Whistleblower complaint withheld from Congress by Administration

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  1. Don W profile image83
    Don Wposted 4 weeks ago

    There has been a whistleblower complaint from within the Intelligence Community, but the Director of the National Intelligence (a political appointee) has refused to comply with the law and pass the complaint on to Congress.

    What's supposed to happen?

    When the Intelligence Community Inspector General receives a whistleblower complaint, he is required by law to assess if it is credible, and if it meets the category of an "urgent concern". In this case the IG determined a lawful complaint received by him from a member of the Intelligence Community met the criteria for both.

    As required by law, he forwarded the complaint to the DNI. Again, by law, the DNI must forward the details of the complaint and any supporting materials, to the congressional intelligence committees within 7 days. He has refused.

    Instead he has taken it to the DoJ (the DNI reportedly refused to say if White House layers have been given access).

    The grounds given for refusal are that the complaint relates to someone outside the intelligence community, and contains confidential and privileged information. I'll link to the Committees response below, but it suggests this is a distortion of the law, which "subverts" the letter and spirit of the law. One passage reads:

    "The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials. This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible "serious or flagrant" misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law"

    And in reference to a different thread, is one of the reasons "leaks" and "anonymous sources" exist, and relying on such things have proven to be an important tool for holding  some people in positions of power to account.

    Letter from House Intelligence Committe Chair https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … bpoena.pdf

    Relevant Statute
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/3033 (k)(5)(A)

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

      Wonder how it went from an issue involving " the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials." to "an unlawful effort to protect the President ".

      Seems to me it is quite possible that the Dem's have cried wolf too many times and someone is tired of playing the same old game.  Is it possible that the thinking was "There isn't a lawmaker on the hill that doesn't bend and break laws at will in their effort to get what they want; what's one more instance in thousands?"

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

        I think the letter is pretty clear on the reasoning behind what the Chair of the committee is saying.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

          Yes it is.  It says lots of people involved, possibly the president; the Chair is saying Trump is a criminal.

          1. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

            The Chair is describing the DNI's action as unlawful because he believes it doesn't comply with the relevant whistleblower statute. Nothing in there about Trump breaking the law that I can see.

            Are you really at the point where you automatically jump to defend Trump, even when no accusation has been made against him?

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 4 weeks agoin reply to this

              Did I misunderstand?  Does the passage "This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible "serious or flagrant" misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law" not indicate that he thinks Trump is misbehaving?  (Yes, I know the word "possible" is in there, too - do you truly believe, given then numerous cries for impeachment, that he thinks there is nothing there?)

              But are you really to the point that anyone challenging a false statement is protecting Trump?  I did not refer to the man, or his potential crimes - just the action of making claims against him.

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                The complaint was assessed and deemed to be an "urgent concern" by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG). The Chair is referring to the definition of "urgent concern" in the relevant statute:

                "(i)A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.

                (ii)A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity.

                (iii)An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under subsection (g)(3)(B) of this section in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this paragraph.
                "
                https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/3033

                The Chair has apparently deduced that the most applicable part of that definition is the first: "serious or flagrant" misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law".

                Notwithstanding legal questions about whether the statute is applicable to this complaint (at face value it doesn't look like it is) the fact that the IC IG determined the complaint to be an "urgent concern" is troubling given the definition in the statute. If the IC IG  thinks the alleged action(s) by Trump meet any of the criteria, that really isn't good.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                  "The Chair has apparently deduced that the most applicable part of that definition is the first: "serious or flagrant" misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law".

                  That is indeed one interpretation, albeit one that likely has little connection to reality.  A far more realistic interpretation is that he assumes he can stick it to Trump if we but have another long term "investigation".

                  1. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                    The IC IG determined the complaint to be an "urgent concern" using the definition in the statute. So legal questions about whether the statute applies aside, the nature of the complaint must involve one of these three things, by definition:

                    1. "A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order. . ."

                    2. "A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress . . ."

                    3. "An action, including a personnel action . . . constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under subsection (g)(3)(B) of this section . . ."

                    In that regard I think the Chair is right, number 1 is the most likely, but none of them are good.

                    Also the general counsel for the DNI is suggesting the statue is not an "urgent concern" because the the complaint is about the president, and he does not sit within the authority of the DNI. On my reading of the statute, that looks to be correct, but that's very different to suggesting the complaint is not an urgent concern because it does not meet the other criteria in the statute.

                    If it meets any of those other criteria (which the IC IG says it does) then that's a matter of grave concern.

    2. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Whistleblowers can be very useful, and in this case, we know too little about the whistleblowers' information. Although the media id salivating on the story. The story certainly has smoke, will it produce fire?  That remains to be seen.  Congress is investigating so it should not be long before we hear if Trump committed a high crime or misdemean

    3. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Updates:

      The complaint reportedly relates to a “promise” made by Trump to a foreign leader. The nature of the promise and who the foreign leader is has not been disclosed.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national … story.html

      It was later Reported that the complaint related to "a series of actions".
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/us/p … trump.html

      The Director of National Intelligence general counsel said the complaint does not constitute an "urgent concern" as defined in the relevant statue (50 U.S. Code § 3033 ) simply because it involves the president, who is not in the Intelligence Community. He also said the complaint cannot be forwarded to Congress because it involves "privileged" information.
      https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/ … 76/photo/1

    4. crankalicious profile image90
      crankaliciousposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Don,

      I don't usually disagree with you, but I have to here.

      A whistleblower who is reporting on a problem regarding the POTUS communicating during the course of foreign relations - that better be something along the lines of Trump giving away state secrets because other than that, the President has a very wide latitude in his dealings with foreign governments.

      Creating a scenario where the government's spies start listening in on the President's conversations is a really dangerous scenario.

      I see this episode backfiring all over the Democrats. Whatever this incident is needs to be seen by very few people and not disclosed - any leaks would require criminal prosecution. If a bi-partisan committee of maybe four people, two Dems and two Republicans, determined unanimously that something treasonous happened, then maybe I would support disclosing this to the public. Otherwise, this needs to be ignored.

      1. Sharlee01 profile image85
        Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        So well put...

      2. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        We don't need to guess what it's along the lines of. There is a question around what legislation applies, but outside of that the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) determined that the complaint is "credible" and that the nature of the complaint meets the other criteria for an "urgent concern":

        1. "A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order. . ."
        2. "A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress . . ."
        3. "An action, including a personnel action . . . constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under subsection (g)(3)(B) of this section . . ."

        So we know it relates to one of those 3 things.

        "Creating a scenario where the government's spies start listening in on the President's conversations is a really dangerous scenario."

        It's a bit too soon to accuse anyone of spying on the president. It's also been reported that the complaint may relate to a "series of events" though that has not been confirmed. Either way, there are lots of legitimate ways such information could come to the attention of an intelligence official.

        But there does need to be a balance between oversight and executive privilege. Part of the issue though, is the wider pattern of behavior that has seen executive privilege used to stop Congress doing its job of providing oversight. This  includes what is effectively a ban on administration officials cooperating with Congress. That too is a really dangerous scenario.

        It effectively removes one of the main checks and balances designed into the system to avoid despotism, and it essentially removes the ability of Congress to represent its constituents properly.

        It would be entirely right and proper for the Executive to provide the intelligence committees with details of the complaint (they already have the relevant clearances and secure means of viewing the information) so Congress can do its job and determine if the complaint warrants any action. A blanket refusal does not look good. It smacks of avoiding oversight and accountability, which are built into the Constitution and are fundamental to the country's democratic processes.

        This complaint could be nothing, or it could be something. The point is that Congress should be able to determine that for itself.The prospect of no accountability is what results in major leaks of information, which can be even more damaging.

