also Mounting evidence buttresses claims in whistleblower complaint and Donald Trump’s Ukraine Scandal Has Its Roots in Russia.

Elsewhere — this got little attention, but it pissed me off mightily — CNN reported Trump promised Xi US silence on Hong Kong democracy protests as trade talks stalled.

During a private phone call in June, President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued, two sources familiar with the call tell CNN.

The remarkable pledge to the Chinese leader is a dramatic departure from decades of US support for human rights in China and shows just how eager Trump is to strike a deal with Beijing as the trade war weighs on the US economy.

This is cowardly and shameful, is what it is. See also A scathing new Pentagon report blames Trump for the return of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Trump is absolutely worthless.

For a fun read, see Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America by Bob Moser at Rolling Stone. Sounds like Mitch is in big trouble.

12 thoughts on “Whistleblower Week Roundup

  1. Oh maha,

    If only tRUMP actually aspired to something like mere 'absolute worthlessnes' instead of – intended or not – wanton destruction!

    But it's beyond his ken, never mind his reach.  He'd rather be known as a horrible asshole rather than not be the center of attention!  "ME!  Me, Donald J. tRUMP, worthless?  I am nothing of worth.  ME?  OH HELL NO! If anything, I'm absolutely worth-MORE!!!!!"

     I would say tRUMP is 'absolutely realityless.'

    I won't bore you with a list, because…  Well… You know…  TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

  2. Yeah!  Good Stuff! Maddow also had a good presentation with linked emails – one from the State Department promising a meeting if there were an investigation and one from the Ukrainian end committing to the same. Quid pro quo isn't a necessity according to the statute but it looks like it's proven also.

    Tucker Carlson has adopted a novel tact – it's a crime but not impeachable. Clinton wasn't impeached and this is the same. Problem: this looks a lot more like what Nixon did than what Bill did. And I don't think we've seen it all.

    • Tucker Carlson has adopted a novel tact – it's a crime but not impeachable.

      Tucker Carlson is playing on people's ignorance of what an impeachment is. Whether it results in removal from office is beside the point, as much as I'd like to see that big bag of shit bounced out of office. What it will do is inform voters to the nature of Trump's criminality and the true character of who Trump really is.

      Trump will be impeached because at this point anything less would be a complete capitulation to Trump's assault on our democracy. Pelosi has no choice but to call for an impeachment vote because Trump has pushed it to the breaking point. Trump might exude confidence in the Senate holding the line for him to prevent his removal from office, but in the end it will be the American people who decide whether Trump stays or goes. And if he stays, his odds of going in 2020 and the odds  of many GOP senators going with him in 2020 will also increase.

      When clarity and truth comes to the fore those GOP Senators are going to be standing on their own, Trump won't be their savior, he'll be their millstone. They'll curse the day they ever crossed paths with that effing bag of shit.

       

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  3. When I think of Sondland's situation the words of the prophet Michael Cohen come to mind. "If you follow and defend Donald Trump you are going to end up where I am"

    Now Sondland is in a position where he could eventually go to prison if he lies to a Congressional committee. And he doesn't know what the committee already knows or what they might eventually find out. So he's going into a situation where the the only safety he has is to arm himself with the truth. And to think he paid Trump a million dollars to get his ass in this jam. He's going to lose his ambassadorship, his million bucks, his credibility, and possibly his freedom..

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  4. Late last week corporate newz trotted out the bothsiderist meme that Democrats also defended Clinton by saying he was naughty but not impeachable. The prime directive to sell cars to both Democrats and Republicans by showing Matthew McConaughey warping through a nebula of colored smoke demanded no less. Then the Sunday shows happened and defenders of Trump made asses of themselves in ways difficult to pretend were business as usual.

    Newz peeps also still say impeaching Trump only riles up his base. True, those who love nothing more than trolling, guns, theocracy, zygotes, and being ripped off by the 1% are full of outrage. But when are they not?

    If the Democrats were literally to run a bag of shit in 2020, I would vote Bag Of Shit. Furthermore, if the DNC were to put the bag on my porch, soak it in lighter fluid, set it aflame, then hide in my bushes to laugh at me when I tried to stomp it out, and I knew it, I would still vote Democrat Bag Of Shit.

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    • "True, those who love nothing more than trolling, guns, theocracy, zygotes, and being ripped off by the 1% are full of outrage. But when are they not?"

      That's the Trump cult in a nutshell.

  5. Thanks for the Mitch McConnell piece, great background about what happens to someone – who actually espoused progressive views early on – but who really is only interested in winning at any cost. I didn't realize he is 77, this gives me hope he can be kicked out.

    The Josh Marshall piece is significant, because it's a sign that the rats are fleeing the ship. The smarter ones are hastening to cooperate, regardless of the line pushed by Trump and his minions, because they know they'll otherwise get punished later.

  6. The spin machine is running in near panic mode.  The Chris Hayes report gives, in my view, a solid report on the illicit actions of the Trump administration as best we know of it.  The contrast of that report to what is being reported on red state local TV news is incredible.  In my area, these stations are all owned by activist media corporations which at times plant distortions into local coverage that slant toward the republican party line which Trump controls.  Well this seems to be one of those times.  Those who trust their local news feed and get their national news only that way are not getting even close to the type and substance of information transmitted in the Chris Hayes piece.  

    So you will not see footage of Mitt Romney breaking with Trump or even the more palatable Colin Powell's admonition that Republicans get a "grip on themselves" on red state local news.  These are the voices they fear the most.  These are the people that have earned respect and trust over the years. At times it is more what they block and select to show on these propaganda channels that expose their bias.  That Rush Limbaugh has sold them on the idea of creating a country of "ditto heads".  Is it not amazing that Russia has more power and control over this propaganda machine than the conservatives and neo-conservatives who created it?  How crafty of those pesky Russian troublemakers.   As they were saying on the BBC this morning, the Russians seem to have given up on any notion of joining western civilization and seem bent on playing spoiler against it.   Russians also seem bent on chewing up as much of the Ukraine as they can get away with.   

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  7. The State Department blocked Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, from giving a deposition scheduled before a House impeachment panel.

    Battle lines are being drawn. I don't know what obligations Sondland has as a legal matter to the State Department's demands on him, but if I were in his shoes,I'd come clean in a hurry. And I'd be meditating upon the words of Michael Cohen or Rick Wilson's book title…Everything Trump Touches Dies.

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