Politics: Transcripts Show GOP ‘Terror Campaign’ to Out Whistleblower - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Transcripts Show GOP ‘Terror Campaign’ to Out Whistleblower

04:50  09 november  2019
04:50  09 november  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Some GOP senators buck Trump, Rand Paul on calls to release whistleblower's identity

  Some GOP senators buck Trump, Rand Paul on calls to release whistleblower's identity Lawmakers were defending the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry after President Trump and Sen. Rand Paul called for the individual to be identified.Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Monday said in response to Trump's comments that it was up to the whistleblower to decide whether or not to come forward.

Impeachment. deposition transcripts . Paul's demand to out whistleblower rankles GOP “I think whistleblowers have the right to remain confidential and their privacy ought to be respected,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Shelley Wellons Moore Capito Senate GOP shifts tone on impeachment The

The transcript showed Democrats and Republican staffers trying to focus on the central issues surrounding her knowledge of the Trump administration's relations with Ukraine, with Schiff imploring GOP lawmakers over and over to leave their complaints about process and bias at the door.

Republican lawmakers have sought to hijack several impeachment depositions in a crusade for information on the whistleblower who sparked the inquiry, according to a review of the transcripts by The Daily Beast.

a close up of a toy: Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty© Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

Efforts from Republican lawmakers and their counsel to elicit information on the whistleblower—both by asking leading questions and asking point-blank for the person’s identity—were repeatedly batted down by Democrats, and in one case the attorney of the witness in disputes that became increasingly caustic.

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  'A bunch of B.S.': Lindsey Graham refuses to read Ukraine transcripts Sen. Lindsey Graham says he will not read newly released transcripts of private testimony given by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Sondland and Volker testified in a closed session to House lawmakers in the Democrat-driven impeachment investigation against President Trump. The House passed a resolution approving the impeachment proceedings and authorizing the release of transcripts of the closed-door testimony on Oct. 31. "I've written the whole process off ...

But the transcripts show GOP lawmakers were given time for questioning, which they used to poke at different aspects of the impeachment inquiry. Some Republicans criticized the process as unfair, while others tried to redirect witnesses to their own questions about Biden's work on Ukraine corruption

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are coming to the defense of the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry after President Donald Trump and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for the individual’s identity to be revealed. Sen.

Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Derek Harvey, an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, provided notes for House Republicans ahead of the high-profile testimonies of Trump administration appointees with the name of the alleged whistleblower. The goal was that once the transcripts became public, so would the name of the individual.

In one example, during the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, minority counsel Steve Castor asked flat-out, “Is the whistleblower [redacted]?”

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  Graham now says Trump's Ukraine policy was too 'incoherent' for quid pro quo A day after saying he wouldn’t bother reading transcripts released by House Democrats in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., now says he did read the testimony, and his conclusion is that the administration’s Ukraine policy was too “incoherent” for it to have orchestrated the quid pro quo that is at the heart of the probe. © Provided by Oath Inc. Sen. Lindsey Graham at an Oct. 24 press conference on impeachment. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images) Testimony released Tuesday included depositions from Gordon Sondland, U.S.

As a stream of transcripts from closed-door depositions are released and Congress prepares for public So, let’s take the main GOP responses one by one. The whistleblower is a partisan Democrat and can’t be trusted. The call summary put out by Trump himself shows that this is what happened.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transcripts released Friday in the impeachment inquiry show Republicans and Democrats repeatedly skirmishing over GOP questions that appeared aimed at drawing out the identity of the whistleblower who filed the initial complaint against President Donald Trump.

During the deposition of acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, who had testified that military aid to Ukraine was held up against the wishes of top officials including National Security Adviser John Bolton, Rep. Mark  Meadows (R-NC) pressed Taylor for more details on the names of individuals he spoke to at the National Security Council who provided information about Bolton’s thinking on the Ukraine situation.

“I guess I'm a little concerned on who at NSC would've been telling you about Ambassador Bolton,” Meadows said. “You felt like he was a kindred spirit on this. So who was telling you from the NSC that he was?”

Later, Castor asked Taylor if he communicated with or knew of the official that conservative media has identified as the alleged whistleblower. Taylor said he did not know the individual.

Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, said if the effort to out the whistleblower’s identity was successful it’s certainly “a felony” under the Whistleblower Protection Act, though he doubted the Department of Justice would prosecute the offenders.

Grassley: Up to whistleblower to reveal identity

  Grassley: Up to whistleblower to reveal identity Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday that it is up to the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry to decide whether or not to come forward after President Trump urged the media to reveal the individual's identity."That's strictly up to the whistleblower," Grassley told reporters.