    5. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Pelosi says "since [William Barr] was mentioned in all of this, it’s curious that he would be making decisions about how the complaint would be handled.”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/us/p … -barr.html

      This raises a valid point. The allegations made in the complaint implicate the Attorney General along with Trump and Giuliani. Why has the AG not followed standard legal practice and formally recused himself from any dealings with the complaint?

      The House Judiciary Chair is also now calling on Barr to recuse himself.
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- … SKBN1WA24K

    6. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Timeline of some the events leading up up to September:

      Giuliani had meetings with Ukranian officials as far back as 2017. These meeting were cited in the whistleblower complaint. Meetings in 2018 reportedly related to investigations into Burisma, and whether the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was loyal to Trump.
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles … -by-bidens

      2018 Giuliani has several more meetings with various Ukrainian officials related to discuss, among other things, "corruption" in the Ukraine.

      May 2019 - Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to encourage them to investigate Biden's son, saying: "We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation..."
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/us/p … trump.html

      May 2019 - Trump says in an interview: "Certainly it would be an appropriate thing" for Giuliani to ask Attorney General Barr to open an investigation on Biden.

      May 2019 - Giuliani cancelled his trip to Ukraine amid criticism (reports suggest Zelensky declined the meeting)
      https://en.hromadske.ua/posts/the-atlan … ontroversy

      May 2019 - Trump orders Mike Pence to cancel a planned trip to attend Zelensky's inauguration.

      May 2019 - Yuriy Lutsenko (Ukraine's Prosecutor General) says he has "no evidence of wrongdoing" by either of the Bidens.
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles … -by-bidens

      May to early July 2019 - The whistleblower’s complaint alleges that "multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball’ on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani."

      June 2019 - Giuliani tweets: "New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 election and alleged Biden bribery of Pres Poroshenko."
      https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status … 5230898176

      June 2019  - Trump said he would accept dirt on his political rivals from a foreign government in an interview with ABC.
      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/id-excl … d=63669304

      July 2019 - Trump halts U.S. aid to Ukraine. Officials say the instruction came directly from Trump, but they are unaware of the policy rationale.

      July 2019 - Giuliani speaks to Andriy Yermak (aid to President Zelensky) on the phone. Giuliani had been referencing corruption in the Ukraine a lot in the press. Yermak asked him to tone it down as it was putting pressure on Zelensky. In response Giuliani suggested Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden.
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/giuliani-s … 1569546774

      July 2019 - Trump speaks to President Zelensky on the phone. In a reconstruction of the conversation Trump asks President Zelensky to investigate "Biden's son". Crucial parts of the conversation are omitted (indicated by ellipses in the text). Reports suggest a verbatim digital of the conversation may exist.
      https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u … 9.2019.pdf

      August 2019 - Giuliani continues to push for Ukraine to investigate trump's political rivals.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/us/p … raine.html

      August 2019 - Giuliani confirms state department helped his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rivals.
      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald … p-n1045171

      September 2019 -  Members of the Senate Ukraine Caucus in express concern to Director of the Office of Management and Budget about withholding of aid to Ukraine.
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/delay-in-m … 1569252417

      September 2019 - Washington Post editorial board accuses Trump of withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky to investigate Trump's political rivals.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions … story.html

      September 9, 2019 - Three House committees begin investigating Trump and Giuliani’s attempts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens.

      September 9, 2019 - The ICIG advises Schiff and Nunes that a whistleblower complaint he deems to be "urgent" and "credible" has been received.

      September 10, 2019 -  Schiff requests the complaint from the acting DNI.
      https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … bpoena.pdf

      September 11, 2019 - Trump releases the withheld $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.
      https://www.politico.eu/article/trump-a … itary-aid/

      1. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Don. you are enjoying this way too much. But I do understand we have to grab whatever chance we get. ;-)

        GA

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          smile

    7. savvydating profile image93
      savvydatingposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      You know why....and you're so full of it. But I get it. This is your version of "having fun."

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        "You know why"

        Relative to the comment you quoted, I have no idea what you're referring to.

        And if by "having fun" you mean I enjoy getting into the details of complex political and legal issues, then guilty as charged. If you are suggesting I find Trump's squalid betrayal of his office, and the Republican's apparent abdication of their constitutional responsibilities "fun", then you are mistaken. While I trust certain people on the forum to be able to know the difference, I don't know you well enough to, which is why the explicit distinction.

        1. savvydating profile image93
          savvydatingposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          I stated "You know why" because Maguire's testimony made clear that the whistleblower complaint was being handled appropriately, given the unprecedented circumstance and that, indeed, immediate action was taken.

          However, upon reviewing the date you first posted your comment, I see that the Maguire hearing had not yet occurred and you would not have known why there had been a "delay"; that Maguire had no choice but to ask for another seven days to complete his investigation; that he had in the meantime submitted the whistleblower complaint the the FBI immediately.

          I apologize to you for jumping the gun and assuming you had all the facts. That is not to say I know if you accept them. (I've not read any other comments yet).

          FYI: I looked at the statute you provided, particularly with regard to "Urgent Concern." Appreciate that link as it will be useful for general knowledge. Thanks.

          1. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            Thanks for the clarification. The complaint was not handled appropriately in two ways.

            1.In relation to the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act:

            "(C)Upon receipt of a transmittal from the Inspector General under subparagraph (B), the Director shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate."

            The DNI delayed transmitting the complaint to Congress, instead deciding to check with the Department of Justice and the White House if the complaint should be sent. On the face of it, that is a direct violation of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act. The appropriate action would have been to transmit the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees as the law demands. No part of the statute I can see gives the DNI discretion over whether to transmit a complaint to Congress after an IG has deemed it to be credible and of urgent concern.

            2. The complaint implicated the Attorney General, William Barr. As you know Barr is also head of the justice department. So the DNI sent a complaint that implicated the Attorney General to a department headed by the Attorney General for an opinion on whether it should be transmitted to Congress. That is also not appropriate. In fact it's bad practice. It's the same as asking a lawyer accused of a crime for legal advice on the case.

            The DNI's response when questioned was that he did so in conjunction with the Inspector General. But we know the IG disagreed with the justice department opinion. Again there is no provision within the statute for the DNI to delay transmission of a complaint to Congress to get a second opinion from the justice department or White House, after the Inspector General has determined a complaint is credible and of urgent concern.

            The DNI also said this was an unprecedented situation so thought it prudent to get the view of the justice department and the White House. I sympathize, and agree the situation is unprecedented. Nevertheless the statute does not give the DNI discretion to pick and choose which complaints Congress gets to see once the Inspector General has deemed it credible and of urgent concern. That's kind of the point of the statute. It's meant to provide the Intelligence Community with a way of bringing wrongdoing to the attention of Congress without being victimized for it by their superiors.

            So no, this complaint was not handled appropriately, it was mishandled. I have some sympathy for the acting DNI though. This is not the first time someone who has spent their career serving their country honorably has been caught out navigating their way through unprecedented events caused by this unruly administration. Sadly, I doubt it will be the last.

            Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act
            https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/3033

            1. savvydating profile image93
              savvydatingposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              The IG determined the report credible, but I am not certain the IG determined it was of urgent concern. Do you know that for certain? Furthermore, the Dept. of Justice Ethics lawyers determined that Maguire did follow the law and that the matter of the whistle blower complaint did NOT fall under "Urgent Concern." So basically, the Democrats had their panties all in a bunch for nothing. They still got what they wanted, but they had to wait another seven days. Big deal.

              Your logic sounds quite reasonable, but the matter was more complicated than that. Maguire had to determine whether the whistleblower complaint involved executive privilege. There was also the matter of the president being outside the intelligence community. Maguire would much rather have forwarded the damn thing to Congress, but given the unprecedented nature of the matter, he ultimately made the right choices.
              Besides which, the complaint itself is heresay. No eyewitness testimony whatsoever.
              Ethics lawyers determined that Maguire followed the law. Period. If laypeople cannot wrap their minds around the intricacies of the law, that's to be expected. But the Democrats in Congress know better and they owe Maguire an apology. Fat chance of that. They count on their constituents, who don't know any better, to allow them to keep lying so as to discredit the opposition. 

