Here’s the tick tock out of Washington today.
It’s not just the crime but the cover up
Reading from a document de-classified by Congress this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded to reporters that the Trump administration’s efforts to suppress a transcript of the president’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a cover-up.
The newly released document, a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence official last month, details a July phone call between President Trump and Zelensky. In the call, Trump asked the newly elected Ukrainian leader to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
And, according to the whistleblower, White House lawyers ordered the electronic transcript to be “locked” into a separate, highly classified computer system where it would be unavailable for distribution to Cabinet-level officials.
The whistleblower also said White House officials said it was “not the first time” the Trump administration stored transcripts in the classified computer system “for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive– rather than national security sensitive– information.”
Democrats whittle down their arguments
Democrats will not only be investigating the alleged abuse of power by the president on display during the phone call, but also the subsequent cover-up by White House officials trying to restrict the call. These are the key points, as of now, the party will focus on.
Right-wing media says everyone is deceiving you
The New York Times chronicles the outrage in the conservative media toward the notion of impeachment, which, as the piece notes, has a political benefit for Trump. See Nixon, Richard.
“Richard Nixon played to similar ‘us versus them’ grievances during the Watergate investigations and also blamed the media, which he said ‘hate my guts with a passion.’ That approach helped keep a sizable chunk of Americans behind him even when he resigned. Roughly a quarter of Americans said at the time that Nixon’s conduct was not serious enough to warrant resignation, polls showed.”
More that’s noteworthy:
- Trump is reacting poorly. In front of a crowd of U.S. United Nations staffers, Trump alluded to roughing up the whistleblower, whom he called a spy. “I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
- In Texas, both Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have predictably attacked Democrats since the release of the whistleblower complaint and rallied behind the president with other Republican members of Congress from Texas.
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/ Getty Images