Impeachment

Rand Paul Proposes Expanding Whistleblower Protections While Publicly Exposing Whistleblowers

Yes, Trump (and everybody else) has a right to face their accusers when they’re charged with crimes. But that hasn’t actually happened.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) has proposed legislation that would protect whistleblowers from retaliation but that would also likely expose their identities in criminal and presidential impeachment proceedings.

Paul caused a stir Monday at a rally for President Donald Trump by calling for the media to reveal the identity of a whistleblower who passed along information he or she believed implicated Trump in withholding aid to Ukraine unless the country opened an investigation into alleged corruption by Joe Biden's son Hunter. The next day, Paul said that he himself might reveal the whistleblower's name.

On Wednesday, Democrats in the Senate asked for unanimous consent to pass a resolution showing general support for whistleblowers. The resolution does not actually do anything—it's just a public acknowledgement that the Senate, in general, supports whistleblowers and encourages the executive branch to protect them from retaliation for any wrongdoing they might reveal.

Paul, however, objected to the resolution and wants to replace it with his own bill, "The Whistleblower Protection Act of 2019." The bill would expand whistleblower protections to government contractors, not just government employees, and would be retroactive if passed, meaning that Snowden might potentially be able to include himself in current whistleblower protections as a defense against charges of espionage.

If that's all Paul's bill did, that would be awesome. But there's more. Appended at the end is this section:

Congress reaffirms that, in the case of criminal prosecutions and impeachments arising from the disclosures of whistleblowers, the accused has the right to confront his or her accuser in such proceedings and that right is not superseded by the whistleblower protections.

In a companion piece over at The Hill, Paul explains this inclusion protects Trump's Sixth Amendment rights:

The "whistleblower's" revelation, however, has resulted in an impeachment proceeding, essentially a trial of the president. If convicted, the impeachment trial could lead to criminal penalties after the president's term in office.

Anonymity is not an option when your accusations trigger criminal penalties. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to confront one's accusers. The witness must both face his accuser and face questions regarding his own knowledge and activities.

The Ukraine investigation has not yet "resulted in an impeachment proceeding," and the House of Representatives has not yet voted to impeach Trump. Paul will know when that happens because he will essentially serve as a juror as a member of the Senate. What's more, impeachment is not a criminal prosecution. The only "penalty" that will directly come from impeachment would be Trump's removal from office.

Trump could face prosecution for his alleged actions following his departure from office. If the information from the Ukraine whistleblower were to be used as evidence in a criminal trial, Trump would be protected by the Sixth Amendment's right to confront and defend himself against his accusers. He doesn't need Paul's bill to exercise that right.

It's even reasonable to expect that Trump should be allowed to face the whistleblower if his impeachment proceeds to the Senate and the whistleblower's testimony is used as evidence. If the whistleblower won't come forward, Paul can use that as justification for declining to remove Trump from office.

But the way Paul is talking about revealing the whistleblower now—during the investigation itself—is akin to the police revealing the names of witnesses to a suspect long before that suspect has been charged with any crime. Imagine, for instance, what would happen if police were investigating a member of a violent street gang for shooting up somebody's house, and the police told the alleged shooter the names of eyewitnesses they had talked to before ever charging him. The Sixth Amendment does not require the naming of witnesses in an investigation, nor should it. The Sixth Amendment, as it is written, applies to "criminal prosecution." Leaving aside the question of whether impeachment proceedings fall under the category of a "criminal prosecution," Trump is merely being investigated at the moment.

What's more, Paul's efforts to publicly identify the whistleblower, were they occurring in an actual criminal investigation rather than an impeachment investigation, would look a lot like witness intimidation.

Paul may want to protect whistleblowers from a narrow set of government sanctions, but he'll also expose them any number of destructive consequences for speaking out against powerful and connected elected officials.

Naturally, some other lawmakers are making political hay out of this by running in the opposite direction in ways that are even more bad, stupid, and unconstitutional:

Will this debate get dumber? You can count on it.

NEXT: Is the "Faithless Elector" Coming to the Supreme Court?

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  1. Perhaps “whistleblower” should be defined better.

    A whistleblower with first-hand knowledge is a whistleblower.

    One without is a gossip at best.

    1. What is “first-hand knowledge”? If I participate in illegal wire-tapping, I can be a whistleblower, but if I see the written report, or hear about it in the locker room, I cannot?

      1. Sure you can. But, there needs to be some credibility to what you saw. When everyone who would know says that is not what happened, then your claim that it did doesn’t mean much or really anything.

        The problem is not that he can’t be a whistle blower. The problem is that his lack of first hand knowledge and complete lack of any corroborating evidence, makes his claims very weak.

        Just because you blow the whistle doesn’t mean you are telling the truth.

        1. The credibility question was the responsibility of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

          (1) He has testified he found the whistleblower complaint “credible” and “of urgent concern” after working to validate some of the official’s allegations.

          (2) Atkinson testified he spent two weeks investigating the complaint before finding it credible.

          (3) That’s hardly surprising, since the complaint has since been proven true a dozen times over by witness after witness.

          1. “(1) He has testified he found the whistleblower complaint “credible” and “of urgent concern” after working to validate some of the official’s allegations.”

            The government claimed Christine Blasey Ford was “credible”. The word “credible” has been rendered meaningless.

            1. By making blanket claims like “the word ‘credible’ has been rendered meaningless” you create a hermetically-sealed world of your own facts, where no information you don’t like can ever contradict your beliefs.

              1. you mean like when Blasey-Ford was called a “credible accuser”

                This whistleblower guy works with John Brennan and Joe Biden. Enjoy licking his boots

              2. “By making blanket claims like “the word ‘credible’ has been rendered meaningless” you create a hermetically-sealed world of your own facts, where no information you don’t like can ever contradict your beliefs.”

                Calling everything “credible”, including things with zero credibility, you do a good job of insuring that nothing is credible.

                1. Surely there is a middle ground where each claim of credibility could be evaluated for … credibility.

                  1. Who would be trusted to make such evaluations? Leni Riefenstahl, or her modern clones at the networks? Sean Hannity?

                    1. You, voter.

                    2. Yup. You, voter. That’s the idea.

                    3. Oh, so the voters are part of the impeachment process now? Perhpas you can point to that specific passage in the constitution.

          2. Atkinson believing it doesn’t settle the issue. So what? The fact remains the guy has no first hand knowledge and everyone who does says he is wrong. Sorry but I have to believe my lying eyes on that one.

            Beyond that, if you think he is believable you should be demanding he testify. That is how we settle these things. The person gets up and testifies under oath and answers questions. The fact that the Democrats won’t do that shows that even they don’t believe him.

            1. That would be the standard in a criminal case, but there is nothing preventing an impeachment inquiry being launched to look into hearsay or gossip.

              1. Actual whistleblowers are alone, Laursen.
                The Ukraine complaint is the work of a group of people, supported by total institutional power, not only in the intelligence community, but the Democratic Party and the commercial press.

                They’re coup leaders, not whistleblowers, and dishonest fucks like you and Shackford absolutely know this.

                1. Impeachment =/= coup.

                  A coup would be Mark Milley jailing Trump and declaring himself President and calling off elections.

                  Your first paragraph, though, is probably correct. Will they be able to push this through to impeachment without giving up the game? Almost certainly not.

                  1. As I’ve said, I don’t think the Democrats will succeed in removing Trump from office. I think they know that, and are just using the impeachment process in a desperate hope to influence voters. BUT … logically, that doesn’t mean they won’t dig up some legitimate dirt on Trump.

                    1. They’ve failed to in 4 years… but “Mike” has faith that Big Brother will come through!

                    2. I’m not rooting for either side.

                    3. I think they know that, and are just using the impeachment process in a desperate hope to influence voters. BUT … logically, that doesn’t mean they won’t dig up some legitimate dirt on Trump.

                      Agreed. It reminds me very much of the Starr Commission. Like Clinton, Trump just sort of comes across as a crook, and not just a crook but sort of a careless one. They seem to feel pretty certain that if they just keep looking, they can’t possibly fail to find a crime. They are desperately incompetent, though, so we shall see.

                    4. Yeah, they have to come up with something a whole lot more damning than the alleged Ukrainian quid pro quo to convince the Senate to remove Trump from office.

                    5. The Starr commission that started with whitewater that ended in 12 actual convictions for fraud in an investment scheme the Clinton’s actually are a part of though claimed negligence.

                      They arent the same. Pelosi already dropped the criminal claims. The 3 claims they are gonna push are abuse of power (not an actual crime), obstruction (with acknowledgement they wont go to court to enforce subpeonas), and if I remember specifically obstruction of congress (because why pretend there are coequal branches).

                      Just like the Starr investigation.

                    6. They arent the same.

                      So you don’t think they’ve opened the “investigation” in the hopes that in the course of fishing they’ll uncover a real crime? I could swear you have expressed the opinion before that this whole thing is just a fishing expedition.

                      Could it be that you’re now so focused on disagreeing with me on this one narrow point that you’ve lost site of the larger argument?

                      Or are you just bothered that I compared Trump to Clinton?

                    7. Clinton perjured himself under oath while in office. You’ll have no trouble showing the equivalent of trump, right?

                    8. He’s pointing out that the Starr case was opened because of actual crimes, whereas this fishing expedition has no such probable cause

                    9. He’s pointing out that the Starr case was opened because of actual crimes, whereas this fishing expedition has no such probable cause

                      I get that. That doesn’t have anything to do with the analogy I was making.

                      The point I was making is that Schiff & Co. seem just as confident that Trump is a crook as Congressional Republicans were confident that Clinton was a crook in the ’90s. They were confident that if they looked hard enough they would find something that was definitely a crime.

                      I also opined that Trump seems freakin’ shady, and that I can understand why they would see things the way they do.

                      But please, please allow me to take this opportunity to affirm that I think Bill Clinton is a far, far shadier person than Donald Trump. That Trump is small peanuts shady to the pit of smoking blackness that is Bill Clinton.

                      Am I allowed to say something less than full-throatedly praising of Trump now?

                    10. Square, I was just pointing out the obvious that you seemed to be arguing against in your attempt to draw an (false) equivalence.
                      You can, and will, say whatever the fuck you want about Trump, so your asking the question is passive aggressive and disingenuous

                  2. Using impeachment as a tactic to eliminate elected political opponents is a coup. If it is done through nefarious means, it is probably treason.

                    This is probably one of those situations where the extraordinary consequences of overthrowing an elected administration requires extraordinary proof, and an absolutely transparent process. And the crimes should be serious enough that the vast majority of Americans would believe they are serious enough to warrant impeachment. Right now, it seem like the worst thing Trump did was ask Ukraine to investigate corruption and interference in our elections. If he had asked them to fabricate false evidence of Biden’s crimes, that would be different.
                    I think most people would believe that it is much more serious that an administration would threaten to withhold aid unless an ongoing investigation is stopped, than an administration ask that criminal activity be investigated.

                    1. Using impeachment as a tactic to eliminate elected political opponents is a coup. If it is done through nefarious means, it is probably treason.

