Whistleblower, Zelensky, Trump
President Trump attacked the whistleblower regarding his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinskyy, in which he may have violated the law in soliciting election help from foreign leaders. Now, Trump may face impeachment. (Photo: screenshot of video via Bloomberg)

Trump Inaccurately Calls Whistleblower of Zelensky Phone Call a ‘Spy’ and Traitor in Private Meeting

While the Mueller investigation dragged on for the first two years of President Trump’s time in office, it turned up nothing damning enough to warrant impeachment. But a phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky just two months ago and a whistleblower complaint regarding it have even Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — who had previously held out on supporting a formal impeachment inquiry — changing her mind.

“He gave us no choice,” she said on NBC’s “Morning Joe.

Amid the chaos of the inquiry, Bloomberg obtained a video of Trump denouncing the whistleblower who exposed the possible crime as “close to a spy” during a closed-door meeting with U.S. diplomats.

“Who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information?” he said. “‘Cause that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart to spies and treasoners [sic] right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

Trump was referencing the history of spies and traitors being executed for being disloyal to their country. Ironically, Trump’s impeachment inquiry is based on the question of whether he violated U.S. law by conspiring with another country.

The rough, unofficial transcript of the July 25 call reveals Trump asking Zelensky to dig up dirt on Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, presumably to sabotage his campaign. The dirt involves allegations that Biden improperly intervened in Ukraine to protect his son, Hunter Biden, who was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian private gas company that was under scrutiny for possible abuse of power and unlawful enrichment — before Hunter Biden had even joined.

There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” the memorandum of the telephone conversation cites Trump saying. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump asking this “favor” of Zelensky calls into question his adherence to the integrity of U.S. elections. It is illegal for foreigners to contribute to U.S. political campaigns or for American politicians to solicit support from foreigners. An investigation into Biden by Ukraine could constitute a non-monetary contribution.

In the same “Morning Joe” interview, Pelosi said Trump’s conversation with Zelensky made him disloyal to the Oath of Office.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said his panel would begin an investigation of Trump’s actions involving Ukraine.

However, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying the whistleblower’s complaint “shows nothing improper” and Trump “has nothing to hide.”

In reality, Trump calling a whistleblower a “spy” or traitor is inaccurate. Whistleblowers expose illegal or unethical information within an organization, while spies give classified information to foreign governments. Treason, in the words of the Constitution itself, “shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in Open Court.”

The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees and applicants who legally reveal information about corruption. The act prevents the whistleblowers from facing retaliation. In the case of this complaint, the whistleblower is presumed to be a CIA analyst. The language of the complaint seems to be written by someone who is familiar with legal jargon and protocol.

The whistleblower themself explains how they were not a direct witness but became aware of it through others.

“It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis,” the complaint says.

Based on the information currently known, the whistleblower did not do anything illegal. Trump may have.

In the words of The Bulwark’s Benjamin Parker in his piece, “Memo to Trump: The Whistleblower Is Not a Spy”:

“If it’s classified information, and you give it to authorities authorized to view classified information (such as the intelligence community inspector general), and those authorities give it to the congressional committees who are authorized to view classified information, and this all happens according to the letter-slash-spirit of the law governing whistleblowers in the intelligence community, and then later the president decides to declassify the information because he doesn’t understand exactly how politically damaging it is, that’s not spying.”

Related Story: Former Trump Campaign Manager Has “no obligation” to Be Honest

Latest News

Wells Fargo Launches ‘Many hearts. One community.’ Holiday Campaign

Originally published on newsroom.wf.com. Beneficiaries include the American Red Cross, Feeding America and small businesses in appreciation for being the “heart” of communities SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The perseverance of communities continues to be a shining light during these trying times, and Wells Fargo is celebrating the optimism and determination of…

Pascal Desroches

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens to Retire in March 2021. WarnerMedia’s Pascal Desroches to Succeed Stephens

Originally published on att.com. AT&T [DiversityInc Hall of Fame company] Chief Financial Officer John Stephens has announced his plans to retire next March after 28 years with the company. WarnerMedia CFO Pascal Desroches has been named to succeed Stephens, effective April 1, 2021. During the transition period, Desroches will serve as…

Southern Company: Georgia Natural Gas Opens 10th Annual TrueBlue Community Awards Call for Entries

Originally published on southerncompany.com. Honor recognizes nonprofits supporting Georgia during COVID-19 and distributes grants to sustain continued efforts Georgia Natural Gas (GNG), Georgia’s leading natural gas provider, announces the call for entries for the 10th Annual TrueBlue Community Awards. This year, the awards will recognize hardworking Georgia nonprofits for their service providing COVID-19 relief…

Roger Ferguson to Retire as President and CEO of TIAA

Originally published on tiaa.org. TIAA, a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions, said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., intends to retire as President and CEO on March 31, 2021. The company’s Board and Mr. Ferguson believe it is an appropriate…

Justice Samuel Alito

Justice Samuel Alito Delivers Series of Highly Alarming Partisan Remarks; Racism Impairs Brain Performance, and More

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivers an alarming series of homophobic, partisan remarks. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rarely makes public appearances, but when he does he apparently wants to make them count, being as irksome and controversial as possible — and completely disregarding the usual ethics required of judges…

Hershey: Leading With Empathy and Connection

Originally published on thehersheycompany.com by Katrina J. Briddell Manager, Global Sustainability & Social Impact There’s no denying: it’s been a tough year for everyone around the world. Here in the U.S., we’ve faced an unrelenting pandemic, mass movements for racial justice, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes, and an election cycle that…