Inspector general returns to Capitol Hill for closed door session on whistleblower complaint

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‘Unbelievable’: Snowden Calls Out Media for Failing to Press US Politicians on Inconsistent Support of Whistleblowers

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Lindsey Graham Floats Ludicrous Defense of Trump, Legal Experts Demolish Him — Including Kellyanne’s Husband

Lindsey Graham hit the links Saturday morning with his BFF Donald Trump and pro golfers Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam, in South Carolina. But first Graham discharged his duty as Chief Sycophant to Donald Trump and tweeted, “In America you can’t even get a parking ticket based on hearsay testimony. But you can impeach a president? I certainly hope not.” The legal definition of hearsay is “an out of court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” More simply, it’s a report of another person’s words, by a witness, which usually is not allowed in evidence in court. Lindsey Graham was alleging that the whistle blower complaint was merely heresay, and aghast legal experts lost no time in setting him straight. Did Graham forget, incredibly, that facts in the whistle blower complaint have been confirmed so there’s zero issue of hearsay? Or what was he doing?  Some desperate ploy to mollify and placate Trump momentarily? Maybe it worked with Trump, but it certainly backfired within the legal community. In fact, right after Lindsey Graham made the statement, just like Jericho, the walls of jurisprudence came a tumblin’ down — right on his head. Law and Crime: Joyce White Vance, a former federal prosecutor responded to Graham by highlighting the fact that most investigations into wrongdoing begin with hearsay evidence. “Lindsey was a prosecutor, so he knows how investigation’s work,” she wrote. “Often you start with hearsay, which helps you identify witnesses, just like what’s in the whistleblower complaint. This is where public corruption investigations often start.” Georgetown University Law Center professor Marty Lederman also wrote directly to Senator Graham, informing him that his hearsay defense is too late to still be relevant. “Dear Senator Graham: Perhaps you missed the memos. That was last week’s defense,” he tweeted. “No one now is denying any of the facts in the Complaint.” Is the phone call between Trump and Zelensky hearsay? (Hint: NO). Your desperation is showing @LindseyGrahamSC. — Elie Honig (@eliehonig) September 28, 2019 The transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President was non-hearsay and would be admissible against him. Any lawyer, like yourself, should know that. https://t.co/0IX0TBsYzR — Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 28, 2019 Dear Senator Graham:Senate rules call for the use of hearsay in impeachment, in that committees hear the testimony and report back to the full Senate. It even went to the Supreme Court!https://t.co/fr65EJ3i9d — SavageHat (@Popehat) September 28, 2019 Personally, I like George Conway’s analysis, so I share that thread here. Open and shut, cut and dried, bang bang, Conway hammers the nails in Graham’s unforgivably stupid argument. … under Rule 804(b)(3)‘ s exception to the hearsay rule for statements against penal or other interest; * To the extent Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy with… @RudyGiuliani, Giuliani’s statements are also admissible against Trump and … — George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 28, 2019 … regularly conducted activity), and 803(8) (record of a public office). * In any event, you can be indicted in this country on the basis of hearsay. It happens all the time. And an impeachment is the consitutional equivalent of an indictment. So it follows that the … — George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 28, 2019 So your argument, Senator, is pure garbage, even assuming that the rules of evidence apply in the […]

Schiff Says Whistleblower Contacted House Intel Committee — Maybe Because S/he Doesn’t Trust the Transcript Trump Has Promised?

