President Donald Trump is using a similar strategy to the one he used to defend himself from the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Trump is responding in a familiar way to allegations from a whistleblower who has accused him of abusing the power of his office.
The whistleblower’s complaint that Trump encouraged the president of Ukraine to help investigate political rival Joe Biden has led to congressional hearings, allegations of a White House cover-up and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the start of an impeachment inquiry.
Trump and his White House team are responding in their usual way — intimidate and discredit.
They are using the same strategies used to counter special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
They are attempting to discredit the whistleblower and Democrats leading impeachment proceedings. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and other allies are seeking to muddy the picture and are leaning on Republicans in Congress to provide cover.
“Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff,” Trump tweeted last Friday about the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence committee, whom he also called on to resign.
Trump is also seeking to discredit the whistleblower, suggesting without evidence that it’s “Sounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isn’t a Whistleblower at all” and alleging the person is a “partisan operative.”
Trump is also playing the victim and suggesting conspiracies against him.
“It’s a disgrace to our country. It’s another witch-hunt. Here we go again,” said Trump.
Worst of all, Trump has made dangerous implied threats against the whistleblower.
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said, according to audio released by The Los Angeles Times. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
Seeking to defend the indefensible, most Republican lawmakers have aligned themselves with the White House. Several Republican lawmakers are seeking to undermine the unidentified whistleblower’s credibility and shift the focus to Democrats and unproven theories, much like those the GOP used to attack Mueller when he testified about his Russia investigation over the summer.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut called it a “kaleidoscope of fantabulistic conspiracy theories.”
Instead of muddying the facts and trying to undermine the credibility of the impeachment inquiry, Americans should demand that members of Congress conduct an impartial investigation of the serious allegations of wrongdoing by the president.