After nearly a month of the Trump Administration openly flouting the law, lightly redacted (to protect the whistleblower’s identity) copies of the complaint have been released. First, the forwarding letter from the IG detailing the background and why the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found the complaint urgent and credible (and related to matters of national intelligence). It too is worth a read in terms of potential legal issues involved.
Here’s the actual complaint.
In general, it alleges that:
“the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears involved as well.”
While the substance of the call is certainly a focus point of the complaint, it is not the only matter the complaint cites as potentially problematical. Others include.
- Extraordinary efforts to suppress or hide the existence and nature of the call to include putting it on a non-standard computer system.
- Multiple meetings by Giuliani with Ukraine officials urging them to investigate Biden.
- Public statements by Giuliani that he was focused on encouraging the Ukraine to pursue investigations related to alleged wrongdoings by Biden’s family.
- That the set up for the call, in fact a precondition for the call, was that Zelenskyy accept that he would “play ball” with Trump regarding the matters already raised by Giuliani in his meetings with Ukrainians. These prior discussions with Giuliani are, by the way, hinted at by Zelenskyy in the transcript of the phone call with Trump. Reading the complaint makes clear the phone call was more a culmination of the alleged conspiracy, not its initiation.
- Trump’s statement on June 13th to George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on a political rival from a foreign nation.
- Tweets from Giuliani urging Ukraine to investigate “Clinton people.”
The whistleblower acknowledges that he was “not a direct witness to most of the events described.” However, he claims “multiple officials,” in one case he said “more than a half dozen,” informed him of these concerns. Almost all of what he claims has been proven by the transcript of the phone call and admissions publicly made by Giuliani.
Some initial thoughts.
- It is significant that the source material on this is basically many people in the intelligence community. This indicates a lack of trust for the President by the worker bees in the business. The concern that he is abusing his office, and the intelligence community, to attack political rivals is clearly pervasive, and that is why this whistleblower complaint happened.
- Giuliani is directly implicated in these potential crimes. He can no longer ethically serve as Trump’s attorney in these matters because he is a potential witness to the case.
- Attorney General Barr is implicated in the illegal conduct as well. He is ethically obligated to recuse himself from any investigation, and frankly, is so tainted by now, and so undoubtedly lacking the trust or respect of the people he leads, that he should resign.
We are once again witness to corruption in the Trump Administration that is not confined to Trump. Rather corruption spreads across his team and includes both his Attorney General and his personal attorney (again). Trump’s Administration reflects leadership by criminal enterprise.