Whistleblower’s Anti-Trump Allegations All Hearsay. Confession: “I was not a direct witness.”
The ballyhooed “whistleblower’s” account of President Trump’s phone call of July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has one big problem. The anonymous accuser, an intelligence agency employee, did not witness the events he described.
In other words, in the letter of August 12 to Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Richard Burr, chairmen of the congressional intelligence committees, the whistleblower merely repeated explosive, unproven claims he heard from someone else. The someone else was multiple “White House officials” who claim Trump, in asking Zelensky to probe the Biden-Burisma scandal, did so to invite Ukraine’s collusion in Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Everything the whistleblower wrote, apart from his summary of media reports, is hearsay, which is typically inadmissible as evidence in court.
The letter opens with the claim, which the call transcript contradicts, that Trump was doing what he was falsely accused of doing with Russia in 2016: using foreign help to tilt the election in 2020 in his favor.
“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials 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,” the whistleblower wrote. “This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals.”
The whistleblower heard these claims from “more than a half dozen U.S. officials,” which leads to the key line in the letter, as the rules of evidence go:
“I was not a direct witness to most of the events described.”
Still, the anonymous accuser thought the tales were “credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another.”
That might certainly be true. Yet despite knowing in minute detail what supposedly occurred during the Trump-Zelensky call, the whistleblower confessed that he didn’t know the most basic fact about it: “I do not know which side initiated the call.”
What The Whistleblower Thinks He Knows
Democrats, of course, are convinced they got the goods on Trump.
Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take action to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. …
The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuses his office for personal gain. …
I was told by White House officials that no other “cases” were discussed.
Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call-a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary. The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.
The Trump White House, the whistleblower alleged, improperly tried to hide the transcript of the call in a “computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intélligence information, such as covert action.”
The problem for the Democrats is, the call transcript shows, and Trump admits, he asked Zelensky to get to the bottom of Biden-Burisma.
To briefly reprise that influence-peddling scheme, in March 2016, then Vice President Biden forced Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin or lose $1 billion in loan guarantees. Shokin just happened to be investigating an outfit called Burisma Holdings, which paid more than $3 million to a consultancy in which Biden’s son, Hunter, was a principal. Biden fils, in turn, reaped the substantial financial rewards.
The transcript does not show that “Trump sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.”
As well, whether Trump sought the probe out of “personal gain” or “personal interest” is an opinion, not a fact, and a hearsay opinion at that.
Yet that opinion, which is likely the whistleblower’s, is pertinent to this latest banzai attack on the president. Fox News and the Washington Times have disclosed that the whistleblower and his attorneys are anti-Trump partisans.
As for the whistleblower’s letter: “Told me” appears eight times; “I was told” and “I spoke with” appears thrice; and “based on my understanding” appears twice.
Courtesy of The New American