                      A coup d’état (/ˌkuː deɪˈtɑː/ (About this soundlisten); French: [ku deta]), also known by its German name putsch (/pʊtʃ/), or simply as a coup, is the overthrow of an existing government by non-democratic means; typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

                      This is probably one of those situations where the extraordinary consequences of overthrowing an elected administration requires extraordinary proof, and an absolutely transparent process.

                      Probably? No. By constitutional law this is one of those situations where the extraordinary consequences of removing an elected leader from office requires a trial by the Senate followed by a two-thirds majority vote after the House passes formal articles of impeachment.

                      And the crimes should be serious enough that the vast majority of Americans would believe they are serious enough to warrant impeachment.

                      That is the political calculus involved, yes.

                      Right now, it seem like the worst thing Trump did was ask Ukraine to investigate corruption and interference in our elections.

                      Seems to you, yes.

                      If he had asked them to fabricate false evidence of Biden’s crimes, that would be different.

                      And that’s what he’s being accused of.

                      Schiff & Co. may convince enough of the House that there’s enough of a case to take it to the Senate, where it will die.

                    2. If he had asked them to fabricate false evidence of Biden’s crimes, that would be different.

                      And that’s what he’s being accused of.

                      No, actually, he’s not. He’s being accused of this–

                      ask(ing) Ukraine to investigate corruption and interference in our elections.

                      With the purported ‘quid pro quo’ being the ‘crime’.

                  3. The “whistlebower’s” lawyer explicitly referred to impeachment as a coup in Jan 2017.

                2. This whole insane fiasco is a colossal waste of time, energy & money!The actual phone call was released & there is ZERO evidence that Trump tried to extort anything from the Ukrainian Prez!!….He asks him to do a favor. The favor was never done. The aid was released anyway. CASE CLOSED!

                  1. Why won’t the Democrats see it your way?!

                3. Hey idiot, there’s only one whistleblower. The rest are people on record with their names and transcripts open for perusal. You need to get your facts straight. Also pick up a dictionary on what the word “coup” means. JFC are people on this planet really this stupid or are you trolling?

              2. Mike… how ignorant are you? There is a separation of powers issue. Many of the subpoenas requested are done so indeed the guise of judicial proceedings or impeachment, see the grand jury materials lawsuit. This isn’t being treated as an inquiry. If it was the separation doctrine would override requests. There is a reason Nancy isnt going to courts to ask for this decision dummy.

                1. Many of the subpoenas requested are done so indeed the guise of judicial proceedings or impeachment

                  The guise, yes, but without the substance. This is why members of the Executive are saying they don’t need to respond to the ‘subpoenas.’ I can send you a summons to my house and call it a ‘subpoena,’ but that doesn’t mean you have to respond to it.

                  1. And yet Congress is adding obstruction as one of the pillars for impeachment without bothering to go to a judge to enforce the subpoena or even attempt to.

                    But yeah, you dont think this investigation is bad because process doesnt matter, only that the end outcome is fine. No process as punishment for you.

                    1. And yet Congress is adding obstruction as one of the pillars for impeachment

                      Yes. That’s called “doubling down.” Did you expect them to say “ah – you’re right, we don’t actually have the authority to issue subpoenas. We’ll show ourselves out?”

                      without bothering to go to a judge to enforce the subpoena or even attempt to

                      Interesting, isn’t it? And what can they do to those who ignore their subpoenas without going to the courts? Answer: nothing.

                      Because Trump is not a private citizen facing a secret police tribunal in a dictatorship. He’s a coequal branch of government having a standoff with another coequal branch of government.

                      Nothing anyone decides or says in any of these hearings means anything whatsoever. The public hearings will carry more weight with the public, but only the Senate hearings mean anything.

                      The Dems are working to smear Trump. It really is that simple. You seem to be implying that that should be illegal.

                    2. You seem really, really invested in justifying this farce, square.
                      If your point is simply that it’s not technically illegal, you’ve made.
                      Over and over and over and over and over and over again.
                      It’s weird

                    3. If your point is simply that it’s not technically illegal, you’ve made.
                      Over and over and over and over and over and over again.

                      I wouldn’t think I should have to. Is there part of it that you think should be illegal?

                    4. I don’t think legal whistleblower protections should be conferred to someone who isn’t a whistleblower but used the procedure fraudulently.
                      And you don’t have to make the same point repeatedly – you choose to do so.
                      It’s a weird choice

                2. JesseAz, I’m trying to figure out what statement I ever made about the legitimacy of the House-issued subpoenas that you are trying to call me out on. I don’t claim any expertise on the subject of their legitimacy.

                  1. Basically every defense of the investigation you’ve made. You do, after all, keep bringing up obstruction, emoluments, and campaign fraud.

                    1. Your answer makes no sense. I never said a word on the legitimacy of the House subpoenas. The subject has never come up. I have no expertise or opinion on that.

                    2. Also, I’ve never mentioned obstruction even once.

                    3. Mike, you made the bizarre claim that trump should have appointed some odd independent investigator instead of asking an also independent sovereign government to look into corruption. We know that adam schiff outright lied about the transcript of the call and lied about his interactions with the leaker. Why haven’t you asked that schiff recuse himself from the process given his document conflicts of interest?

                      Being the neutral observer you are I’m sure that was just a curious oversight on your part.

            2. John : Atkinson believing it doesn’t settle the issue.

              Legally, it does. You do understand that, don’t you? It was the Inspector General’s responsibility to grant the complaint whistleblower status, which he did. All your snowflake whining can’t change that.

              Besides, what’s the point of your snit? We have the transcript, the panicked response inside the White House after the phone call, and the testimony (to date) of :

              (1) U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker

              (2) Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson

              (3) E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland

              (4) Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

              (5) State Department Ukraine-Russia expert George Kent

              (6) Former adviser to Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley

              (7) Bill Taylor, top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine

              (8) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

              That’s a partial list, but more than enough enough. The whistleblower account has been fully confirmed, re-confirmed, and re-confirmed multiple times yet again. Even if you get your childish desire to shit on messenger, it won’t change the damning testimony from the people listed above. And it won’t change the damning testimony yet to come.

              Because what the whistleblower described is the truth. Aside from the growing mountain of evidence, here’s another clue his complaint was spot-on : You, here, seething with petty rage for revenge on the person who exposed Trump. Not because it would change a single fact, just for the cathartic malice of it…..

              1. Not one of them stated Trump called for a quid pro quo. Multiple stated they heard Trump deny there was a quid pro quo and almost all of them just assumed their was. It was their assumptions, not direct evidence. In other words it confirmed nothing.

                1. Uh huh. Ever sit on a jury? I’m calculating the odds you use this same willing blindness see-no-evil gullibility with Joe Street-Corner Crack Dealer as evinced here, evidence be damned.

                  Gotta say : Those odds are pretty small. Well, if you held Donald John Trump to the same ethical standards as everyone else, you wouldn’t still have toady-status. Your stomach would have turned over a long time ago.

                  You’re just lucky he hadn’t gone off shooting strangers on Fifth Avenue. God alone knows how you’d manage to excuse that….

            3. John : The fact remains the guy has no first hand knowledge and everyone who does says he is wrong. Sorry but I have to believe my lying eyes on that one.

              (1) Everybody who does says he is wrong, huh? I guess Trump’s bootlickers have learned black-is-white lying at the foot of their master. (probably got in a few good licks while they were down there) Unfortunately for John, the world is full of normal people who don’t live in a fantasy world.

              (2) Speaking of which, the last AP-NORC poll from a week ago had plus-70% of Americans saying Trump’s call was either unethical or illegal. Seems like normal folk are seeing something very different from John. Maybe he shouldn’t “believe” lies – either from his eyes, or his befuddled brain, or his Cult Lord……

              1. Yes, because push polls are known for their accuracy. What, they are considered the least reliable polling. Surely not GRB insists the walls are closing in.

                1. Yep. Any inconvenient poll is – of course – now a “push poll”

                  Why? Because soldiermedic76 has a world he wants to live in and damn if no pesky reality is gonna get in the way. How’s the weather on your Special Planet anyway?

                  For the record, the question was :

                  When it comes to Donald Trump’s interactions with the president of Ukraine, do you think Trump has done something illegal, or he has done something unethical, but not illegal, or do you think he has not done anything wrong?

                  (soldiermedic76 clutches his lace hanky – sobs in an anguished voice, “It’s so unnfffaiiirrrrrr…”

                  1. It is a suggestive question, no grasping at straws involved. The question is designed in such a way to get the answer they want. You can believe he did something wrong but not unethical e.g. he mishandled it. The only one denying reality is you it’s fairly obvious to anyone reading your posts. You are so invested in hating Trump you are twisting yourself around to try and make it fit your narrative. Did Trump do something illegal, the evidence doesn’t seem to support this. Did he do something unethical? Much harder to answer but if Biden did use his office to protect his son then Biden should have been investigated. Did Trump do nothing wrong? No, as always Trump mishandled the situation because he doesn’t understand subtility. But that doesn’t make it illegal or unethical. You see by limiting it to only three choices, two of which are negative the poller has pushed the pollees into giving an answer that they may not agree with. Someone who believes like I do that Trump once again fucked up but it wasn’t illegal or unethical may feel that they can’t answer that Trump did nothing wrong so they are left with two choices. By excluding a “I don’t know” or “something else” they don’t capture this group’s true feelings. Logic isn’t one of your stronger suits is it?

                    1. I wonder how often other presidents “fucked up” if we had access to transcripts of their phone calls to other nation’s leaders.
                      The one between Merkel and Obama after he got caught spying on her must’ve been fun

                    2. Nardz : “I wonder how often other presidents “fucked up” if we had access to transcripts of their phone calls to other nation’s leaders”

                      Something to wonder. I guess. Me? I remember months of Trump chanting “no collusion” at every public opportunity. It was crazy, Trump said, for his critics to suggest collusion was even possible.

                      Yet what do we find? Even before Mueller released his report, Trump had already loosed Giulliani, Parnas, and Fruman on Ukraine, attempting to force a foreign government into collusion to affect a U.S. election.

                      Mueller’s testimony to Congress was just one day before Trump’s Ukraine call, with its Godfather-style extortion and demands : “We’ve been good to you”, therefore we expect “reciprocal” behavior and a “favor”, therefore investigate the bullshit I tell you to investigate (or else).

                      Kurt Volker had an “awkward conversation” with President Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak at the early-July Ukraine Reform Conference. Special Representative Volker was lecturing Yermak how it would be inappropriate for the new administration to investigate it’s predecessor, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

                      “And then Yermak said: What? You mean the type of investigations you’re pushing for us to do on Biden and Clinton?” This was weeks before the infamous phone call……

                      “No collusion”, huh? Apparently that wasn’t operative very long. Or perhaps we’re just short a few Trump-Putin transcripts…….

                  2. Have you not figured it out yet?

                    Trumptards don’t give two fucks about reality, facts, or truth. Anything they see or hear which disputes their belief that Trump is the greatest POTUS ever, is automatically false, a coup, a hoax, a conspiracy theory, etc.

                    Nothing is true unless Trump says it’s true, or it makes Trump look good.

