Sen. Dianne Feinstein just called for a “word for word” transcript of the explosive whistleblower complaint against President Trump that led to the House impeachment inquiry.
As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein believes that an “official word-for-word transcript of the call” between Trump and the President of the Ukraine was produced.
And she also doubts the accuracy of Trump’s report of the call.
A verbatim transcript (without the many ellipses found in the Trump version) is probably hidden inside the U.S. intelligence community’s “code-only,” restricted-access computer system.
Feinstein wants it made available to Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement for an impeachment inquiry has broken the dam.
The flood of court cases, pending subpoenas, investigations and allegations into myriad Trump irregularities in his foundation, taxes, inauguration, bank loans, and emoluments violations will now flood out.
Not just from the narrow use and abuse of power evident in the phone call to the Ukrainian president with the “I have a favor though” dictate.
But, with all the state bank records forthcoming, the IRS audits, possible indictments and prison sentences looming for his already convicted aides, Trump’s White House is wading in rising mud.
Trump is now facing data—real details, and documents—from a Category 5 hurricane of information and informants.
And much of it is from inside the White House. It’s not in the form of a lengthy official report, but in actual transcripts, electronic records, witnesses, and possibly even audio tapes.
In short, it’s a palace coup from a seemingly organized band of insiders with intelligence training, who know where the President’s alleged crimes are hidden.
The Democrats have learned their lesson. No longer willing to talk in meandering paragraphs, to make a vague point, they have switched to the Twitter world of simple, clear and direct.
“The President has betrayed his oath of office,” said Pelosi. “Attorney General Barr has gone rogue…He is working on the cover up of the cover up.”
Pelosi, the underappreciated but supreme tactician that she is, had been following a flawless strategy: resist impeachment, protect the vulnerable members of her majority, wait for the “self-impeachment” of an often-reckless President, and then spring.
She not only waited, but helped along the well-timed roll out, adding House members to the “yes” column on impeachment in increments to increase both the drama and the free media.
She began dominating the cable news cycle. Will she? Won’t she? Several outlets’ pundits damned her for not leaping. Others cautioned against haste. Pelosi just kept running up the numbers of willing caucus members who joined the calls for an impeachment inquiry.
Like football scores, the numbers kept getting closer to the 218 needed to pass articles of impeachment in the House.
And she now has 223 votes. — more than enough. Only 13 Democrats are hold outs—11 of whom are in districts Trump won handily. Pelosi will protect those 13.
The night before the big story, Pelosi even helped edit an op-ed by seven freshmen members—all of whom possessed impressive national security credentials—who urged colleagues to impeach Trump if the accusations are true.
So, where does this end? Exactly, where it began — with Trump.
Over two years ago, Trump denied he ever asked the James Comey, director of the FBI, to make the Russia investigation go away.
After that incident became public, Trump tweeted, “Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Comey’s reply: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
That would be the answer to both Feinstein’s and Pelosi’s prayers.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.