              I appreciate your feedback.

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                "The IG determined the report credible, but I am not certain the IG determined it was of urgent concern. Do you know that for certain?"

                "For the reasons discussed below, among others, I have determined that the Complainant has reported an 'urgent concern' that 'appears credible'"

                (Letter from the Intelligence Community Inspector General to the Acting Director of National Intelligence)
                https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … nclass.pdf

                "Furthermore, the Dept. of Justice Ethics lawyers determined that Maguire did follow the law and that the matter of the whistle blower complaint did NOT fall under 'Urgent Concern.'"

                1. It was not sent to the Dept. of Justice Ethics, it was sent to the Office of Legal Counsel.

                2. Both those agencies are part of the Justice Department, headed by the AG William Barr, who is himself implicated in the complaint. It was bad practice to send the complaint to a department headed by someone implicated in the complaint.

                3. There are no exceptions in the statute that allows the DNI to delay transmitting a complaint to Congress to get a second opinion, after it has been deemed a "credible" and "urgent concern" by the Inspector General. If you can see such an exception please point it out.

                "Maguire had to determine whether the whistleblower complaint involved executive privilege"

                Again, there is no exception in the law that allows the DNI to delay sending a complaint to Congress after it's been deemed an urgent concern by the ICIG because of "executive privilege". The ICIG shares that view, and suggests that the DNI's actions are symptomatic of a lack of clarity around the responsibility and authority of the DNI.

                "The DNI's decision not to transmit my determination or any of the Complainant's information to the congressional intelligence committees for reasons other than awaiting a classification review or asserting appropriate privileges, may reflect a gap in the law that constitutes a significant problem and deficiency concerning the DNI's responsibility and authority—or perceived responsibility and authority —relating to intelligence programs or activities".
                https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … blower.pdf

                "[Maguire] ultimately made the right choices."

                The ICIG degrees:

                "I, nevertheless, respectfully disagree with that determination, particularly DOJ's conclusion, and the Acting DNI's apparent agreement with the conclusion..."
                https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … blower.pdf

                The point of the legislation is to make the ICIG as independent as possible, to ensure Congress is informed of urgent concerns within the intelligence community without interference. That helps it perform its oversight function more effectively. What the DNI did amounts to the type of interference that prevents the ICIG doing his job, which the legislation is intended to avoid. The ICIG shares that view (albeit stated more diplomatically):

                "...the unresolved differences are affecting the execution of the ICIG's statutory responsibility to ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept currently and fully informed of "significant problems and deficiencies relating to programs and activities within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence"
                https://api.ocr.space/SearchablePDF/2bf … eb84fd.pdf

                The law is on the side of the Inspector General here. In the case of a disagreement between the ICIG and the DNI, the ICIG is required by law to: "immediately notify, and submit a report to, the congressional intelligence committees on such matter." and, to his credit, that is exactly what he did.

                "Besides which, the complaint itself is heresay."

                "In fact, by law the Complainant – or any individual in the Intelligence Community who wants to report information with respect to an urgent concern to the congressional intelligence committees – need not possess first-hand information in order to file a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern...The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information. "(my emphasis)

                (Statement From the Intelligence Community Inspector General)
                https://www.dni.gov/files/ICIG/Document … laints.pdf

                Also, key allegations (Trump asked a foreign president to investigate a rival, and the conversation was stored in a server meant for higher level classified information) have been independently verified which means they are, by definition, facts not hearsay.

                1. savvydating profile image93
                  savvydatingposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Don, the IG reported an ALLEGED urgent concern. You left out that very important word - alleged.
                  The whistleblower complaint was filed properly. Consequently, it was forwarded to Maguire to determine whether it met Urgent Concern.
                  I realize Maguire sent the complaint to the Office of Legal Counsel. I never said he didn’t. What I stated was that the Justice Department of Ethics determined that Maguire had not broken the law.

                  The following is the sequence that followed Maguire's decision:

                  “Maguire said he did not give Congress the complaint because the protection act stipulates that complaints must concern members of the intelligence community, and the president is not considered a part of the community.

                  He said he gave the complaint to the White House and the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) because it concerned the president's phone calls with another foreign leader and could fall under the definition of executive privilege.

                  Maguire said the OLC ruled that the phone call did fit the definition of executive privilege, so he did not give Congress the complaint because he must comply with its ruling.”

                  Yes, the IG disagreed with Maguire's decision.

                  As it turns out, Schiff knew about the whistle-blower complaint days before it was submitted to the IG. As reported by the New York Times, “Representative Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, knew some details of the allegations against Mr. Trump before the C.I.A. officer filed a whistle-blower complaint.”  Apparently, the “original accusation was vague.” The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and file a whistle-blower complaint.”

                  The alterations were made, apparently. Footnotes and all. I cannot but help wonder who the lawyer is.

                  Bottom line, we have the original transcript of the original call between Trump and Zelensky which is vastly different from the whistle blower's  complaint (which wasn’t even his original complaint, as it turns out).
                  Just more distractions from Democrats in Congress. Frankly, I wish they’d get to work and do something worthwhile for a change. But of course, they never will.

                  1. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 13 days agoin reply to this

                    "The whistleblower complaint was filed properly. Consequently, it was forwarded to Maguire to determine whether it met Urgent Concern."

                    1. Relative to the legislation, an urgent concern is either credible or it's not. The person who determines if an urgent concern is credible is the Inspector General. If the IG deems a disclosure made on the "Disclosure of an Urgent Concern" form to be credible then it's a given that he also deems it to be an urgent concern. In this case, after receiving the whistleblower's disclosure, the IG did a preliminary review and decided the urgent concern appeared credible:

                    "The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined, after conducting a preliminary review, that there were reasonable grounds to believe the urgent concern appeared credible".
                    https://www.dni.gov/files/ICIG/Document … laints.pdf

                    2. The determination of whether a disclosure is a credible urgent concern is solely the responsibility of the Inspector General as stated on the form the Whistleblower used:

                    "The IC IG is responsible for determining whether a complaint or information received is credible for purposes of submission as an urgent concern. That determination is within the sole discretion of the IC IG and is not subject to judicial review."
                    https://www.scribd.com/document/4277674 … 01-24may18

                    3. There is no provision within the relevant statute for the DNI to seek a second opinion as to whether an urgent concern really is an urgent concern, once the Inspector General has decided it credible. The next step in the process, according to the law, is to forward the complaint to Congress within 7 calendar days.

                    "What I stated was that the Justice Department of Ethics determined that Maguire had not broken the law."

                    I see. Do you have a source for the information, as I'm not aware of that detail. Regardless of a Dept. of Ethics legal opinion though, the fact remains there is no provision in the statue that allows the DNI to take the actions he took.

                    "The following is the sequence that followed Maguire's decision: . . ."

                    The sequence of events described does not, on the face of it, comply with the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act. I'm not suggesting the DNI's motivations were dishonorable. He seemed to have honorable intentions, based on his testimony. Nevertheless, his actions do not comply with the relevant statute.

                    If that represents a lack of clarity in the law, as suggested by the IG himself, then the DNI can engage with Congress to address that. As it stands though, once the Inspector General deems an urgent concern disclosure to be credible, the DNI must, by law, transmit it to Congress within 7 calendar days.

                    "The alterations were made, apparently. Footnotes and all. I cannot but help wonder who the lawyer is."

                    The Times report says the whistleblower made an urgent concern disclosure after learning that White House lawyers (themselves implicated in the complaint) were among those investigating the complaint he/she had outlined to CIA legal counsel. The whistleblower then approached an aide to the House Intelligence Committee for advice on how to proceed, and the aide suggested getting legal advice.