                    These brain-dead dipshits have lost any and all ability they ever had to operate in the real world. Each and every one of them should kill themselves and spare society their stupidity.

                    1. Hivemind mad!

                    2. You deserve the full Kent State.

          3. Atkinson also stated he was unaware of the co tact with Schiffs office or other items that demonstrate bias since Ciaramellas name was outed.

            1. And if Ciaramella is really “outed” as the whistleblower, so, what? The whistleblower’s account has already been confirmed a dozen times over (and more). You know you’ve got a small problem there, right?

              A week before the phone call, Sondland tells visiting Ukrainian officials the price of a White House visit for President Zelensky is a public announcement of an investigation targeting Biden. Public is a ironclad requirement of this quid pro quo; Sondland even demands Zelensky sign a paper committing to it. There are a roomful of witnesses. John Bolton storms out the meeting enraged over this petty sleazy crap. So let’s say you smear and slime Ciaramellas (whether he’s the guy or not). I’m sure that will cheer your cold shriveled little heart, but will it change any of the facts about Sondland’s meeting? Nope.

              One of Giuliani’s little thugs, Lev Parnas, is currently negotiating to flip. Just think of the things he’s seen! Parnas (with Igor Fruman) was Rudy’s go-between conveying shakedown demands to Ukrainian officials. He was the bagman paying off Pete Sessions to buy an anti-Ambassador Yovanovitch smear letter. He coordinated negotiations between Giuliani, disgraced former prosecutor Victor Shokin, and exiled Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (who’s desperately fighting U.S. extradition on bribery charges). Let’s say you get petty revenge against Ciaramellas. What’s the point if Parnas testifies?

              1. Negotiating to flip … with whom? The federal prosecutors that, ultimately, work for Trump? If Parnas is “negotiating” it is because Trump is allowing it to happen.

                What do you think ? That the Southern District of New York is a separate branch of government?

                1. My understanding is testimony before Congress. Whether New York is involved is uncertain, but for Parnas that’s probably a moot point. Prosecutors find it difficult to successfully take someone to trial after a public congressional show. Theoretically the immunity of the latter doesn’t effect the former, but Oliver North (among others) proved that’s not the case….

          4. And the bullshit begins………

            I reflexively assume everything GRB says is lies/distortions. As he is both a moron, and completely lacking in any credibility.

          5. (3) That’s hardly surprising, since the complaint has since been proven true a dozen times over by witness after witness.

            In fact, the “whistleblower complaint” has been disproven multiple times. On top of that, it appears that the whistleblower was politically motivated and had contact with House Democrats as part of filing the complaint.

            All of that means that it’s not a whistleblower complaint at all, but part of an orchestrated political attack for which Ciaramella should lose his job and be held responsible, as should his collaborators in the House.

        2. “Just because you blow the whistle doesn’t mean you are telling the truth.”

          Haven’t you ever heard of a rape whistle?
          #believevictims #metoo #abolishpinktax #fatandbeautiful

          1. Of course not. That is why the inquiry has been subpoenaing other witnesses. And it is why public inquiry will start next week. And it is why, if this whole thing make it that far, there will be a trial in the Senate.

            1. Limiting what can be asked is always the sign of a serious inquiry…

              1. Well, let’s see if the House Democrats try to limit what the House Republicans can ask during the public inquiry. If they do, I agree it will make the Democrats look bad.

                As a non-partisan, I just can’t get worked up into a lather over limitations that were put on the Republicans’ questioning during these initial closed-door hearings. The Democrats gave the passable explanation that the limits were only for national security reasons, and the stakes of what happens in this first phase of impeachment are so low, I’m not sure why anyone here in a commentariat that is presumably made up of non-partisan libertarians is so livid about it.

                1. “Well, let’s see if the House Democrats try to limit what the House Republicans can ask during the public inquiry.”

                  Schiff has already sent out the limitations. So, yes, they are. The GOP won’t be allowed to even call witnesses Schiff disapproves of

                  1. Shhhhh. Mike enjoys living in ignorance. See his co ti used posts on emoluments and campaign fraud.

                    1. You still have not said what your source is for your certainty that information is not counted as a non-monetary campaign contribution.

                  2. I didn’t know about that. Like I said, if the Democrats limit the Republicans in unreasonable ways during the public hearings it will make the Dems look bad.

                2. Because by limiting the Republicans line of questioning, their ability to introduce exculpatory witnesses and limiting their time, Schiff was creating a narrative not seeking facts.

                3. None of that passes the smell test when you consider Adam Schiff’s outright lies and fraud. He belongs in prison.

                4. As a non-partisan illiberal, dishonest, statist, authoritarian a–hole

                  There, FTFY, Mike.

                  1. You gotta take out the “non” before “partisan” to really fix it

    2. This guy, ironically, does have first hand knowledge of a crime: Whoever spoke to him about the phone call disclosed classified information to an unauthorized recipient.

      1. That was my first thought when this originally came out: That there were crimes exposed, but they weren’t Trump’s.

    3. damikesc : A whistleblower with first-hand knowledge is a whistleblower. One without is a gossip at best.

      Ya got two major problems there, guy :

      (1) The definition of “whistleblower” is strictly defined by government regs

      (2) Those regulations don’t require first-hand knowledge.

      The Intelligence Community Inspector General’s Office (ICIG) put out a statement on this on 30 September, which I’ll quote :

      “In fact, by law the Complainant – or any individual in the Intelligence Community who wants to report information with respect to an urgent concern to the congressional intelligence committees – need not possess first-hand information in order to file a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern. The ICIG cannot add conditions to the filing of an urgent concern that do not exist in law. Since Inspector General Atkinson entered on duty as the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, the ICIG has not rejected the filing of an alleged urgent concern due to a whistleblower’s lack of first-hand knowledge of the allegations”

      So aside from being completely wrong, you’re – well – completely wrong. (the opposite of right)

      1. Not having first hand knowledge decreases his reliability considerably. But you are ignoring that because it suits your narrative.

        1. GRB is always absolutely filled with shit. Possibly the most outright dishonest poster here.

        2. soldiermedic76 : “Not having first hand knowledge decreases his reliability considerably”

          On the other hand, having multiple witnesses prove the complaint true does wonders to balance the scales, ya think?

          1. But they haven’t. In fact all testified that they never heard the President make any direct order that aid will be withheld unless the Ukrainians investigated Biden. Not a single witness. It was not backed up. Multiple ones testified they assumed that was the President’s wish but none heard him say it and in testimony witnesses also stated Trump stated there was no quid pro quo and 5he Ukrainians deny there was any quid pro quo or any pressure period. They also state they never knew aid was held up at all until after the restarted the investigation. So no verification.

            1. All these employees all making bad assumptions! I wonder what Giuliani told them to make them so confused? After all, for some reason, the president kept telling ambassadors, military, his staff, the attorney general, both Ukrainian and U.S. staff alike to “talk to Rudy”.

              The president’s personal attorney, seemingly in charge of a proxy war with a nuclear power. Gee I feel safe.
              Very, very odd.

          2. Nobody has.

            Taylor’s evidence was a NYT article.
            Vindman’s proof was that the OTHER three people who worked on the transcription didn’t agree with him and he felt Trump shouldn’t lead US foreign policy.
            The former ambassador has ALREADY perjured herself, so her trustworthiness is nil.

  2. “But the way Paul is talking about revealing the whistleblower now—during the investigation itself—is akin to the police revealing the names of witnesses to a suspect long before that suspect has been charged with any crime.”

    Scott, is it a criminal case or not?

    If it’s not, your comparison to a criminal case is borderline retarded. Paul isn’t a law enforcement officer. And the name is (Ciaramella) isn’t unknown. Just because Reason thinks he’s nifty does not mean the information is not already quite public.

    1. It is as the media is always reminding us whenever it is convenient, a political process. And Paul has every right to demand that that process be full and open to the public and that the Senate not waste its time conducting a trial over events the witnesses and accusers have been unwilling to testify under oath publicly.

      1. Speaking of the media, CBS fired the former ABC employee who leaked the video of the anchor babe bitching about ABC spiking the Epstein story.

        Makes one wonder why CBS would fire somebody for what they did at a competitor. Or why the media hates whistleblowers so…

        1. They are all about protecting whistle blowers, unless the whistle involves their refusing to report on Democrats involved in a sex slave ring.

          1. Remember that while the entire media had a panic attack over Trumps comments on the Access Hollywood tape, those same people knew that Epstein was raping children… and forcefully covered it up.

            Of course the hypocrisy of it all doesn’t even faze them, in fact hypocrisy defines them.
            But maybe it’s not so much hypocrisy as it is a form of psychosis, an egotistical imbalance serious enough to require help, a superiority complex of substantial proportions that negates introspection but protects them from thought.

            1. But maybe it’s not so much hypocrisy as it is a form of psychosis, an egotistical imbalance serious enough to require help, a superiority complex of substantial proportions that negates introspection but protects them from thought.

              AKA “sociopaths.”

        2. Check out the new rules Schiff just introduced. Republicans can now only request witnesses that agree with the democrat narrative.

          https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/07/adam-schiff-makes-up-new-rules-for-impeachment-inquiry-restricts-republican-witness-questions/

          1. Well, given that the GOP has openly said their first witness would be Schiff, I’m less than shocked.

            1. And since he worked with the so called whistleblower on his statement why shouldn’t he be called?

              1. Also like how Dems, reportedly, are warning the GOP to not call Biden as a witness in the Senate.

                Yeah, get right on that.

          2. It’s a kangaroo court. For one person – Schitt – to have dictatorial control over the witness list is absurd.

          3. JesseAz : “Check out the new rules Schiff just introduced. Republicans can now only request witnesses that agree with the democrat narrative”

            I think you’ll find any legal-like investigation venue limits its scope to the issue being investigated. If you doubt me, try this experiment, Jesse : Get yourself arrested (you choose the charge), be your own attorney, and then demand to call witnesses on any damn topic you choose. Hell, pick the Deep State Conspiracy against Trump as your tin-foil-hat subject.

            See if your presiding magistrate is amused, then duck as he goes off on you. The accusations against Trump are the scope Schiff lists :

            (1) Did the President request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the President’s personal political interests?

            (2) Did the President (directly or through agents) seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on Ukraine to advance the President’s personal political interests?

            (3) Did the President and his Administration seek to obstruct, suppress, or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the President’s actions and conduct?

            Let’s hear the evidence. You can’t be afraid of that, can you?

            1. Why limit their questioning to only three pre determined questions? All of which are accusatory in nature. Limiting the Republicans to predetermined questions is dirty as hell. It is perfectly acceptable for a defense attorney to question the integrity of a witness and or their liability.
              Notice the one question left out? Did you personally witness the President or receive official notice from the president that there was a quid pro quo. Do you know why Schiff barred that question? Because all witnesses so far have stated that no, they never had an official order and they just assumed that was the President’s wishes. This is destroying Schiff’s narrative so now he bars Republicans from asking this question. That is indefenisible. It makes it look even more like they have reached a verdict before hand and are now holding a trial for appearance sake.

