The White House and the Justice Department have advised the nation’s top intelligence agency that the controversial complaint is outside intelligence activities as covered by laws governing intelligence whistleblowers, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
The revelation is the first known evidence of the White House’s involvement. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said he didn’t know whether the White House was involved.
The White House Counsel’s office and Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel have both been involved in discussing the complaint with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in the handling of the issue. So far, the director of national intelligence has not allowed lawmakers access to the complaint, which a source familiar with the matter said involved a communication between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader.
Look, I get the practical argument that impeaching Trump is politically dangerous. I understand that it’s impossible to remove him from office that way. I appreciate that it could backfire.
But these practical arguments are persuasive only to the extent that they outweigh the practical dangers of the opposite course of action, which are every bit as troubling.
In my view, there’s no way to tell how impeachment is going to play politically. Under the circumstances, which literally get worse every single day, not impeaching Trump is becoming a monument to a kind of exaggerated prudence which becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish from simple cowardice.
The tiebreaker, if that’s what you want to think of it as being, should be principle, not practicality. If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, then it’s almost impossible to even imagine what president would deserve that fate.
Yes yes, deserve’s got nothing to with it. I get it! The system doesn’t work, it has failed, it increasingly becomes a bad joke, catering to the blackest political humor.
At least go down fighting. Make every Republican senator defend Trump, in detail and at length, on the floor and on the street. Bombard the federal courts with subpoenas. Use the media to leak every bit of damaging information you uncover. Fight fire with fire. Donald Trump, and the corrupt and increasingly fascistic Republican party that is now wholly his creature, will both do anything to hold onto power: act accordingly.