The Trump Regime is using the US Security State to cover up their criminal behavior
Yesterday, the top story was that the Trump administration had released a transcript of a July 25th, 2019 conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, even though there was no transcript actually released. As the day went on, news outlets softened their earlier headlines, and the phrase, “rough transcript,” and other euphemisms to describe the declassified memo came into use.
The reason that this mattered were manyfold, including …
- Calling it a transcript obscures that Trump lied about something again; he said he would release the full transcript of the conversation to the public, and then failed to do so.
- Calling it a transcript implies that all of the details of the conversation were in it, versus only the politically palatable details.
- The narrative goes to the overall PR narrative the Trump regime is trying to push onto the public.
On point number 2, the idea that the memo might cover-up details of the phone conversation is critical. The conversation itself, what was released, is damning. In the call, Trump subtly pressures Zelensky to investigate Biden. Trump sees this conversation as an exoneration; to him, acting like a mafia boss is business as usual and quite normal, as it is to some of his Republican defenders. It doesn’t occur to them that campaign finance law violations are felonies, that soliciting foreign help in this context (against a political opponnent) is material support of the campaign is a felony, and that the President of the United States feels that a memorandum describing him committing a felony exonerates him. It does nothing of the sort, unless you’re able to compartmentalize the idea that Trump is asking for the investigation due to some desire to do a greater good, versus attack a political opponent.
But it begs all kinds of questions, including, why cover up all of this in the first place if there’s nothing there?
And why ask a foreign government to initiate an investigation that the FBI is more than capable of handling, if there was a criminal concern?
I’d argue that while those questions are important, the most important detail from yesterday remains 3 little dots in the memorandum, the ellipses that imply that something politically explosive was removed from the memorandum itself.
Today, the intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint was released to the public. It begins with this statement …
I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment. 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 July 25th phone call is covered, and the content of yesterday’s memorandum matches the shape of what the whistleblower describes. And while this is getting press coverage, including in current Congressional hearings, it’s the second part of the complaint that bares reading.
Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call
In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced-as is customary-by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call…
White House officials told me that they were “directed” by WhiteHouse lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.
Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
In other words, yes, the official records and details of the call were locked down by the White House, according to the Whistleblower. Which means those three little dots likely align with the second part of the Whistleblower’s complaint. The complaint continues, and indicates that it was routine for the White House to classify and segregate politically sensitive conversations in systems used to secure state secrets.
The rest of the complaint then goes on to describe how Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, acted as an unappointed, unofficial Ambassador of the United States to engage in diplomacy not on behalf of the United States, but on behalf of President Trump’s reelection ambitions.
Here’s the point of all of this: what’s been released so far is already damning, and indicates criminal behavior. But the key point now is the question, “What other types of criminal behavior is the Trump administration covering up?” What other phone calls, demands, and promises has Trump tried to extract from foreign governments for his own benefit?
What else are they hiding? What other secrets are hiding behind those three little dots?
In politics, it’s rarely the crimes, it’s the cover-ups. Nixon was never impeached. In May, 1972, two resolutions for his impeachment, H.R. 975 and H.R. 976 of the 92nd Congress, were submitted. The first called for his impeachment, the second offered reasons he should be impeached. All of those reasons were sound, and moral, and revolved around Nixon’s conduct of the Vietnam war and related diplomacy.
In the end, it wasn’t those war crimes that led to Nixon’s downfall. It was smaller, more personal, and uglier, the use of the office for his own benefit, to cover-up crimes that his subordinates were committing on his behalf. The burglarization of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office park by 5 Nixon employees occurred over a month after those first impeachment stirrings on June 17, 1972.
It was two years later that scandal finally imploded Nixon’s Presidency. It would be decades before the public realized the true depths of Nixon’s criminality. Nixon’s secret records showed that in 1968, as a presidential candidate, Nixon ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them to refuse a cease-fire being brokered by President Lyndon Johnson. Nixon brokered a secret deal with a foreign government to help him win an election in 1968, extending the Vietnam war for years, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and American lives, just so he could win an election.
Nixon committed treason, in secret, for his own benefit.
What could Trump the mafia boss be doing right now?