              1. Exactly how does it limit a defense attorney ability to question the integrity of a witness? I wonder what lurid sideshows you have in mind with that claim.

                Here’s a hint how whiny-stupid-dishonest your complaining is : You seem (honestly?) convinced Schiff will forbid the question “Did you personally witness the President or receive official notice from the president that there was a quid pro quo” You claim he “barred that question”

                Which is of course a lying-thru-your-teeth total falsehood, based on nothing but your determination to dissemble and deceive.

                But after all, that’s your cult lord’s stock-in-trade. Why should you be any different than the corrupt weasel you desperately defend?

                1. He did by limiting them to just those three questions. That means they can’t ask any other questions. What the fuck part of that is so hard to understand?
                  As for how it limits them to question a witnesses reliability, again he has rules they can only ask these three questions. Nothing else. So they can’t ask if they heard the President say anything. They can’t ask how they come by this information. They can’t ask if they have a personal motive. Just these three questions. None of which addresses the underlying reliability or accuracy of the witnesses testimony. You are really fucking stupid if you think by limiting the Republicans to just three pre approved questions, that he is going for transparency and not going for a predetermined outcome. But you hate Trump so much you can’t admit this. And before you say it is because I love Trump, I voted against him in 2016.

                  1. God have mercy, can’t you see how incredibly stupid that response is ?!? Apparently you’ve convinced yourself Trump’s defenders must read those three exact quotes off a cue card to each witness in turn. How could anyone believe something that moronic? I’ll tell you how : Because you’re so damn ate-up with snowflake victim-hood bullshit, pretzel logic has twisted your brain in knots.

                    NOTHING in Schiff’s rules restrict asking whether Trump personally did-or-didn’t do anything. It doesn’t matter Schiff didn’t list a Point Four with that individual question. If you still don’t understand this – please – find someone to explain it to you.

                    Please

                    1. He has limited them to just these three lines of inquiry and won’t let them ask anything else but these three lines of j quiet, ergo they can’t ask how they come by their information or if they had first hand knowledge. What part of that is so hard to understand? BTW that isn’t how you use the term ate-up.

                    2. It does limit it because that is outside the lines of inquiry that he will allow. Are you purposely being obtuse or are you really that stupid?

                    3. Grb: big fan of soviet style justice

            2. Let’s hear the evidence.

              Yeah, let’s hear the evidence. So far, there’s been nothing but “so-and-so told me this, and I heard that from whozit, and these other guys didn’t agree with what I was saying.”

      2. Reason prefers the secret IC initiated investigations as compared to openness about a political process. They still jerk it to Amash while trying to condemn Paul.

    2. >>>Just because Reason thinks he’s nifty

      this part crosses the Retarded border.

      1. Not really. They took his report basically as truth and havent had one article I’ve seen where they’ve even mentioned the inaccuracies in his report.

        1. i *believe* we agree.

    3. I like how reason is still pretending we dont know who Ciaramella is so they can avoid discussing his blatant bias and past actions.

      Also the cries about his safety are just idiotic. Hes gonna be pretty damn safe in d.c. of all places.

      1. Hes gonna be pretty damn safe in d.c. of all places.

        Someone hasn’t been to DC.

      2. He’ll be safe until it becomes clear to even CNN that he’s a lying schill, after that, another Clinton-grade suicide might be warranted.

        1. Given he’s already been proven right two-score times over – starting with the quasi-“transcript” and continuing thru witness after witness – that doesn’t leave much room for him to be a “lying shill”, does it? Maybe he cheats at golf?

          Given he was 100% factual about Trump, we have to find something. Right?

          1. He hasn’t been though, not a single witness has stated that the President ever stated that it was a quid pro quo. The Ukrainians deny there was a quid pro quo. And a number of witnesses testified Trump stated that there was no quid pro quo and he didn’t want one. It was all assumptions on their parts.

            1. Like I keep saying, the Democrats accuse Trump of being the getaway driver for a bank robbery. They prove he drove by the bank, and just assume there was a bank robbery.

              And every single time somebody disputes the bank robbery, they triumphantly point to the proof he drove by the bank.

          2. “Given he’s already been proven right two-score times over”

            Every time you say this the number gets bigger, much like the story of the fish that got away.

      3. He is not on the bad side of the Clintons…yet.

      4. Hell…Schiff outed him.

    4. damikesc : “If it’s not, your comparison to a criminal case is borderline retarded”

      Two points :

      (1) Retarded is such an ugly word. Alas, these are ugly times. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something other that a sleazy imbecilic man-child incompetent turd as president? Gotta think that would improve the zeitgeist…..

      (2) Calling Scott’s metaphor retarded is – well – retarded. The legal protection granted to whistleblowers by the U.S. government does not depend on whether the complaint results in criminal charges or not. Now whether Paul’s position protects him from the consequences of venal lawbreaking is well beyond my puny legal knowledge. Oh course it’s unethical & sleazy but – hey – we live in the age of Trump. That’s the air we breathe…..

      1. Schiff already outed the douche by not redacting his name in “testimony” released by him.

      2. The legal protection granted to whistleblowers doesn’t include anonymity. It precludes retaliation in regard to employment. The whole premise is idiotic since he doesn’t have this to begin with. Paul’s bill doesn’t effect his status in any way.

  3. dudes just stop pretending. we all know already.

  4. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t on the one hand claim “this is a political process” whenever someone points out that there are no actual crimes being alleged or what an absurd attack on due process the whole inquiry is and then turn around and claim it is a criminal process such that the President doesn’t have a right to confront his accusers before a trial in the Senate. That is bullshit.

    Yes, this is a political process. And political processes must be transparent and open to the public to be legitimate. If the House wants to drag the country through an impeachment trial, fine. They need to have hearings, put the witnesses under oath before the public, allow both parties to call witnesses and put the whole bloody thing out there for the public to see and make their own judgement and then have a vote on it.

    If they are unwilling to do that, then there is no reason for the public to take any of this seriously. It doesn’t matter what someone says if they are unwilling to say it publicly and under oath. The Democrats of course can do whatever they have the votes to do. That fact, however, doesn’t make what they do in any way legitimate or in any way warranting any fair minded person taking it seriously.

    1. You can’t on the one hand claim “this is a political process” whenever someone points out that there are no actual crimes being alleged or what an absurd attack on due process the whole inquiry is and then turn around and claim it is a criminal process such that the President doesn’t have a right to confront his accusers

      Let’s see… ah, here it is.

      “ The Ukraine investigation has not yet “resulted in an impeachment proceeding,” and the House of Representatives has not yet voted to impeach Trump. Paul will know when that happens because he will essentially serve as a juror as a member of the Senate. What’s more, impeachment is not a criminal prosecution. The only “penalty” that will directly come from impeachment would be Trump’s removal from office.”

      1. Yes, Shackford is claiming that this is political process not a criminal one. Then he turns around and says that Paul has no right to demand that Ciamarella testify in public. Bullshit. If it is a political process, Paul has every right to expect that. Indeed, as I explain in the post, the fact that it is a political process means that it has to be conduct in public and in a transparent way or it has no legitimacy or credibility.

        You should try reading the posts before responding. You would do better.

        1. You should try reading the posts before responding.

          He did literally the best he possibly he could. That’s the sad part.

        2. There are no rules for a political process. That’s what makes it a political process.

          Rand doesn’t have a right to expect anything, but he does have a right, as part of a political process, to point out the bad politics of conducting the political process in secret.

          1. Good, good. You managed to restate exactly what John said.

            1. Back to show off your astounding stupidity, are you?

              Why are you so scared to use the same name any two days running?

              1. Coming from a moron who unashamedly thinks Marvel comic book movies are high art and feature films can be produced on an iPhone, your insults are about as serious as the rest of your thinking.

                You seem to be able to ascertain who I am without too much difficulty. Is there any particular reason I should stick with just one ridiculous moniker utterly untethered to my real identity?

                1. Still showing off your lack of reading skills, I see.

                  Is there any particular reason I should stick with just one ridiculous moniker utterly untethered to my real identity?

                  No – people still wouldn’t take you seriously.

          2. Sure, there are no rules for political process. But that doesn’t mean every political process is legitimate. Political processes that are done in secret without any transparency to the public are illegitimate. As I said above, the Democrats have the power to do anything they like. And fair minded people have the power to judge them for that and decide the entire thing is an illegitimate joke.

            1. Exactly. The Dems can be as secretive as they want. It isn’t smart, and is likely to blow up in their faces, but there are no rules saying they can’t do it. And there are no rules against Rand pointing out that they’re doing it and calling them doo-doo heads.

              1. Paul is right to demand it be transparent. Just because the Democrats can run an idiotic shit show doesn’t mean they should or that it is the right thing to do.

                1. Just because the Democrats can run an idiotic shit show doesn’t mean they should or that it is the right thing to do.

                  Agreed. But they’re not breaking any rules. They’re just being idiots.

                2. Rand Paul is demanding more than transparency. He is demanding outing a whistleblower.

                  1. Whose motives have been questioned. And calling him a whistleblower is a stretch. Why does he deserve secrecy?

                    1. Well, it appears his attorney does seem to know something about using the government to intimidate people into silence. So maybe he recognizes the benefit of secrecy. Even if he would deny it to others.

                      https://twitter.com/TeaPartyTrumper/status/1192139890303098880/photo/1

                      Hey Shackford: Are these really the sorts of people you want to hitch your wagon to?

                    2. It’s not just me *calling* him a whistleblower. The Federal laws and the House have granted him whistleblower status.

                      You can argue that those laws are wrong or should be changed. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you, depending on your argument.

                    3. The rules of the whistleblower act under the IC regulations dont even cover this complaint. The OC regulations only pertain to people and actions committed under the IC governance. The president does not fall under this category. Again this has been pointed out to you often. Are you really this dense?

                    4. “The Federal laws and the House have granted him whistleblower status.”

                      Wrong on both counts. You’ve already been corrected on the law, and the House has not passed any resolution deeming him a “whistleblower,” or “Fifteen minutes of Famous” (which would be equally substantive.) House members can call him whatever they want, none of which makes it so/

                      Jeff you are as tedious as ever.

                    5. “The rules of the whistleblower act under the IC regulations dont even cover this complaint. The OC regulations only pertain to people and actions committed under the IC governance. The president does not fall under this category. Again this has been pointed out to you often. Are you really this dense?”

                      If it’s been pointed out to me before, I apologize. This is the first time I have seen this argument made.

                    6. Hmm, went off and read more about the controversy. Being precise, the controversy was over whether the Director of National Intelligence had to hand over the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress. That is a distinct question from whether the whistleblower himself is protected by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.

              2. And yet you and the Reason staff only seem to find cause to run your jaw about Rand Paul and not about the Democratic star chamber. Why, it’s almost like you’re a pathetic nearly-retarded partisan zombie.

                1. Open wider, clinger.

                  Or not.

                  You’ll be swallowing progress preferred by your betters either way.

