The so-called whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president is a registered Democrat, “a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN Thursday,” as Jake Tapper of CNN reported on Thursday afternoon.
“The intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, acknowledged an indication of possible political bias in his assessment of the complaint but made clear that it did not change his overall conclusion that it appeared to be credible,” Tapper also noted.
This latest news came out late Thursday afternoon — and its impact is still reverberating.
Trump, for his part, has always said the case was biased against him.
See this tweet on the topic from Jake Tapper:
Breaking — A source familiar with the investigation prompted by the whistleblower tells me that the “indicia of bias of an arguable political bias on the part“ of the whistleblower referred to by the Intel Community IG, is that the whistleblower is a Registered Democrat.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 3, 2019
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding off on a push toward an impeachment “vote” — she has insisted she is committed to a formal impeachment inquiry and that there’s no requirement that she hold a vote any time soon.
She’s said she wants to collect all facts and proceed carefully — but she’s also clearly drawing out the whole process and will allow it to extend into early next year, right as the first 2020 primaries are to be held.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has called on Pelosi to abandon the Trump impeachment inquiry altogether.
"The swiftness and recklessness with which @SpeakerPelosi have proceeded has already resulted in Cmt chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry” https://t.co/TQHgRT7vON
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) October 3, 2019
“You cannot complain that Trump violates norms and traditions, then not” follow the “norms and traditions [yourself],” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary, about the Democrats’ moves on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Thursday night.
Said Fox News contributor Juan Williams on the same program on Thursday night, “I don’t think she [Pelosi] needs to [put a vote forward].”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), for his part, remains under heavy criticism for making up and reading his own “parody” version of Trump’s July 25 call with Volodymyr Zelensky during a live televised hearing on Capitol Hill recently.
Schiff read that version last week — and now Pelosi has backed Schiff, declaring he didn’t embellish the facts at all.
As millions of Americans know and have been following — Schiff “performed” a dramatization of Trump’s call during the hearing at which his House Intelligence Committee hosted Joseph Maguire, acting director of National Intelligence, last week.
The California Democrat improvised his own version of the written transcript for dramatic effect — then later, when he was called out for it, tried to excuse it as a “parody” version.
“I want the American people to know what that phone call was about,” declared Pelosi early on Thursday during a “Good Morning America” interview on ABC News.
“I want them to hear it. So, yeah, [Schiff’s parody version is] fair,” she also said in this exclusive interview.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 3, 2019
“It’s sad, but it’s using the president’s own words,” she maintained.
But ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos pushed back on Pelosi’s statement: “Those weren’t the president’s words. It was an interpretation of the president’s words,” said Stephanapoulos. “They’re saying he made this up.”
Pelosi kept reiterating her point. “He did not make it up,” she replied. “Look, I want to tell you something,” she added, trying to redirect the conversation, clearly. “When I took the oath of office to support and defend the Constitution, as my colleagues have done as well, I did not say, ‘I will do this as long as the Republicans can understand the Constitution.’ So the fact that their loyalty is to Trump and not the Constitution is not going to slow down or impair our ability to keep the Republic.”
A spokesman for Schiff acknowledged on Wednesday that the whistleblower who is alleging misconduct at the White House reached out to Schiff’s House panel first before filing a complaint — prompting Trump, during a press conference, to accuse Schiff of helping write the document, as Fox News and other outlets reported.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud,” said Trump, in part, on Wednesday.cc”I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” the president also said, as the leader of Finland stood closely beside him, at his own podium.
“I’d go a step further,” added Trump, clearly charged up about the latest developments. “I’d say he probably helped write it … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam.”
He also at one point referred to the congressman as “Shifty Schiff,” and said the current push on an impeachment inquiry is part of a “fraudulent crime on the American people.”
Much of this is why Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business Network early this week, “You’re surprised that he [Adam Schiff] is once again … conspiring to level false charges against the president of the United States? The guy who claimed that he had direct evidence of Russian collusion, lied to the American people [for two years or more] as part of the other conspiracy to frame? That’s why we’re considering a lawsuit,” added Giuliani, “with him as one of the principal defendants, individually.”
Added Giuliani, “Remember, he doesn’t have immunity when he’s off the floor of the Congress. And his statement about having this evidence of Russian collusion was made to a reporter. There’s a case — a Supreme Court case — that says, yes, say it in Congress, you’re immune. You put it in a press release, you’re liable like anybody else.”
He also said, “We are considering a lawsuit to vindicate the constitutional rights of the president, the president’s administration, to also remedy the — they’re trampling on the civil rights of many, many people.”
As Fox News noted earlier in the day, “The whirlwind day in Washington kicked into gear when The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that Schiff ‘learned about the outlines’ of the whistleblower’s complaint ‘days before’ it was filed.”
“Schiff’s office denied [to Fox News] that the intelligence committee had reviewed or received the complaint in advance, but largely confirmed The Times’ reporting.”
Steve Guest of the Republican National Committee, in an emailed message on Wednesday afternoon, shared the following: “This report is yet another nail in the coffin of the Democrats’ bogus impeachment charade and further proof that this Ukraine sham is a disingenuous and orchestrated smear campaign led by Adam Schiff. By getting an early account of the whistleblower’s complaint, Schiff knew what to expect in the complaint and he was able to shape his phony narrative for his benefit.”
Adam Schiff started this bogus impeachment probe with lies about @realDonaldTrump.
Schiff’s team got a heads up from the “whistleblower,” then advised him on how to proceed.
If a judge did this, he’d be disbarred.
Schiff needs to recuse himself!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 2, 2019
At a joint news conference early on Wednesday in D.C., before the above information was made public, both Pelosi and Schiff made statements on the hot topic of the impeachment inquiry. Pelosi was there, as part of her weekly press conference, to discuss the phone call Trump held with the Ukraine president — and why the impeachment inquiry she’s moving forward with is very “serious” and very important.
“It’s a very serious challenge … It’s very sad,” she said, as LifeZette reported earlier.
“I don’t see impeachment as a unifying thing for our country,” she also said.
Said Schiff at one point, “It’s hard to imagine a more corrupt [action]” on the part of Trump.
He talked about the July phone call and the president’s comments and actions after that call came to light.
“What was the State Department’s role? … What was the role of the attorney general?” he said, adding that Congress wants to understand “the president’s misconduct.”
“There seems to be no floor below which this president can drop,” he also declared.
“In that telephone call, the president undermined our national security,” alleged Pelosi, adding that the “sequencing” of events by the president is important related to any funding aimed for Ukraine.
“Using that as leverage … Undermining our national security, undermining his oath of office … because he was overthrowing an act of Congress just on his own … undermining the integrity of our elections,” she added.
She also said he’s “stooping” to low levels.
“This is sad. We have to be prayerful. We have to be worthy [of] the Constitution. We have to be fair to the president … and give him a chance to exonerate himself … But he thinks what he did was perfect, so we have that situation.”
The White House responded that all of this action is a waste of time — and a major distraction for the country.
“All the talk of impeachment is now driving the stock market lower,” said Trump in a tweet.
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