Chief Justice Blocks Question About ‘Whistleblower.’ Meanwhile, Would Questioning John Bolton Backfire?
Update: After Chief Justice John Roberts again refused to ask the question posed by Sen. Rand Paul Thursday, Sen. Paul tweeted the question out. It doesn’t identify anyone as the Whistleblower. As Paul says, “my question is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings.” See his thread here, including the actual wording of the question.
My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 30, 2020
So Chief Justice Roberts again has blocked a question from Rand Paul that would have named the so-called “Whistleblower.” You know, the Brennan acolyte/Biden right hand. The guy who earlier leaked a false story about Trump and Putin. One which Andrew McCabe conveniently used as justification to unofficially start the Trump-Russia collusion hoax investigation. The guy who deliberately misconstrued Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky and teamed with his buds on Adam Schiff’s staff to concoct the Ukraine impeachment hoax.
I can get why Roberts would not want to put himself in the position of outing Mr. Whistleblower on the Senate floor. But here’s why, if there are witnesses, he must be the first person called. Not just because he conspired and lied about Trump’s call to ignite this whole new charade. There are even more urgent reasons.
As Laura Ingraham and John Solomon have been reporting, Mr. Whistleblower hosted a January 2016 meeting at the White House with Ukrainian officials to discuss Burisma/Biden. Here are the details.
Given the meeting and Mr. Whistleblower’s role as Biden’s Man-on-Ukraine, he could put this whole nonsense to bed in 30 seconds. If put under oath.
30 Seconds to End the Trial: Witness Whistleblower
You swear him in. Trump’s mild-mannered White House counsel Patrick Philbin rises. He is almost unnervingly polite.
Thank you, sir, for coming and answering questions. Please help us understand the January 19, 2016 meeting. It seems we have only two choices. Was the Obama administration was …
1) Trying to really solve the Burisma-Biden problem, which vexed both the State Department and our diplomats. (So they testified to the House.) In which case our new president had not just the right but the obligation to pick up Obama’s ball and follow through with Ukraine’s new president.
2) Figuring out a way to cover up the Hunter Biden/Burisma mess and block Ukraine’s investigation. Something several Ukrainians who were present now admit in sworn affidavits that they were trying to do. Something Burisma had been pressuring the State Department to do, dropping Hunter’s name in the process. In which case President Trump has every right and every obligation to ask Ukraine’s new president to investigate.
Any way you slice it, the January 2016 White House meeting with Ukrainians about Burisma justifies President Trump asking about it.
But that’s not all. Columbo-style, Philbin’s got one more question.
Oh, and while we have you here, sir. If you don’t mind. Why did you seven times host at the White House the woman tasked by DNC to get dirt from Ukraine on Trump campaign figure Paul Manafort? Is the White House tour that good?”
All told, it’s no wonder Schiff has the Whistleblower buried deeper than an Iranian nuclear lab.
Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul was reportedly overheard saying he’s not giving up the fight to get his question about the Whistleblower asked. “If I have to fight for recognition I will!” said Sen. Paul. This, Jonathan Hurley writes, “could lead to a confrontation over the right of senators to seek answers to lawful questions and the authority of the presiding office to maintain basic rules of fairness and decorum.”
Potential Witness John Bolton and the Great Leak Mystery
Similarly, House Managers are not giving up their dream of getting former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify. Yesterday, they and the media were in a wide-eyed huff about the NSC advising Bolton he couldn’t publish his book as is. CNN’s Jake Tapper called it the White House issuing a “formal threat.” (CNN has more drama queens than West Hollywood.)
Here it is: Does it read like a “formal threat” to you?
NEW: White House letter to former NSA Bolton's lawyer asserts that the book manuscript "appears to contain significant amounts of classified information" and argues that it "may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information." pic.twitter.com/qOUlGD0CTj
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) January 29, 2020
The letter went out three days before information from the book was leaked to The New York Times. That leak claimed Trump told Bolton he wanted aid to Ukraine tied to investigations into the Bidens. It instantly led to shouts that Bolton must testify. He must! He must!