              3. His complaint was Shakford supporting the view in regards to safety using the criminal trial example which was silly.

                1. Yes Jessee, that was my point. Thank you.

                2. His complaint was Shakford supporting the view in regards to safety using the criminal trial example which was silly.

                  I didn’t think it was so silly. He was saying that the demand to out the whistleblower is being based on the rules for criminal trials, which this is not. And furthermore (according to Shack’s argument), even if it were a criminal trial, you wouldn’t do that at this stage, anyway.

                  1. Shackford is wrong about that. The testimony and identity of witnesses is made known to the defendent in a criminal case long before a trial. A criminal defendant knows who the witnesses are and his attorney has access to them well before there is even an indictment much less a trial. This idea that criminal cases are conducted by ambush where the defendant doesn’t have access to even who the witnesses are until trial is complete bunk. And journalist after journalist keeps repeating the same stupid talking point that Shackford does here.

                    1. The testimony and identity of witnesses is made known to the defendent in a criminal case long before a trial.

                      But not before the defendant is arrested and charged.

                      This idea that criminal cases are conducted by ambush where the defendant doesn’t have access to even who the witnesses are until trial is complete bunk.

                      From the article:

                      “If the information from the Ukraine whistleblower were to be used as evidence in a criminal trial, Trump would be protected by the Sixth Amendment’s right to confront and defend himself against his accusers. He doesn’t need Paul’s bill to exercise that right.

                      It’s even reasonable to expect that Trump should be allowed to face the whistleblower if his impeachment proceeds to the Senate and the whistleblower’s testimony is used as evidence. If the whistleblower won’t come forward, Paul can use that as justification for declining to remove Trump from office.”

                    2. Shackford is claiming that the House shouldn’t have to produce these witnesses before they vote to impeach. And that is just bullshit and Shackford knows it.

                    3. You’re skipping a step, John. The House is going to start a public inquiry next week before any vote to impeach.

                    4. And the bottom line is that there is no requirement for the House to hear any testimony from anyone prior to drafting and passing articles of impeachment.

                      Should they draft articles without hearing any testimony? Of course not. Are they dumb enough to do so anyway? Well, let’s wait and see.

                    5. They are trying to generate a laundry list of allegations.

                      They will never actually vote to send any of it on the Senate.

                    6. They are trying to generate a laundry list of allegations.

                      Definitely.

                      They will never actually vote to send any of it on the Senate.

                      Maybe, maybe not. I think the calculus will be whether or not they can spin a ‘no’ vote from the Senate as Republicans “putting Party over Country.”

                      At the very least, the laundry list will go out with a “House Republicans blocked this somehow,” but that’s going land with a heavier, wetter thud.

                    7. “whether or not they can spin a ‘no’ vote from the Senate as Republicans “putting Party over Country.”

                      What makes you think there would be an up or down vote before the election?

                      Senate Republicans could do just about anything they want once the ball is in their court. Including a long, drawn out, very public affair where they subpoena a whole raft of Democrats and media fellow travelers and place them under oath (whether or not they permit any sort of Senate Democrat cross/rebuttal depending on just how badly Schiff/Pelosi have overplayed their free hand.)

                      I repeat, there is almost no way this ever gets to the Senate. The unlikely chance being after a general election where Trump retains the Presidency but the Repubs lose the Senate (an unlikely outcome to say the least.)

                    8. What makes you think there would be an up or down vote before the election?

                      Mitch McConnell saying that if it goes to the Senate, they’ll vote on it before Christmas.

                    9. “Mitch McConnell saying that if it goes to the Senate, they’ll vote on it before Christmas.”

                      Today is November 7th 2019, exactly when do you expect the House to have a final vote on the articles of Impeachment?

                      And then you think there will be time for a trial and a vote in the Senate before the holiday recess?

                      Yeah, sure.

                    10. Today is November 7th 2019, exactly when do you expect the House to have a final vote on the articles of Impeachment?

                      He said this some weeks back, when the Dems were acting like this was going to go like lightening.

                      His obvious point was that this is isn’t going to go anywhere in the Senate. This isn’t some nefarious plot I dreamed up – this is what Mitch said. I thought he was being optimistic about the timeline, but you know politicians can wax rhetorical at times . . . .

              4. And to the extent that their “whistleblower testimony” is a political act then the “whistleblower” deserves no legal protections that we extend to actual whistleblowers.

                But I suppose that sort of operational principle is just plain foreign to Reason ‘libertarians.’

                1. And to the extent that their “whistleblower testimony” is a political act then the “whistleblower” deserves no legal protections that we extend to actual whistleblowers.

                  Other than legal “whistleblower” protections, correct.

                  1. Actual whistleblowers deserve protections, this guy hasn’t done anything deserving of actual protection.

                    That’s why he’s a “whistleblower” and not – you know – an actual whistleblower.

                    1. Because part of navigating actual legal and political disputes is letting narratives play themselves out. I’ve had to sit across the table from some truly scummy people telling some pretty jaw-dropping lies, but there are ways of pulling the rug out and there are ways of just making it worse.

                      I think most of us are pretty skeptical of this guy’s status as a ‘true’ whistleblower. But we also don’t want the precedent that the President or other officials just get to decide whether or not a “whistleblower” is a whistleblower before anyone hears what the whistleblower has to say.

                      IOW, you can’t demand that the other side obey due process, but then claim that you yourself don’t have to. In my experience in conflicts with slimeballs, as long you’re not being a slimeball yourself, the slime comes out in the wash, so to speak.

                      Are those in the Trump administration actually not being slimeballs themselves? Well, let’s wait and see.

                    2. “…before anyone hears what the whistleblower has to say.”

                      LOL

                      Too much argle in your bargle.

                    3. Too much argle in your bargle.

                      Yeah – I get we’ve all already heard what he has to say. What I’m talking about the narrative. Law and politics are games played with narratives.

                      Both players in the game have already agreed to play by the ‘whistleblower’ rules, for their different purposes. The way you deal with that is you pretend that you think your opponent is behaving in good faith. Like Columbo. You don’t tip your hand on the first play – you let them spin their narrative and keep asking questions about it until it falls apart.

                    4. Columbo was proceeding from the knowledge that there was an actual crime.

                      In the absence of which pointing a laughing at people trying to spin ‘narrative’ whole cloth is entirely apropos.

                      Hence, LOL.

                    5. Columbo was proceeding from the knowledge that there was an actual crime.

                      In my scenario I am casting you in the part of Columbo, and Congressional Dems in the part of the crooks.

                    6. “In my scenario I am casting you in the part of Columbo, and Congressional Dems in the part of the crooks.”

                      Yeah. I got that… What you somehow missed is that I cannot be ‘Columbo’ because there is no knowledge of an actual crime. On my part (either me or Columbo-me) or anyone’s part.

                      Your insistence that I must “allow them to spin until it falls apart” is silly. Why do I (or anyone else) owe such fabulists (or maybe they really are delusional) the time of day or any degree of credulity.

                      They are incredible.

                    7. Okay, I thought we were a few steps farther down the road than that.

                      If you’re not sure whether or not your opponent is a lying crook, then that’s actually all the more reason to continue to let their narrative play out, because if they are lying, it’s more likely to come out that way, and if they aren’t it’s going to come back to bite you.

                      Just look at how Congressional Republicans handled the Mueller Report. They played it straight right up until it fell apart.

                      See?

        3. You expect sparky to comprehend anything?

        4. In a criminal process, the accused has the right to face his accuser.
          In a political process, no such rule exists.
          Therefore, since this is a political process, the accused has the right to face his accuser.

          Well hey, at least rage Tulpa agrees with your fucked up logic. So you’ve got that going for you.

          1. You still dont understand what his argument was. Shit man. just stop. He said nothing about rules or rights.

            1. His whole post was about rules and rights. John thinks that just because there are no rules for a political process doesn’t mean rules for a criminal process shouldn’t be used. John just wants people to stop making up rules to nail Trump for violating because he’s up Trump’s ass, not because he gives a damn about political processes.

              1. His point is that Shackford’s argument is inconsistent, supporting or opposing criminal/political standards alternately according to which is convenient for his preferred outcome/feelz

                1. Ok, fake Tulpa.

              2. John thinks that just because there are no rules for a political process doesn’t mean rules for a criminal process shouldn’t be used.

                Yes that is exactly what I am saying. If it is a political process, you can’t then claim to use rules for criminal processes whenever it suits you, especially when doing so destroys the transparency and legitimacy of the political process.

                1. Precisely.

                  “It’s not a criminal process, so Trump is not entitled to face his accuser.”

                  At the same time …..

                  “We wouldn’t reveal a witness in a criminal proceeding, now would we? That would be stupid. So, why should we do it now?”

                  And at the same time ….

                  “I can’t believe the Republican Senate is just going to brush this off!! Imagine if they did in a criminal trial!! Imagine! The INJUSTICE!”

              3. You again show you cant comprehend his actual argument. My god man. Stop digging.

                1. JesseAz
                  November.7.2019 at 2:44 pm
                  You still dont understand what his argument was. Shit man. just stop. He said nothing about rules or rights.

                  John
                  November.7.2019 at 3:14 pm
                  Yes that is exactly what I am saying. If it is a political process, you can’t then claim to use rules for criminal processes whenever it suits you, especially when doing so destroys the transparency and legitimacy of the political process.

                  1. Poor Jesse caught lying again.

                    1. Do you need a dictionary for the lie? John also agreed with me above. If you noticed shackford used a protected witness in a criminal protection as reason for anonymity. The pick and choose of what criminal protections the witness gets vs Trump is what John was complaining about dumbfuck. The very point you still dont get

                      Care to try again shithead?

          2. Nothing I said contradicts that. My point is that for a political process to be legitimate, it needs to be open and transparent. And no, there are times in a criminal process where it isn’t open and transparent. Grand Jury proceeding for example are secret.

            So if this isn’t a criminal process but a political one, then it shouldn’t be run in secret at all. The whole point of a political process is for it to have legitimacy with the public. You and Shackford seem to think “it is political” means it is legitimate no matter what it is. No its not. And that is my point that you seem completely unable to understand much less give a coherent response to.

            1. You and Shackford seem to think “it is political” means it is legitimate no matter what it is.

              I think that depends on how you define “legitimate.” Legitimate in the sense that there are no rules against what they are doing? Then yes, it’s perfectly legitimate. Legitimate in the sense that it doesn’t stink to high heaven of dishonest politicking? Then, it lacks legitimacy (but if the voters go along with it, does it really?).

              1. I seriously doubt the voters will. And something that is illegitimate remains so even if some majority of the public like it.

                1. I seriously doubt the voters will.

                  Agreed.

                  And something that is illegitimate remains so even if some majority of the public like it.

                  Depends again on what you mean by “legitimate.” Constitutionally sound? Yes. Morally wrong? Maybe so.

    2. Since the phone call was to the Ukraine, just try him through a FISA court and let the public know about it two or three more Presidents down the line.

    3. The Reason logic here is identical to the logic to “justify” the sexual assault star chamber tribunals on college campuses.

      1. Oh come on, it’s just a secret non-trial for a non-crime resulting in the removal of the president from his duly elected office, it’s not like it’s a serious criminal proceeding like traffic court.