                    No need to wonder who that legal advisor is, assuming it's the same person. The Times says: "The complaint was filed in consultation with a lawyer, officials said. 'The intelligence community whistle-blower followed the advice of legal counsel from the beginning,' said Andrew Bakaj, the lead counsel for the whistle-blower. ".
                    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/p … lower.html

                    That explains the meticulous nature of the complaint. 

                    "Bottom line, we have the original transcript of the original call between Trump and Zelensky which is vastly different from the whistle blower's  complaint. . ."

                    In what way is it vastly different? Strikes me as being very accurate. The complaint makes the following points about the specifics of the call:

                    1. "Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy".

                    2. Trump asked Zelensky to "initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden".

                    3. Trump asked Zelensky to assist in "...purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S.cyber security firm Crowdstrike".

                    4. Trump suggested Zelensky "...meet or speak with two people Trump named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem".
                    https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … nclass.pdf

                    Exactly which of these points is vastly different to what we saw in the partial transcript?

    8. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Giuliani seemingly throws the State Department under the bus by claiming it not only knew about his contact with Ukrainian officials, but also facilitated it.
      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics … ent-volker

      Why would he do this? Could he be trying to preemptively preparing to defend himself against charges related to the Logan Act:

      "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."(emphasis added)

      Could Giuliani be trying to establish his defense? Did he have the authority of the United States when he engaged with those officials? If not, is that a breach of the Logan Act?

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/953

  2. Valeant profile image96
    Valeantposted 3 weeks ago

    Apparently, Trump tried to strong arm the Ukraine president by withholding aid until they investigated Joe Biden’s son.  That is what the complaint alleges.

    1. Randy Godwin profile image90
      Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Yes indeed, he asked Ukraine's president 8 times to investigate Joe Biden's son or else he'd withhold congressionally approved funds from the country. This whistleblower complaint came just a few days after Bolton and his deputy resigned their positions.

      This a blatant breech of our laws, but then, what do we expect from this cretin. Instead the IG--Trump appointed--followed the law and sent the complaint to the new DNI to send to congress in 7 days. He bypassed legal procedure and ran to the DOJ which has no part in the complaint.

      Once again, Barr is covering Trump's tremendous ass and destroying the whistleblower program and safety at the same time.

      1. promisem profile image98
        promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        Giuliani even admits his part in pressuring Ukraine to help Trump win another election -- like they did with Russia.

        Honestly, I'm getting concerned about a big part of the country that is so tired of the corruption that they are giving up on it.

        That's a sure path to much bigger problems down the road.

        1. Randy Godwin profile image90
          Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          True Scott, Rudy first denied and then a few moments later admitted he discussed Biden. I too fear his enablers are blind to his criminality. You can see it on this thread. They don't care if he's a criminal as long as he's their criminal.

      2. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        I heard that too Randy, but I couldn't find confirmation. Where did you find it?

        That part and the part about not following the apparent proper whistleblower procedure will be a deep hole for him to try to get out of if it is all true. But . . .

        GA

        1. Randy Godwin profile image90
          Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          GA, instead of the new DNI folling the procedure of giving the already IG approved whistleblower complaint to Congress within 7 days, the Bolton replacement went to the the OLC and the DOJ with the complaint.

          Neither are in the normal chain of procedure in the Whisle blower program. This constitutes a breach of anonymity of the particular complainant.

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

            Yep, I read that also but wasn't there something about what the whistleblowing was about that determined that process requirement?.

            If these speculative Ukraine charges are true I don't think Trump's presidency can survive it, so for something that serious I am willing to wait until we have more than speculation.

            For instance, even if the odds are like winning the lottery, (as many would consider), that the Ukraine details are all bogus, consider how all the politicians and pundits promoting it will be thought of if they are.

            GA

            1. Randy Godwin profile image90
              Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

              GA, this purposeful act by the new DNI to not follow the procedure will harm future whistleblower's chances of coming forth. There was no reason at all for the DNI to run to the OLC with the complaint. The wording says "shall" give the congress the report if deemed credible by the IG, which it was.

              Barr has worked his entire life to give the POTUS almost unlimited power and Trump takes him seriously. Does anyone want a democratic POTUS to have unlimited power?

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                Unlimited power?  Every time Trump does anything at all it creates a lawsuit, and the ninth circuit court rules against him.  That's hardly unlimited power, even after SCOTUS reverses it.

                1. Randy Godwin profile image90
                  Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Just another example of Trump obstructing justice, Dan. Do you want a future liberal POTUS to be immune from oversight? Trump's fighting legal efforts to get his taxes he said he would reveal when he was running for office. Or perhaps you don't care if any POTUS is in the pocket of say, Russia or Saudi Arabia?

                2. Sharlee01 profile image85
                  Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Wilderness

                  Perhaps the DNI and DOJ did little with the whistleblower's accusation due to the info being secondhand? it's been widely reported the whistleblower was repeating her compliant secondhand.  It's shocking how this report has become a firestorm, that impugned the DNI and DOJ, all due to media willing to put a match to anything President Trump does.

                  "The CNN story cited by Hume suggests, “It is hard to see how any of this ends well” but doesn’t mention the whistleblower’s precarious grip on his inside information until the reader is deep within the report. (RELATED: Reports Identify The Country At The Centre Of Mysterious Whistleblower’s Complaint)

                  “The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.”

                  Meanwhile, on Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko denied that the conversation between Trump and Ukraine involved any sort of “pressure” from the president. (RELATED: Trump Calls Whistleblower ‘Highly Partisan,’ Denies Wrongdoing)"
                  https://dailycaller.com/2019/09/22/whis … t-hearsay/

                  CNN --"The whistleblower didn't have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower's concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration's determination that the complaint didn't fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said."
                  https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/20/politics … index.html

                  It would also appear that this firestorm has turned on the Dem's. The president is asking for an investigation into Biden's son and his business deals with the Ukraine and China. It seems the Dem's have no luck when it comes to pulling off a scam. Although in my opinion many Dem's want to dump Biden? So guess this whistleblower scam could work out for some.

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image90
                    Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Trump admitted he talked about Biden in the conversation. DOH!!

          2. Sharlee01 profile image85
            Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

            It well appears the chain hs been broken? Hopefully, the congress will shed some light on the subject this next week when Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is questioned by the House Intelligence Committee.  The chain stopped abruptly with Maquire and Barr.

            I have to wonder if the alleged wrongdoing would show the president committed a crime or sme form of a misdemeanor would Barr and Maquire put their reputations on the line.  Would they not become a party to the said crime if they covered it up?

            It will be interesting to see to hear what comes of this weeks hearing. Hopefully, it is not a closed-door hearing.

            1. Randy Godwin profile image90
              Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

              It will be a closed hearing due to the sensitive nature of it being a whistleblower complaint. I doubt congress will get much from the new DNI as he seems to think Trump is above the law as does Barr.

              1. Sharlee01 profile image85
                Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                I have to agree with ou, Congress may not get much. Disappointed that we the public will not have to opportunity to view the hearing. I agree with GA "If these speculative Ukraine charges are true Trump's presidency will not survive it. If he went down the path of quid pro quo to sway the election in 2020. I would think he will be impeached. Congress will have the goods as well as proof of what they have been looking for.

                I am going to sit this put until facts are put forth.

      3. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        If what you say about that "8 times" is true then there must be more to the complaint than the Ukranian call now in the news, Because that doesn't seem to have happened in this call. I only found one mention of it and I didn't see any "or else" threats either.

        Here is a quick link to the transcript: Read Trump's phone conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky

        I guess we will have to wait to see the actual complaint before we will know what it is about. It doesn't seem to be just this phone call.

        But I am a bit worried for CNN. They are practically orgasmic over this transcript and it doesn't seem to support all the points of speculation they have been reporting, (like that "8 times" thing),  these last few days. If there is even more than just one mention in whatever else is in the complaint I am not sure CNN's heart can take it.

