Donald Trump’s morning press event was like politics brought to you by Benadryl, as everyone there seemed to be 90% asleep, and the most challenging questions were about all the wonderful things “First Lady” had done to prepare for an upcoming dinner. But before that official “press conference,” Trump did handle a few Little League deliveries from the local press, including one question about the whistleblower report that should be blowing up Washington. In response to questions about the report that he had extorted political favors from a U.S. ally by holding up the aid it needs to survive, Trump was dismissive.
He declared that he didn’t know the identity of the whistleblower. However, “I just hear it’s a partisan person, meaning it comes out from another party.” That being the party that supports the rule of law. But if Trump didn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, it’s not because the White House or the acting director of national intelligence is safeguarding this information all that closely. When it comes to the White House staff, Trump says, “Everybody’s read it, they laughed at it.” Because that’s what you do with a whistleblower report that the inspector general of the intelligence community described as “urgent” and “credible.”
The New York Times’ coverage of the report also noted, “Administration officials have shared at least some details of the accusations with the White House, to allow officials to weigh whether to assert executive privilege.”
What’s happened is exactly as if someone went to the police to report a crime, and the police responded by asking the criminal if it should be investigated and turning all the documents over to him.
- A whistleblower filed a confidential report over a matter that, by definition, isn’t an issue of policy, but a serious breach of law or threat to national security.
- That report was supposed to go to Congress. It did not.
- Rather than notify Congress of the existence of the report, acting DNI Joseph Maguire shared the report with the subject of the report, asking if it should be withheld.
- Congress found out about the report only because it was notified by the inspector general.
- Maguire ordered the inspector general not to assist the whistleblower in meeting with Congress, as the law requires.
- The White House and the Department of Justice moved to smother the report, claiming that it is not in the scope of an intelligence report—but the law does not allow them to make this judgment.
- The report now appears to have been shared broadly across the White House, meaning that the identity of the whistleblower is deeply endangered, and Trump’s team is at this very minute getting a chance to remove evidence of wrongdoing without anyone being aware.