Washington D.C. is transfixed on a story involving President Donald Trump, a whistleblower complaint made against him by a member of the intelligence community, and the difficulties of Congress trying to get to the bottom of it all.
As previously detailed on HillReporter.com, the whistleblower grew concerned after becoming aware of communications by Trump with a foreign leader. Trump allegedly made a “promise” to that leader, which alarmed the as-yet unknown individual, enough to file an official complaint.
That complaint was deemed “urgent” by the Inspector General of the intelligence community. Yet efforts by congressional committee heads to understand what the complaint entailed have been stonewalled by the acting Director of National Intelligence, leading some to suspect that the effort to block Congress’s access to the information is an attempt to protect the president.
According to reporting from the Washington Post, which initially broke the story to the public, it was discovered on Thursday that the complaint involved a communication with the nation of Ukraine. An interview with CNN involving Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani led others to speculate more on the content of the interaction with Ukraine — including its possible implications for the president.
A helpful explained of Ukrainegatehttps://t.co/UkNA8YrLVX
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 20, 2019
Giuliani, who in the past has publicly admitted to attempting to get the Ukraine government to open an investigation into Hunter Biden, Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden’s son, seemingly defended the president on Thursday evening for doing the same, arguing that it’s not a big deal for the president to promise help or aid to a nation in exchange for something in return.
“The reality is the president of the United States has every right to say to another leader of a foreign country, ‘you got to straighten up before we give you a lot of money.’ It is perfectly appropriate for [Trump] to ask a foreign government to investigate this massive crime that was made by a former vice president,” Giuliani said in the interview.
Many experts disagreed.
Joyce Alene, a former U.S. attorney for Alabama and an MSNBC contributor on legal matters, said if the complaint has to do with Ukraine, and especially if it’s a quid pro quo to get them to investigate a political opponent of the president’s, it’s an offense that warrants Trump removing himself from the White House.
If those allegations are true, “Trump must leave office immediately,” Alene explained in a Twitter post. “A president can’t offer US aid to a foreign country in exchange for prosecution of a political opponent. Heaven help us if we can’t all agree on that.”
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, responding to Alene’s post, agreed, suggesting that constitutional methods to remove the president ought to be considered. “Trump’s lawyers’ arguments [on Thursday] that a sitting president cannot be investigated by anyone for any offense until he’s out of office leads to one conclusion only: he must be removed from office. As soon as possible,” wrote Tribe.