        GA

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          Perhaps Randy is confusing past efforts to influence Ukranian investigations?

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions … han-trump/

          1. promisem profile image98
            promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

            Thanks for a link to the Post's resident right-wing columnist.

            I respectfully suggest next time you link to facts from credible sources rather than someone's opinion that fits your personal preference.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

              LOL  I figured that would draw a "bad source" comment, and it surely did.

              You can do your own research - I found a trail of links all saying the same basic thing (albeit all with different spin), and surely you can find one of them that comes from a liberal source.  You will have to separate the spin from the fact, though, and apply your own prejudices to the actual facts rather than allowing the writer to do it FOR you.

              1. promisem profile image98
                promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

                Well, yeah, when someone posts garbage links on here, I'm going to point out that it's garbage.

                So your link is not an opinion article by a conservative columnist?

                You don't see the word OPINION on that page? It's at the top for everyone to read.

          2. Randy Godwin profile image90
            Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

            The entire Complain was what I was referring to, Dan. The phone call was the last straw for the whistleblower after other criminal acts already committed by your hero.

        2. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          Need to be cautious describing this as a transcript. As always, getting to the truth is difficult:

          "Details from a phone call made by Donald Trump...isn’t likely to come from a recording or be verbatim, former White House and national security officials say...

          ...standard practice when a president is talking to a foreign leader is not to make a recording but to have at least two and sometimes more note-takers from the National Security Council (NSC) on the call, a former senior NSC official told Reuters...Those note-takers are themselves usually Central Intelligence Agency officers on assignment to the NSC, he said."

          ...not only would any so-called transcript be based on notes, but it would also likely be incomplete because the note-takers usually do not include issues that could be controversial if they became public.

          'Typically a note-taker will write notes about what the principal says in a fashion that does not embarrass their principal...

          A former White House senior official concurred there was unlikely to be a recording.

          'There’s no physical recording but there are a lot of people listening and taking contemporaneous notes of these calls,' the official said. 'When you read it, it looks almost like a transcript.'

          The White House had no comment.
          "

          https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/25/poli … index.html

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

            You are right about being careful Don. Calling it a transcript may be sloppy because it is not a verbatim record of the conversation, but, it has been noted, (in today's reporting), that the origins were a voice recognition program that printed out a "transcript" which was then vetted by the note-takers.

            I am comfortable, considering the variety of mentioned note-takers, with accepting this memorandum as a near-transcript of the conversation.

            GA

            1. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              I've seen that reporting too. What concerns me is the fact that there are ellipses visible in the original document, at crucial parts of the conversation, which indicate that content is missing or has been removed, e.g:

              "I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike...I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it." (highlight added).

              And also:

              "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me"(highlight added).
              https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u … 9.2019.pdf

              I'd like to know what was said during those parts of the conversation, whether it was deliberately removed, and if so who directed it to be removed and why.

              And if the reconstructed conversation was created with the help of voice recognition, does that mean there is a verbatim digital record of the conversation somewhere? That's certainly something I'd be asking if I were involved in the impeachment inquiry.

  3. hard sun profile image90
    hard sunposted 3 weeks ago

    Will the call transcript have much significance without context? It seems likely that the context could be argued and manipulated to no end.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Hopefully, the call will give a  clear description of what the president said, and if he broke any form of laws.  I agree context can be manipulated. Hopefully the conversation is clear and precise.

  4. Readmikenow profile image93
    Readmikenowposted 3 weeks ago

    Here is a link to the conversation between President Donald Trump and the President of the Ukraine.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trumps … e-document

    If the Democrats try to Impeach President Donald Trump on this, they've lost their minds.  There is NOTHING there. To try and make a claim is a HUGE stretch. 

    Another hoax from the legions suffering with TDS.  What a shame and a waste o time.

    1. promisem profile image98
      promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Absurd. Trump clearly tells the Ukrainian on that transcript about two thirds of the way down to investigate Biden and his son.

      He also repeatedly tells him to talk to Guiliani, who went there to pressure the Ukrainians to do the investigation.

      You are reading what you want to believe and not what they actually said.

      1. Readmikenow profile image93
        Readmikenowposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        "You are reading what you want to believe and not what they actually said."

        I would have to say this about you.  Considering Biden and his son and their history of corruption with the Ukraine, it is a valid question. 

        "pressure the Ukrainians"  How?  What pressure?

        Hunter Biden had a seat on a board of a Ukrainian gas and energy company making $50,000 a month.  He doesn't speak Ukrainian, read or write it.  He has never worked or had anything to do with the energy industry.  The only thing Hunter Biden could offer the company was access to his father who was vice president of the United States at the time.  The Bidens made a LOT of money off that deal. 

        So, why isn't anybody upset about that one?

        1. promisem profile image98
          promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          Deflection, but I'll play anyway.

          What corruption? Why didn't the Trump administration put the Bidens in jail if what they did was illegal?

          Answer: It was a conflict of interest, but none of it was illegal.

          "The Bidens made a LOT of money off that deal."

          What money did Joe Biden make? Answer: none.

    2. Randy Godwin profile image90
      Randy Godwinposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      Do you really believe Trump's transcript after all those many lies he's told? Seriously? lol

      1. Readmikenow profile image93
        Readmikenowposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        Randy, so, if you don't believe the transcript, and the quest for impeachment is based on the transcript, then there is no evidence of anything.  Just imagination.

    3. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      I agree, as of today. There is no conversation of quid pro quo or so far none that occurred. I feel this is a waste of money and time. Unless there is something incriminating in the whistleblowers claim, there is no case for impeachment.  Plus any vote to impeach would die quickly in the Senate. It baffles me why the Dem's are going down this path?  They are giving Trump a huge talking point for his rallies.

      No more Russia Russia Russia...  And Trump will have a popular shoot out "Lock him up!"

      1. promisem profile image98
        promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        Trump admitted he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden. He admitted he withheld aid, even though it was authorized by Congress.

        How is that not pressure and a form of bribery to attack his leading Democratic challenger?

        1. Sharlee01 profile image85
          Sharlee01posted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

          Hi promisem, I was simply responding to Mikes comment in regards to his opinion on Trump phone call to Zelinsky and is it a problem that would result in his impeachment. 

          To quote Mike --- "If the Democrats try to Impeach President Donald Trump on this, they've lost their minds.  There is NOTHING there. To try and make a claim is a HUGE stretch. "

          I am aware the president did say on several occasions in the past days that he did ask Zelinsky to look into Biden and his son. It was clearly in the transcript that was released this morning. I have no information on why Trump held up the Congress allocated funds to Ukraine. Yesterday Trump told the press he had hoped to get other countries to pay more to Ukraine. Other than that I found an article  that offered a statement from "officials" from the State Department

          "Officials at the State Department and the Pentagon were told the president had “concerns” about corruption in Ukraine and wanted to analyze whether the money needed to be spent, the Post cited officials as saying and ABC News confirmed."

          AS I stated, "I agree, as of today."  I prefer to see what the Whistleblower claim reveals. So far I do not find proof of any quid pro quo.

          https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-f … d=65821429

          Here is Allan Derschowitz legal opinion on the subject.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmtwT1mqb1Q

          Media reporting is way ahead of any facts. The Washington Post just had to retract a story that claimed Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire said he would quit his job if the White House told him he could not answer questions when he appears before congress tomorrow. He said he never made such a statement.
          https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases

          I just prefer to gt more of the facts before saying anything other than my opinion on the Dem's chances of using this latest problem to impeach Trump.

          1. promisem profile image98
            promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            Good reply, Sharlee, thanks.

  5. Readmikenow profile image93
    Readmikenowposted 3 weeks ago

    Here is what happened with Hunter Biden and the Ukraine.


    In May 2014, Hunter Biden took a board seat on Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. He was paid $50,000 per month.
    Burisma had ties to Ukraine’s previous president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted from office. 