Bombs away. Looks like a Trump blitzkrieg in Washington today. Here’s the latest explosion. We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so. We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week. — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 24, 2019 Isn’t this an interesting development? My immediate take on it was that it is prompted by the fact that minutes after John Lewis spoke his mind on impeachment this morning, the White House said that it would provide a full transcript of the Trump/Zelensky telephone call, which is at the heart of Trump’s latest scandal du jour. Obviously, anybody with two brain cells at the White House is in major damage control mode today, and that’s why yesterday’s commentary of Trump will “talk” about releasing the transcript morphed into “here, you can have it.” Two thoughts: 1. It’s not enough to staunch the bleeding, and more importantly, 2. History has shown us that we have no reason, whatsoever, to believe in the accuracy of the transcript. And who first taught us that lesson? None other than Richard Nixon. Here’s what historian Kevin Kruse said. Nixon released his own transcripts of the Oval Office tapes — which turned out to be wildly misleading. https://t.co/CZp8hlnAbA — Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 24, 2019 But you don’t need to go back that far. The Trump White House has already shown us what it will do with a transcript — and surprise, it’s the same thing that Trump did himself with a Sharpie and a weather map. Remember last October, when he denigrated the intelligence of a female reporter and said to her, “I know you’re not thinking — you never do?” The White House issued a transcript which amended the comment to, “I know you’re not thanking.” Official @WhiteHouse transcripts misquotes @POTUS today chiding @CeciliaVega (compare video to text). I was sitting just behind her in the Rose Garden and we all clearly heard him say: "I know you're not thinking. You never do.” https://t.co/Q2frFLjpKx pic.twitter.com/vIYoYOzXrS — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 2, 2018 And you all recall the November, 2018 debacle with Sarah Huckabee Sanders issuing a doctored video of CNN’s Jim Acosta, allegedly karate chopping an intern, who attempted to take the microphone from him, in mid-sentence. His words were, “Pardon me ma’am,” scarcely the way an attacker talks to a victim. And way before that, in July of 2017, Anthony Scaramucci was bragging about Trump’s golf game, saying that “he sinks three foot putts.” That was later amended by the White House to read, “He sinks thirty foot putts.” On these facts, you think the mob of crooks and liars in the White House is going to provide a true and accurate transcript of the telephone call with Zelensky and Trump? Seriously? You want to buy some old triangular buildings in Egypt? It would be good to take a look at the transcript, but it will be even better to listen to the whistleblower’s testimony. From what we know now, Trump committed a crime, calling Zelensky in the first place and pressuring him, he admitted to the crime, and the crime is an […]

Joe Biden Says ‘There’s No Bottom To Trump’s Willingness To Abase His Power’

It was reported back on September 6, that Trump was withholding military aid to Ukraine, in an effort to compel the new president of Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election via a mud slinging campaign against Joe Biden, via his son Hunter. As you recall, Hunter Biden once served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, which was investigated by Ukraine. Then-vice president Joe Biden, along with several other senior Western officials, urged the dismissal of the prosecutor who investigated the firm, because he was accused of blocking anti-corruption measures. Then Wednesday, news of the whistleblower complaint broke, revealing extensive phone conversations between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, on this topic, and Thursday, Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community, testified in a closed door session of congress for three hours and declined to disclose the specifics of the whistleblower complaint, claiming that he was “not authorized to do so.” if the Inspector General is not authorized to do so, who might be? Reportedly, “He was being excruciatingly careful about the language he used,” according to the Washington Post. Then Friday, Joe Biden chimed in. If these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country. pic.twitter.com/PblNGDarXU — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 20, 2019 This is turning into a real showdown. Dan Rather chimed in as well. A president turning to a foreign leader to keep himself in power was a central fear of the Founding Fathers. The question of the moment is whether GOP officials share that fear, At a minimum this must be investigated with no interference. https://t.co/bTES41W58Y — Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 20, 2019 Every elected official should be put on the record on these allegations around President Trump extorting the Ukrainian government for his reelection. If an official doesn’t answer, ask again, and keep asking until they answer… or walk away. — Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 20, 2019 This is about as simple as it gets. This is the line of demarcation between holding Trump and the most corrupt iteration of the GOP ever, accountable for their actions, or letting our system of government stay broken and become more broken still. The spinmeisters are at work, calling this “Russian Hoax 2.0” the sequel to the Witch Hunt. The bedrock of the constitution is at stake here. We need to see the details of that complaint. Adam Schiff is right. Real Clear Politics: The whole point of the whistleblower statute is not only to encourage those to report problems, abuses, violations of laws, but also to have a legal mechanism to do so and not to disclose classified information — because there’s no other remedy,” Schiff told reporters after a closed-door meeting. “That whole purpose is being frustrated here because the Director of National Intelligence has made the unprecedented decision not to share the complaint with Congress.” REP. ADAM SCHIFF: We know that the Department of Justice has been involved in the decision to withhold that information from Congress. We do not know, because we cannot get an answer to the question, about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress. We do not have the complaint. We do not though whether the press reports are accurate or inaccurate […]

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