I have to take my hat off to the good people at The Federalist and The Last Refuge. Their investigative journalism over the Ukraine affair has been absolutely first-class, rivaling anything one can imagine from mainstream media outlets in the past. It’s thanks to them that the conspiracy behind the current brouhaha has been uncovered as far as it has; and I’ve no doubt that they’ll keep ferreting out more facts to piece together.
For a start, the Congressional Research Service is now implicated in the plot, for providing false and misleading interpretations of US law.
Compelling new evidence now shows that the purportedly nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) may have been weaponized to mislead members of Congress and the American people — all in the name of advancing the impeachment process against President Trump. It appears that misleading guidance about precisely how expansive the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) is was incorporated into the report just as the current whistleblower controversy began to pick up steam.
Without the CRS report obscuring certain facts about the underlying statutes, it would have been clear early on that the allegations made in the whistleblower report would not have been considered an “urgent concern” under the statute. Perhaps more surprising, without the misinformation it would have been clear that the president is not subject to the specific oversight requirements of the ICWPA at all. The CRS report facilitated a false impression that ultimately provided a false impetus for the current impeachment inquiry.
There’s more at the link.
Next, the office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) has admitted to retroactively amending its forms and requirements to justify its handling of the original “whistleblower” complaint. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
On Monday, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) admitted that it did alter its forms and policies governing whistleblower complaints, and that it did so in response to the anti-Trump complaint filed on Aug. 12, 2019 … The ICIG also disclosed for the first time that the anti-Trump complainant filed his complaint using the previously authorized form, the guidance for which explicitly stated the ICIG’s previous requirement for firsthand evidence for credible complaints … the ICIG’s internal changes to its own policies and guidance regarding firsthand evidence — which the ICIG admitted to in its press release on Monday — directly impacted its treatment of the anti-Trump complaint filed in August.
. . .
Because the complaint did not allege wrongdoing against a member of the intelligence community (the president of the United States is an elected constitutional officer, not an employee of a statutory agency), did not allege wrongdoing with regard to an intelligence activity (a phone call between two elected world leaders is basic diplomacy, not the execution of a statutorily required intelligence activity), and relied primarily on hearsay rather than firsthand evidence, both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel determined that the anti-Trump complaint was not an “urgent concern” under the law and was therefore not required to be transmitted to the relevant congressional committees. In spite of those determinations, the ICIG on its own and after revising its internal guidance and policies regarding firsthand evidence decided the complaint did qualify as an “urgent concern” and forwarded the anti-Trump complaint to Congress.
. . .
In fact, the ICIG admitted in its Aug. 26 letter to the DNI that its office never even reviewed the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky prior to determining whether the complainants hearsay allegations about the phone call were credible.
Again, more at the link.
In my years in business, if I’d ever submitted such misleading information to my bosses as factual, important, and worthy of action, I’d have been fired on the spot as soon as my manipulation of the system was discovered. In my later business years, as a director of a small company, I’d have fired any of my subordinates who did the same. This is unconscionable. It’s nothing less than a deliberate distortion of the facts as a political weapon, and facilitating that distortion by changing policies and procedures retroactively.
Yet another blow to the credibility of the complaint: it turns out the “whistleblower” approached Democrats in Congress before he submitted his complaint. It’s even been suggested those Democrats – and/or lawyers working for them – helped compile the actual complaint, using legalese not normally found in such documents, in order to make it more suitable as a means to impeachment. The New York Times reports:
The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
. . .
The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague.
The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.
Yesterday President Trump tweeted that the Democratic Party-led investigation into his telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine was nothing less than a coup attempt. (I said the same thing last Saturday.) It turns out we were both right. That’s exactly what this amounts to – and now the details are coming out, as illustrated above. Seriously – what else would you call this, if not an attempt to undermine our republican government by deliberately changing and/or misinterpreting the laws, rules and regulations in order to achieve a political result?
I think Victor Davis Hanson has grasped the reasons why the Democratic Party is so hell-bent on impeachment at this time.
Aside from the emotional issue that Democrats, NeverTrumpers, and celebrities loathe Donald Trump, recently Representative Al Green (D-Texas) reminded us why the Democrats are trying to impeach the president rather than just defeat him in the 2020 general election.
“To defeat him at the polls would do history a disservice, would do our nation a disservice,” Green said. “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get re-elected.”
Translated, that means Green accepts either that Trump’s record is too formidable or that the agendas of his own party’s presidential candidates are too frightening for the American people to elect one of them. And that possibility is simply not permissible. Thus, impeachment is the only mechanism left to abort an eight-year Trump presidency—on a purely partisan vote to preclude an election, and thus contrary to the outlines of impeachment as set out by the Constitution.
. . .
Be prepared for a half-dozen Christine Blasey Ford-type witnesses to pop up, and 20 or so unhinged Cory Booker-esque “I am Spartacus” performance acts, along with a whole slew of new Steele dossiers—all interspersed with breathless CNN bulletins announcing new fake news developments with “the walls are closing in” and “the end is near” prognostications. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is already reading fantasies to the House Intelligence Committee and passing them off as the text of Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s new president. Only after he was called on such absurdities did he describe his performance as a parody.
The Left is hellbent on impeachment and the absence of a case won’t matter. They do not care if they will sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
I don’t believe I’m crying “Wolf!” on this. The facts, as outlined above, speak for themselves. We’d better all be paying attention to what is going on, and start planning to deal with the consequences if worse comes to worst. It’s that serious.