    As vice president, Joe Biden was tasked with reducing corruption in Ukraine after Yanukovych⁠—eventually charged with “mass killing of civilians”⁠— exiled himself to Crimea amid threats of civil war. 

    The overlap between the vice president and his son raised concerns over a potential conflict of interest. The Obama White House said there was no issue with Hunter Biden’s work, and that no conflict of interest existed.

    In 2016, and with the support of other world leaders, Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion of U.S. aid unless Ukraine’s leaders fired the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, for being too soft on corruption⁠⁠—which they did. 

    Before Shokin was fired, he had been conducting an investigation of Burisma, and Hunter Biden allegedly was a subject. But the investigation had been inactive for over a year by the time Joe Biden pushed for Shokin’s ouster.

    Hunter Biden stepped down from his Burisma board seat in April 2019. He had been offered another term but refused because it could possibly hurt Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoy … 9b3ae73938

    1. crankalicious profile image90
      crankaliciousposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

      I'll do my best to be objective here.

      I am definitely curious as to what this company was getting for 50k/month or what it thought it was getting. Seriously, what was going on there? That's an enormous sum of money. It certainly seems fishy.

      I suppose you can make the claim that there's no quid pro quo in the transcript, but I don't think any politician is quite that stupid and you don't need a stark quid pro quo to suggest there is one.

      Trump wanted a favor and asked for one - to investigate one of his political opponents. That is very dodgy right there and something no American should ever want their President to do in conversations with a foreign nation.

      If you're the Ukrainian president and you are talking to the American president and you know he has the ability to cancel your aid, isn't there implied pressure to comply with his favor/demand? Like many people in a power position, this is an abuse of that power - using that power to get favors. In this case, the investigation of a political opponent.

      Having said all that, I find myself, to my surprise, in agreement with Shar. Why in the world would Democrats go down this path and give ammunition to Trump that could potentially turn the election in his favor? Stupid.

      I suspect that this is the way Trump has operated his whole life. Being a real estate developer and dealing with people in the mob or with mob ties, I'm sure it was pretty cutthroat and a very I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine mentality. Not exactly ethical behavior and not behavior we want from our President, but understandable, I think.

      1. promisem profile image98
        promisemposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        Anyone who has served on a board knows that it has little to do with the daily operations of a company.

        This article from Politifact puts it in perspective. It was a conflict of interest but not illegal.

        https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-mete … d-ukraine/

      2. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 3 weeks agoin reply to this

        I think you did a good job of being objective Crankalicious.

        I agree there isn't any black and white proof of the claims against Pres. Trump and I also agree there is plenty of subjective evidence to support those same claims.

        I think this one needs a jury. It needs a 'beyond a reasonable doubt' evaluation.

        GA

  6. Readmikenow profile image93
    Readmikenowposted 2 weeks ago

    Here is a link to a copy of the whistle blower complaint from NBC.

    Notice how in the beginning there is a statement "I was not a direct witness to most of the events described."

    This is just one more pathetic attempt by the DNC to discredit President Donald Trump.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump- … t-n1058971

    1. promisem profile image98
      promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      "However, I found my (6) colleague's accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple offcials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. "

      So if 6 people witnessed you murdering someone and told me about it, I shouldn't believe them?

      1. Readmikenow profile image93
        Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Promisen,

        Unfortunately, the transcript released of the president's conversation with the Ukrainian president negated the whistle blower's allegations. They have been proven to be false.

        1. promisem profile image98
          promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          Mike, the transcript clearly shows that Trump asked the Ukrainian to investigate the Bidens. The words are right there.

          In addition, the transcript is made up of SOME notes of PART of the conversation.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            What about the part where he threatened to withhold aid if it wasn't done?  Does part of the allegation being proven false throw doubt on the rest of it?

            If it is illegal to ask foreign governments to aid in collecting evidence of wrongdoing on political rivals it would seem that the entire Muellar investigation, and those demanding it, are in trouble, yes?

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        If someone says that he heard from 6 people that you murdered someone, I should believe both him and these unknown and unspecified people?  Does his bias against you change that at all?  Would a video showing the murdered person walking down the street a day later with nothing but a bruise on his face change your opinion?

        So far that seems to be what we have; one man says he heard hearsay evidence that Trump threatened Zalinsky with withholding money if Zalinsky did not investigate Biden's son, who appears to have done wrong.  The "murdered person" (Zalinsky) says it did not happen, and is "walking down the street".  Yet Trump is "indicted" (faces impeachment procedures) as a result of that denied hearsay "evidence", and is presumed guilty by over half of Congress.

        Is this how we want our justice system to work?  Someone says he heard from several other people that you committed murder, the "murdered" person denies it in person, and you are arrested and put on trial anyway?

        1. crankalicious profile image90
          crankaliciousposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          I'm sorry, where is the evidence that Hunter Biden did something wrong? And where is the evidence that Joe Biden did something wrong?

          The complaint states pretty clearly that multiple White House officials tried to cover up the transcript of the call after they realized what was on it. It's also clear from the transcript that Trump asked the leader of a foreign government to investigate a political rival. It's also factual that Trump has lied, over and over again, about the details of Biden's involvement in getting the prosecutor fired.

          1. promisem profile image98
            promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            1. The Biden allegations have been widely publicized by ALL media since 2014.

            2. Not even the Biden-hating Trump administration has bothered to prosecute them for anything.

            3. Although the Bidens had an ethical conflict of interest, they did nothing illegal, according to independent legal sources. Zero prosecution by Trump proves it.

            4. It only matters now because Trump apologists want to distract people from what Trump did. False equivalence.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

          2. Readmikenow profile image93
            Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            You don't have to believe it, you can watch it, Biden openly admits to a "quid pro quo" arrangement with the Ukraine.  He brags about it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXA--dj2-CY

            1. promisem profile image98
              promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              "But the investigation had already been set aside when Biden acted. Yuri Lutsenko, a former Ukrainian prosecutor general who succeeded the fired prosecutor, told Bloomberg News that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden."

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu … story.html

              1. Readmikenow profile image93
                Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                Well the, there should be no problem holding an investigation.

                You would have to know Ukrainian politics to know this is laughable.  Yuri Lutsenko?  He has a history.

                1. promisem profile image98
                  promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Sure, let them investigate something that has been out in the open for 5 years and ignored by Trump until now.

                  1. Readmikenow profile image93
                    Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Oh good, you agree with President Donald Trump that Biden's activities in Ukraine should be investigated.  So, you and he agree so you can't have any problems with his phone call with the Ukrainian president.

            2. crankalicious profile image90
              crankaliciousposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              Nice try. There were many more people than Biden called for the prosecutor to be fired because the prosecutor was corrupt. Many people. Among them, American allies and the International Monetary Fund.

              You're charging corruption against people working against corruption and a corrupt individual, according to a fair number of sources.

              1. Readmikenow profile image93
                Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                Wait a minute.  It was vice president Joe Biden who threatened to withhold financing from the United States unless the prosecutor was fired.  Also, everyone forgets the little detail that this all happened AFTER the Ukrainian prosecutor started to investigate Hunter Biden's financial set up with a Ukrainian company.  That is a bad, bad thing.

        2. promisem profile image98
          promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          That's yet another mangled interpretation of what I wrote.

    2. crankalicious profile image90
      crankaliciousposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      How does this have anything to do with the DNC? Where is the evidence that the DNC made this complaint? Where is the evidence that the whistleblower is partisan?

    3. GA Anderson profile image92
      GA Andersonposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      It seems odd that the complaint ends so abruptly on page 9. I looked at other sources and they all end the same way. I wonder what that means. Could the remaining pages, (if there are any), be classified? Hmm . . .

      However, it does seem that the complaint is about the president's call and other supporting actions relevant to it.

