A second whistleblower complaint has led to substantial movement, culminating in an inquiry.
On August 12, 2019 a whistleblower complaint was filed against President Donald Trump for an abuse of power. The complaint didn’t gain traction until Thursday when a call for legislative investigation and impeachment took place. Since then, the story has been unraveling as more and more information comes out and an official impeachment investigation is instituted.
The whistleblower complaint mainly revolves around a specific phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The phone call is being deemed as a matter of quid pro quo, or favor for favor. A rough transcript of the phone call, which has been released by the White House, can be found online, and although no actual discussion of transaction is addressed within the call, many are pointing to it as evidence of the president’s abuse of power.
The phone call took place on July 25 and began with Trump congratulating the Ukrainian president on his parties win in their congress. After pleasantries were exchanged, Trump asked about a former Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden’s son shut down.
Some see it as information that could then be used in his favor in the next election to create distrust of Biden or as blackmail against him, which would be a direct abuse of power and is considered a federal crime.
The whistleblower report also states that many who heard the call knew of the way this phone call could be seen and it was covered up.
According to the report, it was decided that transcript of the call was to be placed in a separate, codeword level system after being reviewed by White House officials. This codeword level system is only used for information dealing with national security, not politically sensitive information under which the phone call fell. This news shocked former officials as the system usually does not hold phone call transcripts, and it appears the transcript was “locked down” to save current officials from embarrassment.
As more news comes out and the investigation continues, it was told by White House officials that this is not the only time a phone call was curtailed and was prevented from all members of the National Security Council from viewing it.
The report sparked an impeachment investigation which has since uncovered past actions of the president. This also called back into question Russian interference in the 2016 election and a second whistleblower complaint filed a month ago dealing with Trump’s taxes.
The whistleblower made sure that the report would be able to be declassified as it was pertinent to the safety of the democratic process and should be available to the people. They state that they were not present for the event described but was told by multiple trustworthy colleagues and decided to file the report.
On Thursday Sept. 26 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the official impeachment to go underway. Since then, many Democrats have come out in support of the inquiry along with a few Republicans. A poll conducted by YouGov between Sept. 26-27 has shown that 55 percent of Americans approve of the investigation.
Although the president has been investigated in the past, this inquiry is a threat like no other he has faced. It is still too early into the investigation to be able to foresee the future, but more people are coming out in favor of the investigation every day it continues.