        1. The secret non-trial cannot result in the removal of the president.

          But you’re astoundingly stupid, so I can see how you missed that.

          1. Yes yes, the secret results of the secret investigation will have to go to the senate first. We have a proper trials before our hangings in this country, we’re not savages.

            1. Yes yes, the secret results of the secret investigation will have to go to the senate first.

              Where it all gets dragged into the public and the Republicans who dominate the Senate vote how, do you suppose?

              You really just don’t get how this works at all, do you?

          2. It’s cute that you think it is anything more than an attempt to find dirt…

            1. It’s obviously an attempt to find dirt. Where did you get the impression that I think otherwise?

          3. A possible outcome from this process is indeed removal of the president… you think this is just for shits and giggles?

            1. A possible outcome from this process is indeed removal of the president

              No, it isn’t. There is no scenario where Adam Schiff announces that the secret tribunal has found Trump guilty and he’s no longer president.

              C’mon, Jesse – I get that you’re a committed partisan, and that’s fine, but you’re smarter than this.

              1. God. You’re another dumb asshole too. You think being against a secret trial based on IC attempt to attack the elected president is partisan. What laughable assertion. You are literally fine w this entire process solely because orange man is the target, and call others partisan. Do you know how dumb you look?

                1. You are literally fine w this entire process solely because orange man is the target

                  Where did you get that impression?

                  You think being against a secret trial based on IC attempt to attack the elected president is partisan.

                  When did the trial start? I thought this didn’t count as a trial.

              2. Do you support title ix investigations too?

                What a dumbfuck of a statement.

                To think I thought you were an actual libertarian. You dont give 2 shits about due process or protections if the target is someone you dislike.

                Heres the secret… if they can do this to a president they wont think twice to do it to you dumbass.

                1. if they can do this to a president they wont think twice to do it to you dumbass

                  Trump doesn’t have a constitutional right to be president. He’s not some random citizen being called in before a secret Stalinist tribunal.

                  Nowhere have I expressed approval of secret tribunals having the power to convict the President of criminal charges, and that’s not what’s happening here. The authority had by Schiff and his tribunal are exactly jack and shit, despite Schiff’s posturing.

                  Nothing, and I mean resoundingly nothing, happens to Trump unless this goes to the Senate and they convict him, which isn’t going to happen. The rest is posturing for the gallery.

                  1. And I wasn’t trying to be snarky – I do think you’re a smart guy, but you’re also clearly a pro-Trump partisan.

        2. The inquiry is the first step in a four step impeachment and removal process. It cannot result in the removal of President Trump.

          With the makeup of the Senate, it’s unlikely Trump will be removed from office. The inquiry might even boost his popularity.

          Yes, the inquiry is politically motivated. Yes, the Democrats are trying to dig up dirt to influence the voting public. Logically, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that the Democrats will succeed in proving real rule breaking on Trump’s part.

          1. So you’re saying there is currently no wrongdoing?

            So you’re saying it’s a witch hunt?

            ONE OF US! ONE OF US!

            1. In your terms, what I am saying is (a) it’s a bit of a witch hunt, (b) they might have already proven some illegal activity and might prove some more. That is, dirt digging can end up in digging up some dirt.

              1. Back to illegalities based on a cute twisting of laws I see. Not even pelosi is using the crime word dummy.

      2. “The Reason logic here is identical to the logic to “justify” the sexual assault star chamber tribunals on college campuses.”

        Man is that ever true.

        People overhear someone talking. They then report another person for some sort of sexual violation. The school ‘investigates’ and the alleged victim says ‘nothing bad happened’ but the school still punishes the accused based up the hearsay from the accusers.

        1. The analogy to a college investigating sexual assault would hold up better if it weren’t for the fact that there is still going to be public impeachment hearings, a public vote, and then a trial in the Senate. (If the whole matter even makes it that far.)

          1. It is exactly as Thomas described it.
            No amount of concern trolling will change that.

            1. So, you think there’s a chance Trump will be removed from office without a Senate hearing?

              1. Have you ever heard the term the process is the punishment? If the WH didnt have paid for counsel how much would this cost him? How much is this interfering with executive governance.

                You seem to think it is perfectly fine to drown people in fishing expeditions for political reasons.

                This is literally what you’re arguing in this thread.

                1. Have you ever heard the term the process is the punishment?

                  Yes, but as I go into above, that doesn’t mean you get to unilaterally flush the process just because it’s not working out for your side at the moment. Trump is not a private citizen – he is the head of the Executive branch and is well armed with his own processes.

                  This is literally what you’re arguing in this thread.

                  No, it isn’t. I understand you wish it were, but it isn’t.

                  1. What you argue for above is accepting a shit ton of hidden premises.

                    Fuck that noise.

                    1. What you argue for above is accepting a shit ton of hidden premises.

                      Unhide them for me.

          2. “…the fact that there is still going to be public impeachment hearings, a public vote, and then a trial in the Senate. “

            Fact.
            Fact

            LOL. Like the fact that Sarcasmic said he was leaving an never coming back?

            That fact?

            1. Sorry, not Sarcasmic. Cytotoxic was the one who said he was gone for good.

    4. Public inquiry starts next week.

    5. John, you have to understand that being a progressive means always making two simultaneous arguments that always contradict each other.

  5. He’s just trying to make sure he doesn’t lose his place as the Most Interesting Man in Congress.

    1. I thought that was Pelosi?

    2. Rand stopped being interesting a long time ago. I think that unfortunate attack he suffered from his crazy neighbor changed him. This happens. Remember ancap Gene Callahan? He got mugged and beat up in London and stopped being a libertarian.

      1. You’ve never been interesting, nor have you ever been a libertarian.

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

          1. Suck on my asshole you subhuman lowlife.

      2. What has Rand done wrong?

        1. Insufficiently genuflected to Democrats.

        2. Not backed an IC induced investigation like Amash and Flake, the real libertarians.

        3. Started calling for the exposure of the whistleblower.

          1. Looks like the testimony included his name….

            OoOoOppps

            Stop hitting yourself

  6. “Please don’t squeeze the Ciaramella.” Mr. Whipple (D)

  7. Molly Hemingway made a complete fool of Justin Amash. Amash is now saying that it would be the worst thing ever to have Ciaramella testify before Congress. Hemingway went and found a tweet from Amash from back in September where Amash says in so many words “we need to hear from the whistle blower”. Amash says that he means “see the report” not actually have Ciaramella testify. Yeah, sure that is what he meant.

    The Democrats were all about Ciaramella testifying until it came out that he had met with Shiff before filing the report. Then suddenly, it was just completely unacceptable to have him testify before Congress. Who do these idiots think they are fooling? They are desperate to keep him from testifying, where last month they were all about him doing so because they don’t want him to have to answer questions about just why the hell he met with Shiff and what happened when he did.

    1. >>>Who do these idiots think they are fooling?

      hopefully less people daily.

    2. And why is Amash so scared of Ciaramella testifying now?
      Seems like the “principled” position would be for him to testify in order to determine the credibility of his accusations or seriousness of Trump’s alleged transgressions, regardless of what consequences Schiff might face.
      “Libertarian leaning” Amash seems to want to protect the IC at all costs

      1. And why is he being so dishonest about his previous desire to have Ciaramella testify?

    3. Amash has an axe to grind, and he needs his talking points. When he was under the impression that Ciaramella’s “damning” testimony would sink Trump, he was for it. Now that he’s concluded Ciaramella’s testimony would collapse the entire narrative, and help Trump, he’s against it.

  8. It’s insulting to continually refer to this bagman as a whistleblower.

    1. He’s totes credible according to the contributors here.

      Of course, their notions of what is credible are already well established as being reliably and mind numbingly wrong.

      So proceed accordingly

  9. I’m mixed on this. On the one hand everyone should have the right to confront their accuser. On the other hand when the accused has the power to use force in retaliation, accusers can feel justly afraid to come forward. But protecting those who need protection can invite abuse. It’s quite the pickle.

    1. Trump doesn’t have the power to force retaliation. The law prevents Trump from doing anything. And if Trump did, Ciarmella would have a wonderful lawsuit against the government. There is absolutely no reason to keep this guy anonymous.

      1. The law doesn’t prevent anything. It authorizes investigation if violated. Personally I don’t give a fuck on this particular example. I don’t think he did anything remotely resembling high crimes and misdemeanors. It’s just sour grapes. But from the accusers’ point of view they might really fear for their lives. TDS sufferers truly feel he is a monster.
        So like I said, I’m mixed.

        1. The only president who’s ever assassinated an American for political reasons was your chocolate messiah, so I think he’s probably in the clear with the protection of the entire congress and the entire federal law enforcement and intelligence apparatus.

          1. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please. You look foolish.

            1. Why would it be the least bit embarrassing for me to point out that you’re a state-worshiping partisan moron?

              1. Have at it, dood. Nobody whose opinion matters will be swayed in the slightest.

                If you want an actual conversation, I will cheerfully debate ideas with you.

                1. Lol. Everyone with 2 brain cells that’s watched you bootlick Democrats ever since Orange Man Bad got elected knows exactly what you are and what you’re about. Even if you were capable of sustaining a conversation beyond regurgitating Gary Johnson bumper stickers and gargling Pelosi’s clit, I’d rather go discuss politics with my sump pump.

                  1. lol. That’s funny. Got anymore?
                    You can practice your lines on me if it turns you on.

        2. It does to prevent it. If you fire someone in retaliation for making a whistleblower claim, that is wrongful termination. That is why people who are about to be fired for legitimate reasons always try and claim they were whistle blowers.

          And Trump has been accused of wrong doing by any number of people over the last three years. Not a single one of them has had anything happen to them. There is no legitimate fear of anything except him having to explain who he met with and what they talked about before filing this report.

          Remember, the Democrats wanted this guy to testify (in secret) before it came out he had met with Shiff. Then suddenly, there was no need for him to testify. Come on.

          1. I didn’t say the fear was rational or justified. Just that some MSNBC nut might feel it.

            TrickyVic’s post gave me food for thought.

            1. Since when is irrational fear just cause for legal protection *especially* outside of a criminal trial *especially especially* for public servants worried about getting shitcanned?

              If you think the system/position is so terribly immoral that you have to blow the whistle, it should be no problem walking away from it. I could understand being reluctant to walk away from something like a family owned business, but a career as a spook is not a legacy you hand down to your progeny, chiefly because it doesn’t belong to you.

              1. I don’t understand.

                I think your comment assumes knowledge I don’t have.

              2. I’m trying, but I don’t get it. Not trying to be a dick.

              3. Oh oh k. I get it. Quitting your job.

                1. Oh oh k. I get it. Quitting your job.

                  No one is owed a job, especially not a public servant. Blowing the whistle and keeping your job, especially as a public servant, is disingenuous and a moral hazard. You knew going in that you’d be serving administrations you don’t like and that, presumably, the system is self-correcting. If it’s so rotten that administration changes don’t fix it, blowing the whistle won’t fix it and is, successfully or not, just trying to bend the system to your ends. It’s maybe slightly better than forming/joining a public employee union.

