A Whistleblower, Trump and the Ukraine: Explained
A few of you might have noticed a few reports in the news with the words Trump, Ukraine, and whistleblower in the title. If you’re anything like me, you’re also confused as hell. Many of these reports rely on the fact that you have kept up with the scandal since July. If you try to read one of them now, you’ll find yourself buried in a pile of facts and language that require a dictionary to decipher, and babe, nobody has time for that. This story is huge and could potentially change the 2020 Presidential election, so here’s the facts explained--in a way you can actually understand.
Let’s start with the pivotal moment. It’s July 25 and President Trump makes a call to Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump allegedly told Zelensky that Ukraine's image could be improved if Zelensky pursued corruption cases. Trump then encouraged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter--who were both on the board of Burisma Group, an energy company in Ukraine--for corruption. Trump then withheld funds that were previously allocated for security assistance for Ukraine. Essentially, what Trump is being accused of is using his political power to coerce someone into doing him a personal favor for political gain.
At least that’s what a whistleblower from within the intelligence community is saying.
Here’s the deal with whistleblowers. There are laws that protect them if they bring their complaints up in the correct way. Whistleblowers are supposed to be brought before Congress within seven days and from there, Congress determines whether or not the complaint is urgent and valid. The problem with this particular whistleblower is that he has not appeared before Congress yet and he raised his complaint in August. The inspector general for the director of national intelligence (DNI) Michael Atkinson has said that this issue “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.” He refuses to allow the whistleblower before Congress. Because of this, many people believe that the DNI is assisting President Trump with a coverup.
What gets even more fishy is that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with Zelensky’s aide in Spain to discuss a meeting between Trump and Zelensky. During an interview with CNN, Giuliani originally denied talking about Biden with Zelensky’s aide, but halfway through the interview, he said that he did talk about Biden. Many Democrats are appalled at the pressure that Trump and his lawyer are putting on Ukraine to investigate Biden. “If he demanded a freign government do his political bidding,” says Sen. Christopher Murphy, “that’s when he crossed the critical threshold.”
Biden has lashed out against Trump after continually denying that he had nothing to with any of these allegations. “Not one single credible outlet has given credibility to these assertions,” he said during a campaign stop in Iowa. “So I have no comment other than the president should start to be a president.” Biden says he never spoke to his son about his business dealings overseas but that Trump deserves to be investigated.
cover image via BBC