Friday, February 28, 2020

Whistleblower: What Lies Behind the Trump Impeachment

Whether one is for or against Donald Trump, the main problem is, and always was, the whistle-blower (or the alleged whistleblower).

Yes, the whistleblower — any whistleblower — must of course remain anonymous as long as there is an investigation going on.

But whether the person investigated is famous and holds the strongest position in the land or whether he is a lower level bureaucrat and is barely known outside his department, then at one point, it is simply common sense that when you go to trial, the whistle-blower must come forward and be identified.

Once you go to trial, whether, again, you are famous and/or powerful or less well-known and far less powerful, the “defendant” — who no matter how powerful he is is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty — and his lawyers (as well as… the general public!) have the right to know who is making the accusation and to determine to what extent, if any, the whistle blower is motivated at least partly by bias.

Have the Democrats — who are all supposed to be lawyers and all — forgotten the age-old right of being allowed to confront one's accuser(s)?

As Matthew Continetti (thanks to law professor Glenn Reynolds) reports,
The mainstream media and liberal commentators have been quick to praise Schiff's performance, the Free Beacon recently reported, with talking heads arguing he would be remembered for "generations to come" and that he was "dazzling," "masterful," "very, very good," and "awfully impressive."

By the time that the members of the House were getting together to vote on impeachment, the whistle-blower should have been identified long since (while of course being under protection — if deemed necessary) and be subject to questioning, friendly or otherwise.

Why should one call witnesses when the first, and the main, witness is not allowed to testify and be questioned?

MSM journalists — echoed by movie stars such as Brad Pitt — will come up and insistingly ask Republican senators like Ted Cruz, "But aren't you curious to hear what John Bolton has to say?!" That sounds like it might be a pretty reasonable request if, and only if, they, or their colleagues, had deigned to ask Democrat congressmen and senators alike (as well as Republican ones, for that matter) the far more important question, "Aren't you curious to hear what the whistle-blower has to testify?!"

Doesn't the very fact that the whistle-blower's identity was never revealed by Adam Schiff suggest, in and by itself, that he (or she) was far from a neutral, an objective, and a believable witness?

(For your information, every single person in Washington does know who the whistleblower is; In case you’re interested, he shares the same first name as myself — although spelled differently)

That the whistleblower was still not identified after the Senate went into session for impeachment is nothing less than ridiculous or outrageous — if not both.

To be deciding a person’s guilt (no matter how much you think he deserves to be punished) on anonymous accusations and hearsay:

I will not say exactly that it is akin to a Stalinist show trial, but it sure seems that the United States has been trending in that direction these past few years (which, in turn, helps explain the outcome of the 2016 elections).

Does that sound like hyperbole? Not only was proof against the defendant — aka the guilty person — allowed in testimony from anonymous neighbors, but a classic occurrence in a USSR trial was the defendant declaring that "I am innocent." The reply of the Soviet judge (not the prosecutor): "Then why are you here (in the first place)?!"

In that perspective, the sympathizers of Democrats the world over have been repeating exactly the same basic message: if The Donald is impeached, the reason must be that he is guilty, and the House of representatives must discover which crime(s) he committed.

To paraphrase Stalin's chief of police:
“Show Me The Man, And I’ll Find You The Crime.”
Indeed, writes Howie Carr in the Boston Herald, Donald Trump is, as it happens, charged with only one crime: being Donald Trump.

This kind of charge has been the case for conservatives, both in and before the Trump era, from Brett Kavanaugh to Roger Stone, along with people unrelated to The Donald, such as Christian cake bakers, wedding photographers, and boy scouts.

One of Donald Trump's  most important memes is that
"In reality they're not after me; they're after you; I'm just in the[ir] way."
Michael Goodwin:
With a likeness to the Uncle Sam “I want you” poster, the disrupter-in-chief reaffirms in 14 words the belief of Trump Nation that the political establishment, the media, the permanent bureaucracy and yes, the deep state are trying to crush him and them.

The president tweeted the image the day House Democrats voted to impeach him, and hours after his raucous rally in Michigan that evening.

The tweet included no added comment because none was needed. The message is clear: I am all that stands between you and the barbarians at the gate. If I fall, you are next.
As Brendan O'Neill wrote a day after the 2016 election, the reason that Donald Trump pulled his shocking upset was, and is, the élites'
barely concealed disgust for the rednecks and cretins of ‘flyover’ America who are apparently racist and misogynistic and homophobic
Every non-leftist citizen is a deplorable who is guilty of racism, sexism, transphobia, and
and who needs to be punished. To that end, a nanny state needs to be built with an ever-expanding army of bureaucrats, along with lots of courts and courthouses to manage "the ignorant, the everyday, the non-subscribers to the New York Times, … America’s strange, Bible-toting inhabitants", and rain down punishment upon them when necessary.

