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‘No Reason to Call Witnesses’: Trump Freaks Out Over Impeachment Inquiry – Tweets ‘There Is No Whistleblower’

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After a weekend of attacking and threatening an impeachment inquiry witness, demanding the publication of the whistleblower’s name, and refusing to commit to not shutting down the federal government if Democrats do not end the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump clearly is in full freak-out mode.

Monday morning the president continued his deep descent into illogical and potentially illegal attacks.

Trump falsely suggested the existence of the whistleblower is a con-job while claiming they gave false information to and worked with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. The president also demanded the whistleblower “be brought forward to testify.” That could be illegal, given the whistleblower is protected by federal law.

The president also insisted, “There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning,” after blocking four administration witnesses who were scheduled to testify today.

And he claimed once again his damning July 25 call extorting the president of Ukraine was done “perfectly.”

“There is no Whistleblower,” Trump tweeted, quoting thrice-failed GOP congressional candidate turned Trump-supporting pundit Dan Bongino, who also appeared to be threatening House and Senate Republicans.

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'VERY STABLE GENIUS'

House Republicans Have a Plan to Defend Trump During Impeachment Hearings – It’s All About His ‘State of Mind’

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Rather than act as impartial investigators, dedicated to ascertaining the facts of the President’s actions, and whether or not those actions were legal, or are impeachable, House Republicans will stick to a plan that focuses on his “state of mind” and other intangible arguments.

“Confronted with a mountain of damaging facts heading into tomorrow’s opening of the public phase of impeachment, House Republicans plan to argue that ‘the President’s state of mind’ was exculpatory,” Axios reports, noting it has obtained an 18-page GOP memo that was sent out to House Intelligence Committee members Monday night.

“To appropriately understand the events in question — and most importantly, assess the President’s state of mind during his interaction with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky — context is necessary,” the memo reads. “The evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense,” it insists, wrongly.

Also wrong, or immaterial, are these four critical points the memo directs Republicans to make during the hearings.

“The July 25 call summary — the best evidence of the conversation — shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.” (False.)

“President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call.” (True, but immaterial.)

“The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call.” (False.)

“President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals.” (Immaterial. Doesn’t matter. Attempts to commit crimes are still crimes.)

You can read the full memo here.

The impeachment inquiry hearings with live, televised witness testimony, begin Wednesday.

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'VERY STABLE GENIUS'

Whistleblower’s Attorney Warns Trump to ‘Cease and Desist’ Attacks or Face ‘Legal and Ethical Peril’

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A lawyer representing the anonymous whistleblower who exposed the Ukraine extortion scandal on Thursday sent the White House Counsel a letter urging him to warn President Donald Trump to “cease and desist” his attacks against his client, and asking him to remind the president he will be in “legal and ethical peril” should the whistleblower or his family be harmed.

“I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger,’ the letter, published by CNN, reads. “I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior.”

The attorney, Andrew Bakaj, reminded White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, that President Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower, even at one point likening him to a “spy,” and saying, publicly: “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.”

Bakaj continued: “In the ‘old days,’ spies were summarily executed.”

“Respectfully, your client’s rhetoric and behavior fall well beneath the dignity of the office,” Bakaj added.

“These are not words of an individual with a firm grasp of the significance of the office which he occupies, nor a fundamental understanding of the significance of each word he articulates by virtue of occupying that office,” Bakaj also told Cipollone.

Bakaj also warned Cipollone of the likely violations of federal law Trump may have engaged in.

“In light of this, it is reasonable to submit that your client’s activity constitutes a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512, Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant. Furthermore, because my client is a lawful whistleblower and a prospective congressional witness, any threats to influence, obstruct, or impede my client’s cooperation is a violation of 18 U.SC. § 1505, Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees. Finally, reprisal against my client for cooperating with a congressional inquiry would be a violation of 18 U.SC. § 1513, Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant.”

“Let me be clear: should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client.”

 

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Deep in His Paranoia Trump Fears John Bolton Is Trying to Destroy His Presidency With Leaks to the Press

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“One of his most frequent tricks in terms of talking about himself on background,” Nunberg said, “is him having the reporter say [he is] someone ‘familiar with the president’s thinking.’”

President Donald Trump suspects that former national security adviser John Bolton is out to get him.

Bolton left the White House last month, and he and the president’s relationship had soured so badly they argued over whether he quit or was fired, and Trump now suspects the hawkish career bureaucrat is behind a flood of leaks against him, reported The Daily Beast.

Three people familiar with Trump’s private conversations said the president speculated that his former national security adviser was behind the anonymous accounts that listed Bolton as one of the top officials deeply disturbed by the Ukraine pressure campaign.

“[Trump] was clearly implying something to the effect of, ‘Oh, gee, I wonder who the source on that could be,’” one source said.

Bolton told the website last month that leaking allegations against him were “flatly incorrect.”

Neither Bolton nor the White House commented on the president’s suspicions, but Trump ally Matt Schlapp told The Daily Beast that he believes the leaks are coming “career folks inside who hate Trump,” although he’s not certain about the former national security adviser.

Related –
Bolton Blasted Trump’s Ukraine Extortion: ‘I Am Not Part of Whatever Drug Deal Rudy and Mulvaney Are Cooking Up

“He’s smarter than that, although he does aggressively defend himself,” said Schlapp, whose wife Mercedes Schlapp stepped down as White House director of strategic communications in July and now works for the Trump re-election campaign.

Trump has long been paranoid of leaks, but his dark suspicions have deepened since the whistleblower complaint was revealed last month, setting in motion an impeachment process.

The president has resisted calls to set up an outside team to fight impeachment, in part because he has struggled to find lawyers to help and also because he doesn’t trust anyone else to put out his message besides himself, and apparently his personal attorney — and possible co-conspirator — Rudy Giuliani.

That approach has made his Republican allies nervous.

“There is a certain level of frustration that all the sudden the president says something, then Rudy does, and it is not always consistent,” said veteran GOP consultant John Brabender. “There is a frustration that not everybody knows what they should be doing. It is not that they can’t defend the president, it is a frustration that they don’t know exactly how they are supposed to defend the president.

Trump has viewed the impeachment inquiry as part of an ongoing conspiracy to undermine his presidency, according to those who know him, and his response so far has been driven by paranoia.

But his allies worry that approach renders him incapable of accepting advice and focusing on other parts of his job.

“In my experience, what he despises is somebody writing that Donald Trump feels under siege and his emotions are this and his thinking is this,” said former campaign aide Sam Nunberg. “He hates people saying what he is thinking.”

Trump leaks on himself to counter those outside leaks, Nunberg said.

“One of his most frequent tricks in terms of talking about himself on background,” Nunberg said, “is him having the reporter say [he is] someone ‘familiar with the president’s thinking.’”

Nunberg said he hasn’t seen any recent reports that suggest Trump is cold-calling reporters to speak on background, but the president is relying on the media to fight impeachment.

“He’s apparently so anxious about GOP support in the Senate, he’s taken to sending WSJ columns against the House inquiry,” said a Senate source, referring to a White House email sent to every senatorpushing a column by the Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel.

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