A White House official was "visibly shaken" after listening to President Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine (which we all read, and if not - read it here), in which Trump requested an investigation into accusations that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter engaged in corruption.
According to the New York Times:
The official was “visibly shaken by what had transpired,” the C.I.A. officer wrote in his memo, one day after Mr. Trump pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in a July 25 phone call to open investigations that would benefit him politically.
A palpable sense of concern had already taken hold among at least some in the White House that the call had veered well outside the bounds of traditional diplomacy, the officer wrote.
(Take a shot every time the MSM says Trump "pressured" Zelensky, or calls accusations against the Bidens or Ukraine election meddling a "conspiracy theory")
The "visibly shaken" White House official is possibly the second whistleblower reported on Monday, (i.e. the first whistleblower's source) - however the Times said it was "not clear" if that was the case.
The latest in the saga
The Times description of a rattled White House official comes as the foundation of the impeachment case against Trump is in dire need of a credibility boost.
To review; the wheels of impeachment were set in motion after the original whistleblower, a CIA officer, approached House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's office with second-hand information (a contact Schiff lied about) that Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."
One of Schiff's aides then directed the whistleblower, a registered Democrat, to a Democratic operative attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. The CIA officer then filed a whistleblower complaint on a recently altered form which now allows for the submission of second-hand information.
To cap it off, on Tuesday we learned that the whistleblower has "a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates" - as revealed by Inspector General Michael Atkinson during a closed-door interview with the House last Friday.
So with the crux of Democratic impeachment efforts rapidly unraveling, we now how the "visibly shaken White House official" who went nuclear after they learned that Trump was investigating the Democartic frontrunner.
How visibly shaken are we talking about?
According to a memo written by the first whistleblower on July 26, the day after the Trump-Zelensky call, the White House official said the call was "crazy," "frightening" and "completely lacking in substance related to national security."
Meanwhile, the actual whistleblower complaint claims:
- Trump "sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President's 2020 reelection bid."
- "the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to..."
(take two shots)
"I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible."
The transcript makes clear no such pressure was applied, while Zelensky himself publicly stated that "nobody pushed me" to investigate matters requested by the Trump administration and Rudy Giuliani. Democrats have also claimed that nearly $400 million in US military aid was paused in order to use as leverage to kick start an investigation, however that theory has been relegated to at least the side-burner after it emerged that Zelensky had no clue it was being withheld at the time of the call.
Whatever the case, Democrats appear to be following the original script - as though Trump never released the transcript and all we know comes from inaccurate reporting first peddled through MSM outlets.
For example - the Washington Post's original reporting from September 18th, when the whistleblower story broke:
"Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise”"
The Wall Street Journal on September 21:
"President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani"
(take eight shots)
Yet, with the record having been set straight by both the transcript and Zelensky, and the CIA whistleblower's credibility in tatters, Democrats appear to have passed the point of no return - with a few realizing that the GOP-controlled Senate could flip the impeachment effort on Democrats by airing the Bidens' dirty laundry along with other 'matters' in a very public trial going into the 2020 election.
After Robert Mueller and the FBI took more than three years to prove an actual "conspiracy theory" that Trump was 'colluding' with Russia, the Times describes documented Ukrainian election meddling in 2016 as just that - writing that the whistleblower "detailed key aspects of the [Trump-Zelensky] conversation, including Mr. Trump’s request for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election."
(take a shot)
As a matter of fact, a DNC operative did coordinate with Ukrainians to meddle in the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton, as has been by now widely reported. Veteran Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa worked directly with the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, along with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, to target Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort according to Politico.
"They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa," said Andrii Telizhenko, who worked in the embassy at the time, adding "the embassy worked very closely with" Chalupa.