The leftists love courthouses to manage those who would be free. (On an international level, it is so-called "international law" that is supposed to reign in the United States (along with other Western nations like Israel).) Shaming the citizenry (especially men) is also the purpose of such cultural things as the 1619 project

Speaking about Roger Stone, Sean Hannity started his opening monologue on Fox News (via Yael Halon):
"Please listen closely. You've got to understand right now if you are a conservative, if you are a Republican in the United States of America, you have every, every single right to feel that you are not being treated fairly, that the justice issued in this country is not equally applied," Hannity said.

"You have every right to feel that way, because it seems that in this United States, on this night, only conservatives, only Republicans, and especially people that like Donald Trump can get prosecuted ... all while Democrats in the deep state can pretty much do everything without consequence."

 …  Hannity said [Nancy] Pelosi's comments point to a "two-tiered system of justice" which has frustrated the president.

"Here's the point. This is serious because we are talking about a two-tiered system of justice. It has to be fixed. The frustration that I feel, the president feels, all these people, they all get the book thrown at them. All these other people, they seem to always get away with it and nothing ever happens. "
Indeed, my own take on 2016 was, and is, that leftists ensured they would lose that year when they started suing your neighborhood baker for hundreds of thousands of dollars and forcing institutions to open bathrooms to transgenders…

Listen to President Trump again:
"In reality they're not after me; they're after you; I'm just in the way."
Related: Trump was to be impeached for asking about a corrupt arrangement; but no one is ever impeached for engaging in it


The New York Crank said...


Suppose an anonymous caller phones the cops and says he just saw somebody commit murder. The cops go to the scene of the reported crime. They find a body. They find a pistol. They find a stubbed out cigarette. Both the DNA on the cigarette and the fingerprints on the pistol lead to Louis the Lug, a petty gangster, who gets arrested and charged with murder.

Now imagine that at his trial, Louis demands his case be dismissed, because he can't confront his "accuser" — the man who originally called the cops. Not only that, whines Louis, but the whistleblower is prejudiced against him. Law enforcement would come to a dead stop. And almost anybody who wanted to could get away with murder. And besides, who says you have to really like a guy to accuse him of murder? Or to prosecute him?

A whistleblower isn't an accuser in the legal sense. He's just a tipster. The accusers are those who dig up evidence after the tip and find out that a crime has been committed and who committed it. The whistleblower did not testify at any House or Senate hearing and therefore there is nothing to cross-examine. Drop this ridiculous argument of yours.

Yours with extreme crankiness,
The New York Crank

KellyJ said...

Of course the Tipster in your case may (or may not) have been an innocent bystander who saw something and said something. And what he saw led to hard evidence being discovered. Had the Tipster said nothing, eventually the body and evidence at the scene would have led to the same result. In the case of the Whistleblower, he was fed the information illegally by a co-conspirator with the clear intent of creating a situation that would create an investigation out of thin air. He then conspired with the person who would lead the investigation while providing cover for him so he would not have to either spill the beans that this was a manufactured case or perjure himself. In the end, no actual crime nor evidence of a crime was ever uncovered...merely opinions from different "witnesses who were already prejudiced against the defendant.
Sorry Crank, your analogy does not hold up to the facts since the whistle blower was not in fact an innocent tipster, but a co-conspirator in an effort to remove a sitting President over nothing more tan being angry that he beat you in a fair election (though we know the election was not fair since these same people we caught spying on Trump and exonerating his opponent from her own criminal actions).

The New York Crank said...

Uh uh Kelly . Tipsters don't have to be innocent or impartial. I can be sitting at a bar quietly celebrating a car heist I pulled off, when my worst enemy, a bit in his cups, confesses to have murdered somebody. I hate the bastard anyway so I phone in the tip. As long as the info is good when checked out, it doesn't matter where it came from.

As for the getting fed information "illegally by a co-conspirator," I don't know where you get that from and I have seen no evidence either that the tipster was "fed" evidence, or that there was a question of legality. Au contraire, reporting a crime, or reasonable suspicion of a crime is never illegal. If you see something (or by inference hear or otherwise become aware of something) say something. It's your duty as a citizen.

I won't argue over whether what Trump did to the Ukraine is a crime or not under criminal law, since it doesn't matter. For purposes of impeachment and removal, "high crimes and misdemeanors" is given pretty wide latitude. Trump was "indicted" (i.e. impeached) by a "grand jury" consisting of Congress. He was then found "not guilty" by a "court" consisting of the Senate that refused to hear from witnesses, so Trump's innocence is, at the very least, questionable. Highly questionable in my opinion.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank