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Mounting Evidence Buttresses The Facts Laid Out In Whistleblower Complaint
SOURCE: Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post Published
Since the revelation of an explosive whistleblower complaint that sparked an impeachment crisis for President Donald Trump, he and his Republican allies have coalesced around a central defense: The document was based on secondhand information, mere hearsay riddled with inaccuracies.
But over the past two weeks, documents, firsthand witness accounts and even statements by Trump himself have emerged that bolster the facts outlined in the extraordinary abuse-of-power complaint.
The descriptionof a July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, which formed the heart of the complaint and was still secret at the time the claim was filed in mid-August, matches a rough transcript of the call that the White House released a day before the complaint was made public.
The whistleblower’s assertion that records related to the phone call were transferred to a separate electronic system intended for highly classified material has since been confirmed by White House officials.
And the whistleblower’s narrative of the events that led up to the call – including a shadow campaign undertaken by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the attempts of U.S. State Department officials to navigate his activities- have been largely confirmed by the text messages of three diplomats released Friday, as well as Giuliani himself in media interviews.
Independent evidence now supports the central elements laid out in the seven-page document. Even if they disregarded the complaint, legal experts said lawmakers have obtained dramatic testimony and documents that provide ammunition for the whistleblower’s core assertion: that the president of the United States used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
“Everything we’ve found to date validates the information. . . . It’s brilliantly effective. It really does function almost as a one-stop shop, investigative road map,” said Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania who has represented other government whistleblowers.
“It’s a success story, as whistleblower complaints go,” said Litman, also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.