Trump had a very bad day yesterday.
Just in one afternoon, 1) the Senate Intelligence committee opened a bipartisan inquiry into the Trump/Ukraine incident, 2) the full Senate voted unanimously to call on the Trump administration to turn over the whistleblower complaint, and 3) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally opened an impeachment inquiry.
Here’s the full statement by Pelosi:
And now, let’s talk briefly the whistleblower complaint. There has been a lot of reporting that the whistleblower complaint pertains, at least in part, to a call Trump made to the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The various reports suggest that Trump was pressuring Zelensky to produce (or manufacture) damaging information about one of his 2020 political rivals, and was withholding $400M in promised funds to Ukraine as leverage.
Trump has admitted to withholding funds although his reasons for doing so keep shifting, and he admitted to talking about Biden with Zelensky. That said, we don’t know if the whistleblower complaint is just about this call or if there are other issues yet to be uncovered. What we do know is that the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is legally required to turn over the complaint to Congress, and he has not done so. That he is acting illegally right now makes it very easy to believe that he is getting pressure from up on high, like say, the White House.
The DNI is expected to be in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, and even Trump himself said that they’d turn it over. We’ll see. In the meantime, LawFare has a great rundown explaining everything we know about the complaint HERE.
Gong forward, the news is going to be filled with long, thoughtful pieces about how best to move forward from here, what are the best tactics, etc. But we all need to remember that the Republicans are likely to be out in force and they will try their hardest to frame the narrative through their lens.
We can’t let them do that. As a reminder, don’t use their words or framing to discuss Trump’s conduct. As soon as we use their language, (like “witch hunt” or “victim” or “baseless accusations”), we lose the fight. It isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world because their tweets and interviews provoke such outrage in us, but we must frame this story in our own words. I have more advice on how to do that HERE.
Buckle up, we’ve got a wild ride in front of us.