, 39 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
So, I have to say this is fascinating, and I have to recommend that every American citizen read through what is alleged here.

That said, I think it unlikely to change minds in the long run, and while I don't want to get too political here, I want to discuss why.

First and foremost, the sourcing here is odd.
There is certainly nothing wrong with gathering information and consolidating it, but it *is* odd for a #whistleblower to have *NO* direct knowledge.

Who is this person? Do they represent this group of actors? Why didn't they ask someone with knowledge to report?
Indeed, much of the report comes down to "person X was made nervous/scared by what they saw happening."
So, the report is weaker than it might otherwise be if made by any of these cited individuals.

So, like so much of the rest of our past 3+ years, it is easy enough for those inclined to say "This is a Smoking Gun", while others call it a "Deep State hit".
But the actual claim is easy enough to parse, and done for us at the start of the report:

“The President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference in the 2020 U.S. Election”.
That's easy enough to parse: (i) POTUS is (ii) using/abusing the power of the Presidency (iii) to solicit interference (iv) in the next election.
POTUS? Yup, that's easy, we are talking about the President here.
Using the office of the President? This one is much, much harder. In particular, though it isn't stated up front, the real question is was the office was used for personal gain.

After all, the office can absolutely be used to advance the interests of the country.
Note also in the quoted section, the discussion is labeled as an inquiry. The lawyers were discussing *whether* they had seen an abuse.

As they don't appear to have made a report and/or quit can we assume that they came to the conclusion that they did not?
But overall, without diving into too much of the detail here (seriously, read the things, its rare that primary sources come out like this), the overall question seems to be:

Do you believe Yuri Lutsenko (the former prosecutor general for Ukraine)?
The report established that in March, Lutsenko alleged that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 US election, that the US ambassador had stopped investigations related to it, and that Biden had pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son.
That's the prosecutor you see referenced by the President here.

The report than goes on to footnote a series of walkbacks that Lutsenko made on all such allegations. Including the Biden inquiry.

It is clear that the whistleblower does not believe the original allegations, especially after the walkbacks.
But I said, that this felt like the primary question here, and this is why:

I tend to agree with the whistleblower, that Lutsenko was likely grandstanding originally, but I acknowledge that there could be another reading.
That Lutsenko was speaking the truth originally, and that for reasons internal to Ukraine he felt he needed to walk back his prior statements.
The President would appear to fall into this camp, believing that there is some truth to the original allegations.

If we give the President the benefit of the doubt there (I know, I know, we'll get to it), is there anything wrong with asking the Ukraine to look into it?
In other words, Is asking a foreign country to focus on its corruption an abuse of power? Is it soliciting interference?
Does it matter if that corruption could relate to a political rival?

*Does Biden running insulate himself and his son from having the US ask the Ukraine to look into it?*

What if he weren’t running? Is this request fine?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that a political candidate *was* corrupt and running for president against the sitting POTUS, can POTUS ask anything of the other nation about such corruption?

Feel free to swap in R’s for D’s at your discretion on this question.
In other words, is seeking the truth “interference” if it originates with a foreign body? That’s been the primary question all along when it comes to Trump, this, Steele , etc.

Obviously, asking for a foreign entity to fabricate evidence is an entirely different question.
Now let's back up a step. If the President truly believes that getting the Ukraine to investigate corruption is helpful to the US (either directly or as protection for aid), I don't think there is a problem.
This is the baseline premise under which Biden apparently claims to have gotten the Ukraine to fire its original prosecutor after all.

But if the Biden's are implicated, it undoubtedly helps the President. So what then?
I think it comes out something like the #MuellerReport, in all honesty. Mueller was unable to parse whether the President was acting for himself of the nation in almost every instance.

In fact, some of the President's mannerisms make the delineation difficult, period.
Trump appears to generally feel that what is good for him is good for the nation. That's not a position I agree with, but it is one that can certainly justify asking the Ukraine to look into statements made by its chief prosecutor earlier this year.
That's abuse and solicitation/interference.

What of the 2020 election?
For the 2020 election – Certainly the CrowdStrike request relates to 2016, and to some extent the Biden request relates to the past as well. Like the Mueller investigation itself, both can be justified as efforts to root out bad actors (whether you agree with the premise or not).
Yes, if proved true, both would have the effect of altering the course of the 2020 election, but, again, is that interference?
In general, aren’t we in favor of corruption investigations?
Which is all a long way of saying, because of the facts presented, without direct knowledge, with a justification available for the President's request, and no tiebar to aid or other pressure, I think the overall claim unlikely to win over those not already convinced.
Now, that doesn't mean I would act this way were I the President.

In particular, the electronic reporting question raises a red flag.
Though, I'm not sure what to do with the actions of "senior White House officials" as opposed to the President.

(Also note that the reporter refers to the document released yesterday as the "word-for-word transcript" for those interested in such things.)
Certainly, if there was an effort to hide the transcript it would indicate some belief of guilt of something. (Though I have seen folks take damning steps hiding things which didn't need to be hidden.) And the release of the transcript itself speaks against this section.
The other major problem I have with the whole thing is Giuliani.

Even if the President were in the right in asking for Ukraine to continue it's investigations, it's entirely unclear what role the President's personal attorney would have.
So, I do think you have a conflation between personal and national interests in a way that is at minimum untoward and more specifically a problem, especially if foreign states don't know who they are supposed to be listening to.
It's this conflation, more than anything else, that I think could be used as the strongest evidence that the President is not keeping the personal and political as separate as he should.

That the "veil should be pierced" in corporate law parlance.
So, a whole, big mess, in the final analysis.

I don't think the President should be impeached solely on the basis that he believes a Ukrainian prosecutor that the #whistleblower/WH apparatus believes has been discredited, even if such belief is to his benefit.
On the other hand, I don't think he should be using his personal counsel for anything remotely resembling official diplomatic channels, and it's his own fault on such use being read against him.
In other words, just another day in the year of our Lord 2019.

And I will be very interested to see the results of some actual investigations of these matters.

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