      GA

    4. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      And did you notice how, throughout the rest of the document it says things like:

      "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."

      And

      "Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President's 2020 reelection bid."

      And

      "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."

      And

      "White House officials told me that they were "directed" by White House 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."

      Did you notice any of that too?

      https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … nclass.pdf

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Sounds like quite a little cabal has developed in the White House!  Not really surprising given the lack of integrity in our government, though - whatever is calculated to benefit the speaker is considered right and proper.  For the entire bunch of them, from the Speaker down to, likely, the janitor.

        1. hard sun profile image90
          hard sunposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          Any cabal reflects a lack of leadership. How can you lead when the people who work for you have no respect for you? Almost every one of his former employees bad mouths him as he bad mouths them. Trump is just not a respectable human being and this creates problems in leadership positions.

          You would think all of these situations would make people question the wisdom of voting for a person who you absolutely know is a scumbag from head to toe.

          All politicians are a bit scummy but, this guy cannot refrain from insulting teenage girls while he's President.

  7. GA Anderson profile image92
    GA Andersonposted 2 weeks ago

    After reading both the call "transcript" and the whistleblower complaint, I can confidently predict this is going to be a hot topic.

    Battle lines will be firmly drawn and charges of partisan idiots are going to fly. Here's why:

    The perception of fact is going to be declared to be, and not to be, actual fact. Inferences and implications are going to be debated as fact. Hearsay is going to be accepted, and rejected, as factual evidence. And circumstantial evidence is going to be the final determinant.

    My reading; There is no fire so we will have to work with the smoke.

    Whooeee. Let's roll.

    GA

    1. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Bingo... No really

      What is disgusting is hearsay has become very acceptable to many in the country.  I guess one can say anything about anybody, and BAM judged and convicted. I guess it would be wonderful for our court system.

      Whistleblower or dog-whistle

      1. Readmikenow profile image93
        Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Shar,

        I came across this article.  I think it makes a valid point that legally, there is NO whistle blower.

        "The only problem being... there is no whistleblower.

        Per CNN: “The whistleblower didn't have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN.”

        By definition this person is not a “whistleblower” with provable evidence ready to be turned over and deserving of legal protection."

        https://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmc … r-n2553460

        1. Sharlee01 profile image85
          Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          Acting DNI is Joseph Maguire, claimed and repeated multiple times to Congress the complaint was and is an allegation that was derived from second-hand information.

          Before a few months ago we had rules that a whistleblower had to have first-hand knowledge This little tidbit has surfaced.

          "Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings."
          https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/27/in … knowledge/

          This is very telling in its self. If there were actual persons that gave the Whistleblower the information in his complaint, they need to be subpoenaed and questioned. Second-hand info should not have been excepted.  It would not have been before May 2018. The more that is surfacing about this whistleblower, the more one can see this is a Democratic political stunt.

          This kind of complaint will never result in impeachment.

          1. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

            Readmikenow, Sharlee01, there is no evidence of a legal requirement for an intelligence community whistleblower to have "firsthand" knowledge of wrongdoing.

            1. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) contains no such requirement.  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/3033

            2. The Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-19) that is based on the ICWPA contains no such requirement either.
            https://www.dni.gov/index.php/ic-legal- … rective-19

            3. The Intelligence Community Directive (ICD-120), which provides guidance for implementing PPD-19 and the ICWPA contains no such requirement either.
            https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICD/ICD%20120.pdf

            4. The training material used by the DNI to train members of the intelligence community on whistleblower protections, contains no such requirement either. In fact, in the "knowledge check question 3" on page 6, the example identifies someone with indirect knowledge of wrongdoing, and indicates the appropriate action is to report the wrongdoing.
            https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ico … blower.PDF

            5. The Federalist article uses a comparison between the 2018 and 2019 disclosure forms, to suggest a whistleblowers could not previously make a complaint without direct knowledge of the evidence (see screenshots below).

            2018 Form
            https://hubstatic.com/14698533_f1024.jpg

            2019 Form
            https://hubstatic.com/14698537_f1024.jpg

            What the article does not make clear is that those screenshots compare two different sections of the forms. Here is a comparison of the same section of the forms.

            https://hubstatic.com/14698542_f1024.jpg

            Just like the 2019 form, the 2018 form included an option to indicate a complaint is based on indirect information.

            So the guidance on the 2018 form is simply wrong and not supported by current law. This is the most likely reason it was replaced. This is further supported by point 6 below.

            6. A copy of the intelligence community whistleblower report template from 2017 explicitly references indirect knowledge in the declaration at the beginning of the form:  "I am discloser with direct or indirect evidence in the above-captioned disclosure of a Title 50 alleged urgent concern" (my emphasis). Here is a copy of the form:

            https://hubstatic.com/14698268.jpg

            7. The Inspector General did a preliminary investigation of the complaint and determined the whistleblower complaint was "credible". He would not have done so if there was a legal requirement for there to be firsthand knowledge. Unless it is being alleged that the IG is completely incompetent. I see no evidence to suggest that.

            8. The whistleblower complaint does not say he/she "was ‘not a direct witness’ to the wrongdoing". It says: "I was not a direct witness to most of the events described" (my emphasis). This indicates the whistleblower has direct knowledge of some of the events described.
            https://intelligence.house.gov/uploaded … nclass.pdf

            9. Key events in the whistleblower complaint have already been independently verified. The status of the Whistleblower does not change that. For example:

            a) Trump admitted he asked Zelensky to investigate a domestic political rival, and the incomplete transcript released confirms that fact;
            https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u … 9.2019.pdf

            b) The White House confirmed a record of Trump's call with Zelensky was moved to a special server intended to protect codeword-level intelligence, not information that is politically embarrassing.
            https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/politics … index.html

            So in summary, there is no evidence of any requirement for an intelligence community whistleblower to have "firsthand" knowledge of wrongdoing. Therefore any previous version of a disclosure form that indicated such a requirement would have been wrong, which is the most likely reason it was changed. Even if there were such a requirement, it would not change the fact that key events in the whistleblower's complaint have already been proven to be true.

            1. Readmikenow profile image93
              Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              Can we agree whether it is a requirement or not, it is STILL second-hand information?  In a court of law that is called "hearsay."

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                Can we agree:

                1. Trump used the authority of the Office of the President of the United States to explicitly ask a foreign leader to investigate a domestic political rival.

                2. The record of Trump's call with Zelensky was moved to a special server intended to protect codeword-level intelligence, not information that is politically embarrassing.

                3. Both those allegations have been independently verified.

                4. Allegations that have been independently verified are, by definition, facts. Not hearsay.

                5. Therefore the article you originally quoted is factually incorrect.

                Can we agree that Mike?

                1. Readmikenow profile image93
                  Readmikenowposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Don,

                  1. I disagree.  The rival you speak of has a history of corruption with the Ukraine.  There is a treaty between the United States and the Ukraine that was signed during the Clinton administration to battle corruption.  The Ukrainian president was elected on a platform of fighting corruption.  It was a legitimate request.

                  2. So? I would rather have it handled this way than Hillary's servers.

                  3. I disagree. All the allegations are hearsay.

                  4. I disagree.  I do not think it is factually incorrect.

                  I believe President Donald Trump did NOTHING wrong.  To believe such a think shows a political agenda as well as an inability to comprehend the law.

                  1. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                    1. Publicly available evidence indicates former Vice President Biden worked to pursue anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, which would have increased the legal jeopardy of Burisma not reduced it. In contrast, Trump used the authority of the Office of the President of the United States to explicitly ask a foreign leader to investigate a domestic political rival, who he mentioned by name. That's not anti-corruption, it's abuse of office for personal gain.

                    2. Like the phone conversation, the allegation that Trump's call with Zelensky was moved to a special server has been independently verified. So it is, by definition, a fact and not hearsay. as you are claiming.