Washington (AFP) — President Donald Trump’s son published on Wednesday the name of the alleged anonymous whistleblower whose complaint fired the impeachment inquiry against Trump, breaking strict conventions for protecting officials who reveal wrongdoing in government.

The “ whistleblower ’s” concerns and subsequent reactions from mainstream media outlets and Democrats prompted the White House to release transcripts of the phone call, which Democrats claimed proved quid pro quo. However, some GOP lawmakers remain skeptical.

“It’s an attempt to terrorize other witnesses from providing other testimony,” he said.

“This new tactic is threatening their lives, it’s a terror campaign against anyone bearing witness against the president.”

The legal risks of their attempts to out the individual did little to deter those involved, even as Democrats attempted to thwart their efforts.

Republicans exited certain depositions complaining that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) — who ruled that questions about the whistleblower would be off-limits during the hearings—was shutting down their lines of questioning. That was particularly the case with the testimony of Vindman, who was on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and who Republicans believed might know the whistleblower.

Though Vindman said in his opening statement that he would not answer questions about the whistleblower’s identity, the released transcripts reveal that Schiff had to cut off Republicans at least five different times over the course of the 10-hour proceeding.

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Trump and GOP Allies Try to Out Ukraine Whistleblower : A Closer Look. Seth Tests out a New Interactive TV Show : Wild Choices with Chip Grit.

“Records show that the intelligence community quietly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019,” Rudy Giuliani tweeted on Sunday. The Atkinson smear comes amid a broad GOP campaign seemingly calculated to discredit the whistleblower report as unreliable, partisan hearsay

Schiff seemed to get increasingly exasperated as Castor, along with lawmakers such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and John Ratcliffe (R-TX), tried different tactics to coax the information about the whistleblower out of the witness, from the blatant—like Castor’s straight-up ask—to the more subtle, like asking which people he might debrief about an important call.

“I am concerned about a bad-faith effort to out a whistleblower who has a statutory right to remain anonymous,” said Schiff, who instructed Vindman that he did not have to answer any question that might have come close to identifying the whistleblower. “We will not be a party to the attacks on the whistleblower. We will not put this whistleblower's life at risk or anymore risk than it already is.”

Minutes later, Schiff and Jordan got into a heated argument when more whistleblower questions came up. Jordan claimed he wanted to protect the whistleblower but went after Schiff for allegedly withholding the person’s name, a charge that leans on the chairman’s admission that the whistleblower first anonymously contacted his committee for guidance on how to file their complaint.

“It doesn't make it any more true the tenth time you said it than the first time,” responded Schiff, “it just means you’re more willful about the false statement?”

Facebook reportedly bans mentions of White House whistleblower's name

  Facebook reportedly bans mentions of White House whistleblower's name YouTube has taken a similar approach to videos mentioning the person.The White House whistleblower wrote a nine-page complaint in July that alleged senior officials tried to "lock down" the details of Trump's phone call over the summer with Ukraine's president. During the phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump brought up the prospect of an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

The lead impeachment inquiry lawyer for House Republicans named the alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower during a deposition with a key State Department witness.

Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry have blasted the president and GOP lawmakers for demanding the release of the alleged whistleblower ’s name. However, it appears Schiff may have accidentally leaked the alleged whistleblower ’s name in the transcript of a witness testimony.

The questions also exasperated Vindman’s attorney, Michael Volkov. Later in that deposition, when Castor went at the whistleblower angle again, Volkov asked, “If you want to keep going down this road, we’re going to just keep objecting, okay?”

During a portion of the deposition of former NSC official Fiona Hill, the GOP attorney rattled off a list of several officials, asking Hill if she knew any of them. That portion was largely redacted in the transcript, hiding its contents from public view, but it appeared similar to a tactic used by Castor during Taylor’s deposition to try to narrow the universe of who knew the information contained in the whistleblower complaint.

Visible in the transcript of Hill’s deposition, however, was the attendance of Nunes aide Harvey, who was a colleague of Hill’s on the NSC during the first year of the Trump administration.

The whistleblower may have very little recourse under the law, Devine said, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers are absolved from responsibility when the stakes are so high.

“It’s not true they can do this with impunity,” he said. “The assertion that these politicians can engage in this behavior at will is completely false.”

— With additional reporting by Spencer Ackerman

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Jordan: Republicans Will Subpoena Whistleblower for Public Hearing .
House Democrats are expected to shut down the subpoena request.House Democrats, who control the majority on the committees conducting the resulting impeachment probe, are expected to shut down the subpoena request as they have already rejected the idea of the whistleblower testifying in public, citing concern for the anonymous member of the intelligence community’s safety.

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