The whistleblower affair, in brief

Here’s a quick break down of what we know:

  1. A whistleblower raised the alarm about an exchange between the US President and a mystery counterpart. An intelligence community watchdog determined the claims were “urgent and credible.”
  2. But America’s top spy chief refused to give the watchdog’s report to Congress, after advice, according to CNN reporting, from the Justice Department and the White House. The DNI said the complaint involved “confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interests of other stakeholders within the executive branch.”
  3. Democrats smell a coverup and another assault on constitutional checks and balances. Still, the President does have sweeping powers in foreign policy and as long as he stays within the law, can pretty much say anything he wants to a leader abroad.
  4. Reports the mystery leader was from Ukraine fueled suspicions Trump used US military aid as leverage to prompt a probe into the business dealings in Ukraine of Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic front-runner. In a wild appearance on CNN, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that even if Trump had done so, it wouldn’t matter.
  5. The President slams the whistleblower as partisan, even though he says he doesn’t know who he or she is. “It doesn’t matter what I discussed,” he said Friday, branding the controversy a “political hack job” and accusing the media of becoming a global “laughing stock” for covering it.
  6. If it turns out Trump abused his power for political gain, it’ll be a major scandal. But if not, it’s more fuel for his claims that a Washington “Deep State” is bent on bringing him down.

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