      2. Poor Trump. He is so powerless. Let’s give him more power so he can defend himself!

        1. Whiny loser things he’s entitled to basic constitutional protections and due process. What a fucking snowflake conservatard amirite?

        2. What are you even talking about? Do you think the guy should have to testify or don’t you? If you have an answer to that, please give it. If you don’t, then let those who do talk.

          Your response makes no sense.

    2. “”On the other hand when the accused has the power to use force in retaliation, accusers can feel justly afraid to come forward.””

      Something similar was addressed in my NYC mandatory anti-sexual harassment training. The lawyer conducting the training said there is no anonymous reporting. The purpose of such protection laws was to protect the complainant because it would be known who complained. That’s why the law is there.

      Enforcement on the other hand…

      1. Food for thought. Thanks.

    3. “On the other hand when the accused has the power to use force in retaliation,”

      Except that Trump knows who this is. If he were going to kill him, arrest him, or whatever, he knows where to find the guy.

      This whole kabuki theatre about “Anonymity” is about whether or not the Media actually has to tell the public who he is and discuss the inconvenient fact that he is a Democrat partisan. It is about whether that partisan should be called before congress to be grilled on inconvenient info like his lawyer’s call for a coup, and the fact that he was meeting with Schiff prior to the complaint being filed.

      This has nothing to do with “protecting” the whistleblower- if anonymity were really needed to protect him from harm, he’d be dead right now.

    4. Th whistleblower is not testifying against Clinton so he’s perfectly safe

    5. Wow, for a guy named “sarcasmic” you have a very balanced and impartial view of the pros and cons. Not a lot of that going on around here.

    1. Shackford is well and truly fucked.

      It is known.

  10. Libertarians for parallel construction!

  11. Will this debate get dumber? You can count on it.

    Yep. Dumber than we can imagine. Wait until the “Tu quoque” phase starts in earnest, with counter-counter-investigations.

    1. Wait until Durham starts indicting people. Then it will be the dark night of fascism falling on America as Trump jails his political enemies.

  12. At what point in the transition between a crime and a political stunt does the whistleblower convert to grandstanding attention whore?

    Would the article titled ‘Rand Paul Favors Publicly Exposing Attention Whores’ fall on ENBs beat?

  13. Will this debate get dumber? You can count on it.

    That’s the only thing about this whole debacle that’s guaranteed. Actually, you could say that about everything the government does.

  14. Let’s call a spade a spade: Eric Ciaramella is the name of the bureaucrat with a bad case of sour grapes. And he comes into contact with the Vindman brothers in the course of his work.

    I don’t think this guy fulfills the legal definition of a whistleblower. He made several false assertions. I’d fire his ass for filing a false report. Good faith, my ass. Like he isn’t part of the Resistance? Give me a frickin break.

    1. To be a whistle blower you have to allege wrong doing. He didn’t allege any wrong doing. He just doesn’t like Trump’s policies.

      1. This. The only alleged wrongdoing is based upon his speculations regarding Trump’s motives.

        By that standard Obama is guilty of treason for his Iran deal.

    2. ” I’d fire his ass for filing a false report.”

      If Trump was serious, he’d have fired this Obama loyalist on day one.

      1. Agreed. POTUS Trump should immediately turn over 100% of the bureaucratic White House staff. All of them.

        Who is going to make the case these people are not replaceable?

  15. If the whistleblower had not gone outside and blabbed and leaked his complaint to every partisan Democrat and the media (same thing) he could have remained anonymous and this would have been a confidential HR experience? Seriously WTF is going on

    This is Blasey fucking Ford round 2. She was wasn’t credible and neither is Eric

    And yes if you don’t want to look Shifty Schiff then follow due process

    Otherwise you’ll be called out as a fraud

    1. If the whistleblower had not gone outside and blabbed and leaked his complaint to every partisan Democrat and the media (same thing) he could have remained anonymous and this would have been a confidential HR experience?

      Here’s the thing–he knows damn well that’s what the IG is for. But in a government setting, the whole point of whistleblower protection isn’t to protect the whistleblower’s identity, it’s to prevent retaliation. Ciaramella has nearly the entire mass media complex behind him, as well as the DNC. He’s hardly a risk for his life being put in danger to shut him up. He’s not Jeffrey Epstein.

      Maybe it’s just a coincidence that this whole thing dropped right around the time it came out that Barr was sniffing around the events surrounding the release of the piss dossier and trying to figure out if the previous administration weaponized the IC against Trump and his team, as well as the expected release of the upcoming Horowitz report. But I doubt it.

      Now, not only does Flynn appear to have an excellent shot of getting his case thrown out, but Durham’s people are making noise that he’s about to drop indictments against IC and former Obama admin officials. In that situation, it makes sense to try a pre-emptive strike that would subsequently frame those efforts as retaliatory.

      1. BINGO!!

        Most of what the Donkeys have been doing amounts to pooping in the punch bowl of DC. Foul the Swamp enough and no one will believe anything. We are at a low point of trust in the media and government. Donkeys are happy that they have created a hurricane of fake news to cover their tracks and gum up the works of the Trump Administration.

  16. I see Reason has published the latest installment of its “Akshually, anonymous intelligence operatives undermining elected officials is a Good Thing” series.

    Once Trump is gone they’ll go back to being horrified at the thought of unelected bureaucrats subverting presidents they don’t like.

    But until then it’s “In Deep State We Trust”.

    1. That is the problem. You are not putting this toothpaste back in the tube. I don’t see how Reason will ever get it’s credibility back. They think when Trump leaves it will be different and “but Trump” will somehow excuse their behavior. They are mistaken.

  17. Incidentally, if Reason and the Never-Trump Republicans are wondering why their anti-Trump golden boy has turned into MAGA-Man, well, getting sent to the hospital with broken ribs and losing a chunk of your lung, all to the resounding cheers of the Media and most of the Democrat Party, will do that to you.

    Rand saw just how little credit his “principled opposition” to Trump earned for him in the eyes of the Left, realized these people hated his guts regardless of what he did or said, and decided the only way to survive was to join Trump’s bare-knuckled fight.

    1. For some people class loyalty takes precedence over anything else. They refuse to believe that the left is as bad as it is because doing so means betraying their class. And that is something that some people are just not prepared to do.

    2. I don’t think Rand ‘joined’ Trump so much as he finally realized that all those ‘diverse’ voices of opposition are actually operating from one single playbook.

  18. Scott Shackford states: “The only “penalty” that will directly come from impeachment would be Trump’s removal from office.”
    That is just not true.
    Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution also provides that Judgment in Cases of impeachment may include “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States”.

    Such a disqualification from future office that one would otherwise be eligible for should be construed as a deprivation of Liberty that triggers Due Process guarantees under the Constitution. Regardless of whether the issue is ever taken up by a court, there is no apparent reason to oppose either Due Process principles or anyone that asserts support of such principles.

    Separately, it seems entirely fair to refer to the current House proceeding as an “impeachment proceeding.” Reading H. Res. 660, and Sen. Paul’s use of the term contrasted with his use of the term “impeachment trial” both support the propriety of his chosen terminology.

    1. That was well-written. Seriously. Refreshing to hear some real analysis and thought.

    2. You make a very good point. A freaking government job is considered a property right and cannot be taken from someone without cause and a level of due process. The claim that an elected office can be taken from someone without any regards to due process and is just a “political matter” is absurd. And that is addition to the fact that an impeached President would be deprived of the right to hold other elective office, which is clearly an infringement upon liberty.

      1. The real problem is that Democrats are almost entirely unaccountable and immune from prosecution for criminal activity. Even when elections go against them, they abuse jusducal process to get eat their way.

        Mark my words, if there is to be no more rule of law where Democrats are concerned, things are going to get real fucking bad sooner than later.

  19. The idea that the 6th amendment applies here is silly.

    Also, a CIA operative supplying information to the media to further their agenda is not a whistleblower. That’s just what they do.

    1. “a CIA operative supplying information to the media to further their agenda” is treason when their agenda is to remove an elected official.

      1. This fits as most Democrats are probably guilty of treason on some level.

  20. We were warned about the Deep State ….

    …by Ike!
    Remember the military-industrial complex? Deep State. Remember ‘faceless bureaucrats’? Deep State.
    The Deep State has been operating probably since the Washington Administration. The problem is that it has grown so large and so powerful that it is a danger to the country.

    If only Rick Perry could have remembered those three departments he wanted to end! And why only 3?

  21. Whistle blowers?
    Isn’t that something that Bill Clinton’s staff used to do to him?

    1. The called him Willy “Humidor” Clinton.

  22. WTF happened to Don jr?
    He’s gone from Fredo to Sonny

    http://www.zerohedge.com/political/not-maga-rally-trump-jr-draws-applause-view-over-liberal-hypocrisy-blackface-hosts-snap

    Maybe the effects of Gavin Newsom’s baby’s momma?

    1. “After Trump Jr. drew applause multiple times, host Joy Behar snapped at the audience: “This is not a MAGA rally!””

      Yea, I need to find a clip of this segment

      1. That’s like the opening of “Thank You For Smoking” all over again.

    2. Oh…100% no debate = effects of ‘momma’.

      You can bet your bippy that Ms. Guilfoyle prepped him for The View. And it showed. Don Jr absolutely destroyed Behar and Whoopi on camera. And backed up over their carcass via Twitter.

      1. “We goin scorched earth, mothfuckas!”

        But seriously, that is the greatest fear they have of Trump. If he really decides to go scorched earth, the whole corrupt lord-class will face a reckoning

        1. You know, it is about time the Progtards start getting the same treatment they have delighted in giving for a long time now. I would prefer not to have coarseness in our political dialogue, but it is just stupid to disarm.

          Mitt Romney, a freaking Boy Scout for God’s sake, was viciously attacked, and he disarmed (never gave it right back to them). And he lost.

          The days of unilateral disarmament are over.

  23. I don’t see any particular problem with what Paul is suggesting. The fact remains that the guidelines were vastly expanded by the Intel community on what constitutes a ‘whistle blower’ to specifically vacuum up second or third hand accounts of what’s going on, and with that far looser guideline is it any wonder that maybe we should require those hearsay whistle blowers to reveal themselves to make their claims? I’d say if you’re going to use a second or third hand account to blow a whistle, you should be risking your job to do so. That would mean you would only squeal when you’re pretty positive that somethings going on, rather than ‘well maybe I think something could be fishy here’.

    The reason why is because you need the person to have some skin in the game or you’re going to simply face endless ‘whistle blowers’ who have nothing to lose by throwing wrenches into their bosses job.

    Or, more reasonably perhaps, they should change the requirement on whistle blowing to people who actually have first hand knowledge of wrongdoing. Then it would be less controversial to protect them when they say something.

    Just an idea.

    1. The rule used to be that you had to have first hand knowledge to file a whistle blower complaint. Then in August of this year right before this complaint was filed, the IG for the intelligence community changed to rule to allow people with second hand information to be considered “whistle blowers”

      The IG can’t explain why he made this change. It is just a coincidence that it was made for no particular reason literally days before the report at issue here was filed.

      This thing is the worst put up job I have ever seen.