                    3. Again, the White House's own incomplete transcript proves that Trump did, in fact, ask a foreign leader to investigate a domestic political rival. Trump also admitted it. You can make claims about Trump's motivations, but you can't reasonably say he didn't make that request. It has been recorded for posterity. Likewise, the White House confirmed it did store the record of the conversation on a server used for codeword-level intelligence, just as the complaint said. So both verified, therefore neither are hearsay.

                    4. If you deny the above two facts, then Trump and the White House lawyers are liars because both have confirmed that Trump did, in fact, say the words in the incomplete transcript, and the record of that conversation was, in fact, stored in a place not customarily used to store such information.

                    I believe there is evidence that Trump abused the authority of the Office of the President of the United States for personal gain; I believe that evidence warrants an investigation by Congress, which is the only body with the constitutional authority to conduct it; and I believe the current administration has left Congress no choice but to conduct that investigation as part of an impeachment inquiry.

            2. Sharlee01 profile image85
              Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

              Not sure why you feel I was not aware of the act being changed? The article sited gave the same info as you are repeating?  Yes, the act was changed between 2018 and 2019. Very odd I would say, but typical of the Dems.

              "Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings. This raises questions about the intelligence community’s behavior regarding the August submission of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump. The new complaint document no longer requires potential whistleblowers who wish to have their concerns expedited to Congress to have direct, first-hand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing that they are reporting.


              "The brand new version of the whistleblower complaint form, which was not made public until after the transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the complaint addressed to Congress were made public, eliminates the first-hand knowledge requirement and allows employees to file whistleblower complaints even if they have zero direct knowledge of underlying evidence and only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”

              The internal properties of the newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed."

              This was a direct ploy by the Dem's to proceed down their impeachment path. As always dirty behind door dealings. THis is just another thing that adds to their appearance of looking like crooks, no to mention foolish.
              .
              https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/09/i … knowledge/

              As I have said previously if this impeachment ever proceeded to Supreme Court Justice Roberts he would never give any weight to second-hand information. I have never felt so disgusted in my life watching this sad bunch of Democratic idiots politicians.  This is just my opinion.

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                In another thread you said: "I have no further intentions on communicating with you on any subject." (my emphasis)
                https://hubpages.com/forum/post/4096009

                You promised! I'm disappointed.

                "Not sure why you feel I was not aware of the act being changed?"

                If by "the act" you mean Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, it hasn't been changed. There has never been a requirement in legislation for a whistleblower to have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in order to report it. Not even the "articles" you are quoting are suggesting that. They are merely talking about the words used on a form, not the legislation itself. In relation to the form change, here are points 5, 6 and 7 for you to read again:

                5. The Federalist article uses a comparison between the 2018 and 2019 forms, to suggest a whistleblowers could not previously make a complaint without direct knowledge of the evidence (see screenshots below).

                2018 Form
                https://hubstatic.com/14698533_f1024.jpg

                2019 Form
                https://hubstatic.com/14698537_f1024.jpg

                What the article does not make clear is that those screenshots compare two different sections of the forms. Here is a comparison of the same section of the forms.

                https://hubstatic.com/14698542_f1024.jpg

                Just like the 2019 form, the 2018 form included an option to indicate a complaint is based on indirect information.

                The guidance on the 2018 form is misleading and does not align with current law. This is the most likely reason it was replaced. This is further supported by point 6 below.

                6. A copy of the intelligence community whistleblower report template from 2017 explicitly references indirect knowledge in the declaration at the beginning of the form:  "I am discloser with direct or indirect evidence in the above-captioned disclosure of a Title 50 alleged urgent concern" (my emphasis). Here is a copy of the form:

                https://hubstatic.com/14698268.jpg

                7. The Inspector General did a preliminary investigation of the complaint and determined the whistleblower complaint was "credible". He would not have done so if there was a legal requirement for there to be firsthand knowledge. Unless it is being alleged that the IG is completely incompetent. I see no evidence to suggest that.

                1. Sharlee01 profile image85
                  Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                  I was responding to another user?  You found it necessary to address a comment to both of us. I was being polite in this case.  No worry you have heard the last from me hopefully you don't comment on conversations that I have addressed another user.

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image90
                    Randy Godwinposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Shar, can you at least admit Trump pushing the Ukraine President to investigate Biden and his son was against the law?

                  2. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

                    "No worry you have heard the last from me hopefully you don't comment on conversations that I have addressed another user."

                    I have no issue hearing from anyone. Just pointing out that you have promised several times not to discuss anything with me.

                    It is a public forum though, so I am free to respond to any comment, just as you are free to ignore any.

  8. Live to Learn profile image81
    Live to Learnposted 2 weeks ago

    I read the call transcript. This will be just another dog and pony show with no substance. Courtesy of a democratic leadership trying to appease the extremists within their party.

  9. PrettyPanther profile image85
    PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks ago

    I'm on vacation but decided to pop in and see what's being said about the impeachment of Donald Trump. I could have written the comments in advance and been pretty darn accurate. Same old people defending Mafia Don POTUS.

    Carry on. I'm heading to the beach! big_smile

    1. promisem profile image98
      promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Panther, why would you rather go to a beach than hang around on here? You're missing all of the fun.

    2. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      Same old people quoting media dog whistles...  Ever have a unique thought of your own?

      "mafia". Every liberal talk jock used that very same word in the past few days to describe President Trump's demeanor during his notorious call to Zelinsky. Mafia,  mob boss all that depicts organized crime.  Good to see you were at the feeding pail even on Vaca...  Yes, you could have written this comment well in advance. Russia Russia Russia, just copied and pasted Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine...  Perhaps you have not noted it's a never-ending circle? Taxes. sexism, obstruction, collusion, pay to play, impeach 45!. The circle should have you a bit ahead of the game with saved canned responses. No really.

  10. Readmikenow profile image93
    Readmikenowposted 2 weeks ago

    https://hubstatic.com/14695829.jpg

  11. Randy Godwin profile image90
    Randy Godwinposted 2 weeks ago

    Been fishing on the gulf a few days. It 's sort of comforting to see people on the left still care about common decency….     smile

    1. promisem profile image98
      promisemposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      People in the middle also still believe in common decency.

      1. Sharlee01 profile image85
        Sharlee01posted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        I agree --- Yes, they do, and I am pleased to see you post this comment...  What I have witnessed this past couple of year is a lack of decency on both sides. It's very obvious even right here on HP.

        1. hard sun profile image90
          hard sunposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

          I agree that some people here on HP make the abandoning of civility obvious. I also think I see some improvement on HP (maybe some due to the departure of a couple common hubbers here on political pages)

          While I'm not always the model of civility, I think I've learned a little from others here on how to make my case in a more civil manner. Sometimes arguments can be heated, but that doesn't mean they have to be personally insulting.

          My goal is treat others online how I would treat them in person. I despise how people can be so demeaning online, but would never think about stating those things to an individual's face. The internet contributes to the erosion of civility.

    2. PrettyPanther profile image85
      PrettyPantherposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

      My husband and I were enjoying the Gulf beaches in his hometown of Bradenton. just two days ago. The warm, white beaches are a contrast from the cod, rugged beaches of Oregon. Beautiful!

      1. Randy Godwin profile image90
        Randy Godwinposted 2 weeks agoin reply to this

        Beautiful part of Fla., no doubt. Caught a few fish and just now got my land legs back. smile

  12. hard sun profile image90
    hard sunposted 9 days ago

    https://www.newsweek/colin-powell-says- … ch-1463468

    COLIN POWELL SAYS GOP LEADERS BACKING TRUMP ARE 'TERRIFIED' TO SPEAK OUT: IS LOSING A PRIMARY 'SUCH A DISASTER?… GET A GRIP'

    Yeah, Colin Powell is a RINO or a pompous a** right? Anyone who speaks against the chief is a traitor of course. This includes any and every American...don't forget it.

 
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