A whistle-blower is a person who exposes information or activity deemed illegal, unethical or not above board within an organization. It can be activity that violates company policy, the law, or general moral code. There are a number of laws that protect whistle-blowers from retaliation from those they expose. In early August, an unnamed whistle-blower allegedly said President Trump encouraged Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter for money laundering and implied that federal aid might be withheld if Zelensky didn’t comply. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson(a Trump nominee) found the whistle-blower’s complaint credible and sent it to Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence. When Maquire didn’t report it to the House and Senate Intelligence committees, Atkinson wrote a letter directly to the committee chairs advising them of the complaint.
Trump has admitted he discussed Biden with Zelensky, but said he didn’t violate the law. Democrats have seized the opportunity and are calling for Trump to release the recordings/transcripts of the phone conversation. “It will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness” if the resistance persists,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) said. Some Democrats see blood in the water and are calling for hearings and some want to impeach. Three thoughts:
First, Trump’s ‘word to the wise’ was not unfounded. Rudy Giuliani, who now serves as President Trump’s private legal counsel, alleged on Twitter Hunter Biden was “making millions on the board of one of the most corrupt companies in Ukraine.” He also hinted that the younger Biden’s company laundered $3 million by transferring the money from Ukraine to Latvia, then to Cyprus, and finally to the U.S. Democrats haven’t talked much about the apparent Biden corruption and there is no talk of holding hearing or investigating the allegations.
Second, there is no evidence of quid pro quo(Latin meaning: something for something). Trump flatly denies that he offered $250 million in military aid in exchange for an investigation, but even if he did that it still would not violate the federal bribery statute, which prohibits public officials from taking or soliciting bribes. While it may be bad judgment for a POTUS, who just underwent a three year investigation for Russian interference in an election, to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political foe, it is not illegal. Donald Trump does push the envelope.
Third, Trump loves to disrupt the status quo. Giuliani says he wakes up every day planning to disrupt. Four years ago, he disrupted the GOP primary. In his first term, he has disrupted the political process. He has disrupted China, Iran, North Korea and the established foreign policy. Some of his disruption has been good- others not so good, but America could use some disruption. We are drowning in national debt, a growing government and a political class that is out of touch with normal people. Disruption can divide and separate, but rest assured, Trump is not doing business as usual.
Time will tell if Trump’s disruption tactics will work with voters in 2020 or if he pushed the envelope too far in his conversation with Zelensky. Right now, his Democrat opponents can only attack his tactics, because his policies are working.