While Donald Trump largely focuses his impeachment tantrums on a single whistleblower, new reporting shows that at least four national security officials were sounding the alarm about the president’s efforts to extort Ukraine into coughing up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to The Washington Post, “At least four national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after President Trump’s July 25 call with that country’s president, according to U.S. officials and other people familiar with the matter.”
More from the stunning report:
The nature and timing of the previously undisclosed discussions with National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg indicate that officials were delivering warnings through official White House channels earlier than previously understood — including before the call that precipitated a whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry of the president.
At the time, the officials were unnerved by the removal in May of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; subsequent efforts by Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to promote Ukraine-related conspiracies; as well as signals in meetings at the White House that Trump wanted the new government in Kiev to deliver material that might be politically damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Those concerns soared in the call’s aftermath, officials said. Within minutes, senior officials including national security adviser John Bolton were being pinged by subordinates about problems with what the president had said to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Bolton and others scrambled to obtain a rough transcript that was already being “locked down” on a highly classified computer network.
The reporting from The Washington Post confirms what we have already known for some time – that not only did the president seek to pressure a foreign power for political dirt, but his team immediately tried to cover up those efforts.
Trump’s entire Ukraine defense is collapsing
Donald Trump seems to be resting his entire impeachment defense on the phony idea that the initial whistleblower is a political hack who is hellbent on destroying him.
But the more we learn about this scandal, the clearer it is that it wasn’t just one person inside the national security apparatus who was alarmed by Trump’s Ukraine scheme.
Both before and after Trump’s infamous call with the president of Ukraine, people inside the administration – both political appointees and career officials – were deeply disturbed by the president’s conduct.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.