Let’s take a step back, because the leak is instructive:
Bolton (as he is legally required to do) submitted his draft to the NSC for review. It’s routine. Heck, if my sister wrote a fiction book based on her intelligence world experiences she’d still have to submit it for review to Pentagon … and she has been retired 10 years.
NSC tells Bolton, in essence, “Dude, the book has some classified stuff in it, including some top secret stuff. Can’t publish as is. But we’ll work it out.” Absolutely standard stuff. Bound to happen. You can’t write about being National Security Advisor without hitting classified advice impacting national security.
Then a few days later, someone with access to the manuscript leaks his spin on what Bolton wrote about Trump. Kinda like how Whistleblower and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman teamed up to spread their spin on what Trump told Zelenskyy.
Who’s the Leaker?
So who did it? Was it from the publisher’s side? Great publicity for the book. Then again, if the juicy stuff gets out, who needs to buy the book? Old news by publication time. But still, perhaps Simon & Schuster couldn’t resist. And, boy, is their denial strangely worded:
There was absolutely no coordination with The New York Times or anyone else regarding the appearance of information about his book, The Room Where It Happened, at online booksellers.
Why add “at online booksellers”? The subject is what was leaked to the Times.
Bolton? Perhaps. Angry at getting fired, wanting to take Trump out? To promote the book? But does John Bolton really want to throw away his chance of advising anyone in the future, if it’s known he’ll secretly spill his guts at the first profitable opportunity? Plus, is he that eager to do liberals this big a favor? The same liberals who have hated his guts for decades?
How about from the NSC side? Why not? Reports are that copies were Xeroxed and disseminated for review. So who knows which person got his hands on the manuscript. The Obama holdovers on NSC have been shamefully leaking since before the inauguration. (The Whistleblower himself was tossed out of the NSC for leaking a false story.)
The Creepy Vindman Twins
Who leaked information from the president’s call to the Whistleblower? Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Who’s in charge of the NSC unit that oversees manuscript evaluation? According to Breitbart, Lt. Colonel Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. Perhaps.
Fox News’ John Robert tweeted that Yevgeny is “NOT part of the NSC team vetting John Bolton’s manuscript.” Then again, the Whistleblower wasn’t on the team listening to the president’s call, either.
It remains a mystery.
Democrats Facing Disaster if Bolton Testifies?
Regardless of who did it and his motivation, Bolton’s information is out there. And House Managers are hell-bent on forcing Bolton to testify. Or they’re at least acting that way. They have to know the risks when dealing with John “The Moustache That Roars” Bolton. Suppose they win the argument, or reach a deal on witnesses. Trump maybe even waives executive privilege just on the question of what Bolton says Trump told him about Ukrainian aid.
Bolton can say Trump wanted to tie the aid to investigating the Biden corruption all he wants. Was it a wish? An idea? We’re going to impeach people for ideas? Was it an order? Did it actually happen? And even if it did, was there justification?
What Would Bolton Say?
Again, the gentle White House Deputy Counsel Patrick Philbin rises:
“Mr. Bolton is it perfectly appropriate to know if the former Vice President of the United States was on the take?”
“Mr. Bolton, you’ve been in the federal government for decades. Is it suspicious for a corrupt foreign company to be pouring millions into the family of the American official in charge of policy for that foreign country, in charge of battling corruption?
“Mr. Bolton, did President Trump have every right in the world, the duty, to have the Ukraine look into Burisma and the Bidens?”
“Mr. Bolton, did the current president provide lethal aid which the previous administration denied, a denial that left Ukrainians dead at the hands of the Russians?”
“Mr. Bolton, does it harm our foreign relations to have House Manager Schiff in essence call the President of an allied country a liar?”
If you’re a Democrat are you really going to trust Bolton to read from your script if he’s compelled to testify? It’s John Bolton. “THEY WON’T LET HIM TESTIFY!” is where the political mileage is. Bolton actually testifying? Should scare them to death.
Mr. Schiff, give me Mr. Whistleblower and I’ll give you Bolton all day long.
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.