Amid a tumultuous series of revelations last week, and commentaries from the chief executive over the weekend, a lot is still unknown about a whistleblower who brought up concerning comments from President Donald Trump to the attention of the Inspector General of the intelligence community.
Here’s a refresher of what’s been happening: over the course of the past 10 days or more, reporting primarily from the Washington Post has detailed how an as-yet-unknown whistleblower had worried over a “promise” the president allegedly made to a foreign leader. Subsequent reporting revealed the nation that leader belonged to was Ukraine, resulting in musings from some that the communication involved a phone call that Trump had with that nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, several weeks prior.
Further speculation on the subject led some to suspect that the president had pressured Zelensky to push for a corruption investigation involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, regarding a conflict of interest allegation many conservatives have made against the Democratic Party’s current 2020 presidential frontrunner. On Sunday, Trump acknowledged that he had indeed pushed Zelensky on the subject, but hadn’t withheld military aid in order to do so, reporting from USA Today detailed.
“The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption – all of the corruption taking place,” Trump said, adding that included individuals like “Vice President Biden and his son.”
On Monday, Trump sent out two tweets directly questioning the legitimacy of the whistleblower themvelves.
….know the correct facts. Is he on our Country’s side. Where does he come from. Is this all about Schiff & the Democrats again after years of being wrong?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2019
“[W]ho is this so-called ‘whistleblower’ who doesn’t know the correct facts. Is he on our Country’s side. Where does he come from?” Trump wrote. He also suggested in the tweets that the whistleblower could be siding with the president’s political adversaries.
“Is this all about Schiff & the Democrats again after years of being wrong?”
Trump may have questions regarding the legitimacy of the whistleblower’s complaints. But according to the inspector general who had received them, the issues that the whistleblower had brought up were an “urgent concern” worthy of looking over.
Ordinarily, such a designation would require Congressional oversight. However, the office of the Director of National Intelligence has so far refused to allow the inspector general or the whistleblower the right to contact members of Congress directly regarding the matter.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues over the weekend, blasted the administration’s stonewalling of releasing the whistleblower information to congressional committees.
“If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” she wrote.