      1. The rule used to be that you had to have first hand knowledge to file a whistle blower complaint.

        I am aware of all that, which is why I suggested essentially returning to that model since reliance on hearsay for blowing a whistle is absurd at face value. Sure, you might uncover more wrongdoing with such a standard but predictably it also means you’re going to have so many whistle blowers that you’d end up in a ‘boy who cried wolf’ scenario. Just like we’re in now, to be perfectly frank.

        Even if there turns out to be some smoking gun, it will be lost in all the static so it subverts the agenda of more accountable government when it seems, at least nominally, that was the goal of loosening the guidelines.

        In essence, was the standard changed specifically to enable this complaint? The timing suggests it could have been, and the reporting surrounding this story further suggests that’s what happened. That doesn’t make it certain, it makes it suspicious.

        I’d go so far as to say that after they ‘get Trump’ the plan is to roll that back to what it was before one way or another. There is little chance Democrats would want such a rule in place if they hold the Presidency.

        Obama never would have gone along with it, for one. His ‘most transparent’ administration was guilty of most of the things people complain about Trump maybe doing, which is amazing to watch. And I’m not against reform, I’m against temporary ‘reform’ to hobble one party whereas the other party gets a 100% pass for ‘business as usual’.

        That’s just dirty pool.

      2. The question(s) to ask, John:

        Who is Michael Atkinson?
        And who recommended him to POTUS Trump?

        Agree: The timing of making that change is just too convenient.

    2. Most plausible scenario of what happened here:

      Ciaramella was put into the WH to “get” something on Trump, with Vindman as an aide/ally.
      Vindman thinks he can stretch the call into something fishy, tells to or works out the story with Ciaramella, who takes it to Schiff for further refinement.
      The whistleblower protocol had already been decided upon, which is why the guidelines were changed.
      Schiff’s (or whomever gave it to him) is to misrepresent the contents of the call and use that as justification for impeachment.
      Unfortunately for the plotters, Trump immediately released the transcript and f’ed up the plan.

      1. Except that the so-called ¨transcript¨ of the July 25 call is highly inculpatory.

        1. At this point, Trump’s enemies could look at random inkblots, and see proof Trump was guilty of something.

  24. oh, the ratio…. It’s beautiful.

    Keep playing yourselves on this one, it’s fun to watch

  25. //Imagine, for instance, what would happen if police were investigating a member of a violent street gang for shooting up somebody’s house, and the police told the alleged shooter the names of eyewitnesses they had talked to before ever charging him.//

    Perfect analogy. Trump is the leader of a violent street gang and he’s going to kill the whistleblower.

    Apparently, all the whining about “it not being a criminal process, so criminal rules don’t matter” can’t spare us from the persistent invocation of dumb analogies and comparisons to the criminal process.

    Who pays these idiots to write this asinine shit?


    1. Who pays these idiots to write this asinine shit?

      Presumably, Charles Koch.

  26. Wow, someone should sue Matt Welch for the money donated to this site. Talk about going down the drain, lol.

    1. Its much funnier to watch the demise of reason happen in real time.

      I mean reason added auto videos and endless troll bots to boost web traffic revenue. Talk about the end of the line.

      1. It’s funnier that people like you are the cause of it. You don’t realize that Matt catered to the lowest common denominator,and here you all are. Low slogans, low terms, and simple talking points.

        1. Weird that the DNC designs it that way…

  27. The accuser is congress, not the whistleblower. We need every avenue we can have to keep corruption out of the government. Someone reporting a corrupt President is obviously one of those. Stop trying to protect Trump, Reason.

    1. Congress hasn’t actually accused him of anything yet, you moron.

  28. Weird that Ciaramella didn’t file a whistleblower complaint when Biden extorted Ukraine to fire Shokin…

    1. Its reason so there is no playbook on who gets to suck Democrat dick or who gets to give hand jobs while the Party of slavery destroys the USA.

  29. I think its hilarious that Lefties expect to do whatever they want and non-Lefties have to follow all the rules set up by Lefties.

    I am now of the opinion that Trump should do whatever he wants. The House should do whatever they want and the US Senate should do whatever they want.

    I for one, look forward to 3 decades of winning with President Trump!

    1. You have no opinions. There is only the talking points crammed into your head like many around here. You repeat the loudest voice.

      1. Speaking of people who parrot nothing but talking points….

      2. ╔════╗───────────────╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗─╔╗╔╗╔╗
        ╚═╗╔═╝───────────────╚══╗║╔═╗╠══╗║╔═╗║─║║║║║║
        ──║║─╔══╦╗╔╦════╦══╗─╔══╝║║─║╠══╝║║─║║─║║║║║║
        ──║║─║╔═╣║║║╔╗╔╗║╔╗║─║╔══╣║─║║╔══╣║─║║─╚╝╚╝╚╝
        ──║║─║║─║╚╝║║║║║║╚╝║─║╚══╣╚═╝║╚══╣╚═╝║─╔╗╔╗╔╗
        ──╚╝─╚╝─╚══╩╝╚╝╚╣╔═╝─╚═══╩═══╩═══╩═══╝─╚╝╚╝╚╝
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  30. Why Rand Paul keeps finding space in Reason astounds me actually. He’s not a very principled libertarian and he more than willing to but whatever libertarian beliefs on the backseat when it comes to Party and Trump. He lost my respect long ago.

    1. Thinking of the past, reason is nicer to Rand than to Ron. Ron wasn’t obsessed with punishing people, or food stamps. Unlike others around here.

    2. At this point he’s actually more principled than Reason. I mean, objecting to somebody being able to confront their accuser? That’s libertarian now?

  31. What exactly is the whistleblower in danger of if recognized?

    1. Cross examination, for one.

  32. Eric Ciaramella.
    Eric Ciaramella.
    Eric Ciaramella.

    Look, the dude’s name is so secret that if you type “whistleblower” into google, it auto completes with his freaking name. So why play coy this way?

    1. +100000

    2. At this point, it is almost surreal to have the media denying this reality and not reporting on the identity of the whistleblower.

      We saw with Comey and Brennan, they gave the media a way to report on the Steele Dossier by setting up the President to meet about it. The press then could report that the unverified dossier was discussed with the president and therefore was news by that count.

      With the whistleblower the same events have transpired that indirectly make his identity news that they didn’t break but could report on because it is already out there. The refusal to mention his identity in this context while they also hungrily reported on Steele once they had a news hook is striking.

      1. “Alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella”

        There, no possible defamation to worry about now.

        Cover up and gaslighting is the ONLY reason corporate media, including this publication, won’t mention his name

  33. I think there is a way to square the seeming contradiction inherent in the Reason/mainstream press arguments on this topic. They could mean that *if* Trump and the GOP want the due process rights and the right to face the accuser, then in this criminal context at this preliminary stage they wouldn’t yet have the right to face the accuser. And further, if on the other hand it is purely a political process, then they also don’t have the right to face the accuser because “rights” in the political process do not apply.

    The problem with this argument is still plain to anyone understanding what is happening here. Simply having the power to do something (like limiting the rights of the accused) does not in and of itself lead to legitimacy of an action. Might alone never makes right.

    And the Democrats/Media are not really offering compelling reasons for why the whistleblower’s identity must be protected and why he should not testify. In a purely political process the whistleblower’s collusion with the leader of this investigation (Schiff and possibly others) is a pertinent political issue. In a criminal investigation context the collusion with Schiff and others is exculpatory and must be addressed. In either a purely political process or one treated like the criminal judicial process the whistleblower’s actions before filing the complaint and his associations with people hostile to the president is exceedingly relevant. So their argument does not hold.

    Another curious aspect of this is the other contradiction involved here where the Democratic majority is using its power to investigate their political opponent who happens to be the president. How is this not similar to what they are accusing Trump of doing with Ukraine vis-a-vis Biden? Sure, Congress is empowered to investigate the president and impeach him if they choose. But also, the President definitely has the power as chief law enforcement officer in the country to investigate Joe Biden and his Article II authority over foreign relations similarly empowers him to seek help from foreign powers to do so.

    In both the case of what Congress is doing and what Trump supposedly did, they have the power to do what they are doing/did. Essentially Congress is doing to Trump (investigating to hurt a political rival within their authority) what they claim he did to Biden and should be removed for. Hard to see how that ends with the public thinking Congress is great for what they did and Trump is terrible for doing the same thing.

    1. One problem. When you say But also, the President definitely has the power as chief law enforcement officer in the country to investigate Joe Biden and his Article II authority over foreign relations similarly empowers him to seek help from foreign powers to do so. try this substitution….

      But also, the President definitely has the power as chief law enforcement officer in the country to investigate Donald Trump and his Article II authority over foreign relations similarly empowers him to seek help from foreign powers to do so.

      This is precisely what POTUS Obama will say, isn’t it?

      1. The problem with the 2016 investigation of Trump, wasn’t that there was an investigation, (That could potentially have been justified.) but rather that they committed a fraud on the FISA court in order to obtain the warrants, and based the investigation on sources they knew were false.

  34. The willful blindness and stupidity here is staggering.

    This “whistleblower” is a young Obama staffer who worked for Biden and closely with Brennan, Rice, and the rest of the gang. He is closely connected to the Steele dossier and Russian collusion hoax, as well as the sham appointment of Robert Mueller and the various leaks and hoaxes that led to that, including selective leaks of sensitive info to create a firestorm around the firing of James Comey and falsely suggest that it was done at Putin’s behest.

    The “whisteblower” is anything but. The whistleblower is the unconstitutional permanent bureaucratic state that exercises its own illegal powers and serves its own interests. President Trump is the real whistleblower and this brouhaha is the administrative state striking back against him.

  35. The whistleblower’s attorney literally on Twitter calling for a “coup” since 2017. LOL.

  36. 1 – Real evidence is 1st hand witness only. Period. There is no ‘whistle blower’. Just a peddler of maybe 2nd hand gossip & appears to be 4th hand.

    2 – If this gossip monger talked to ANY – much less seditious traitor during time of War Schiff!! – Congress Office Staff he/ she is NOT a ‘whistle blower’.

    3 – AG & IG cannot disclose name during initial investigation of 1st hand & non-Congress talked to ‘whistle blowers’. EVERY OTHER NATURAL BORN REPUBLIC OF UNITED STATES CITIZEN TOTALLY CAN, DUMB BUNNIES! CAN YOU READ?!

    4 – Lying ‘Never Trumpers’ and ‘Libtards infiltrating Reason are why I have not renewed my subscription in years & almost never look at Reason. I get Koch Bros. fund Reason, but really…. Some basic honesty would be appreciated at some point….

    5 – Libertarians believe in the US Constitution being upheld for everybody. A trial without 6th Amendments protections – ESPECIALLY FOR THE LEAST DESIRABLE LIKE TRUMP; NOT THE ‘ABOVE THE LAW LIKE DEEP STATE CIA OPERATIVES INVOLVED WITH SELF DESCRIBED “COUPS” AGAINST A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT!! – are one foundation of Libertarians, so this lying Socialist can doubly be ostracized from any discussion that is supposed to be about Rule of Law or Libertarians. Period.

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