So, I'm reading the whistleblower report this morning.
A lot of national security experts and legal experts are poring over this thing and on those issues, I strongly suggest you find a variety of people with different perspectives and form a synthesis of what they're saying, if you want to understand the bones of this thing.
My expertise lies in communication and narrative, and so here's what jumped out at me:
"Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call -- a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House situation Rom, as is customary. The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a "routine" call with a foreign leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.
When I read this, I immediately flashed back to the "heavily populated" tweets:
Along with Hair Furor's repeated insistences that it was a "perfect" call, very nice and very normal, and that the transcript would take everyone by surprise and leave the Democrats stupefied and with egg on their face.
Now, he would insist that he'd done nothing wrong even if he knew he had, but in this case? Everything about the complaint leads me to believe that this fudge nut cluster right here seriously believes he did nothing wrong and cannot believe the gall of the Democrats to nail him to the wall for this, of all things.
The indications in the report are, this wasn't planned out in any kind of detail. Oh, he planned to put the screws to Zelenskyy, all right. That’s apparent in the fact that he withheld military aid in advance, so he’d have screws to turn. He enlisted multiple agencies in that and even roped in some Senators.
But when he made the cal, he just did what seemed natural, what he was sure anybody would do in the situation. President Zelenskyy asked him about foreign aid, like he knew he would have to, and Donald put the screws to him, as one does.
That's just what you do, when someone asks you for something: you get what you want from them, get whatever you can from them.
Getting dirt on a political opponent? Getting a foreign government to interfere with an election? We already know his opinion on this: this is what anybody would do, given the chance. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar or a stooge.
Tasking his personal private lawyer and the Attorney General of the United States to fetch dirty laundry together? Nothing strange there, because just kidding, the Attorney General is also his personal private lawyer, he made sure of that before he hired this one.
Everybody in the government works for him, and he has an article 2 that says he can do what he wants with them.
The cover-up following the call was extensive, but not premeditated. It was a frantic scramble after the fact by officials who realized too late what exactly they had been witness (and party) to. Donald made no attempts to hide what he was doing and didn't direct anyone else to do so.
I think... and I cannot stress enough how little this matters in terms of the right and wrong of it all, or what the consequences should be... but I think in this case he really, truly believes he did nothing unusual, untoward, or illegal here. He just did what comes naturally. It was a conversation. He got some leverage and he got a little negotiation in.
To everyone who wondered how he could possibly have believed that the transcript he released would exonerate him, we have our answer. He wasn't trying to bluff his way through a damning report; it was his report, produced and edited by his White House and possibly even dictated in part by him. This wasn't "Who are you going to beileve, me or your lying eyes?" swagger, it was Donald Junior just tweeting out the email chain cluelessness.
He really thinks he did nothing wrong here.
He really believes he's innocent.
Some are upset that after everything he's done, it's something as banal as trying to smear the other establishment white guy he's anointed as a rival that is the first thing to stick.
Me? I mean, I won't actually be happy until there are consequences attached, and ideally they would spiral until he loses everything and then reverberate through the halls of power as a reckoning the likes of which we have never seen...
But in terms of what specifically brings him down, what the proximate cause is?
I kind of like the idea of it being something he firmly believes he didn't do. All the stuff he's gotten away with, not just in office but over the course of his life? All the stuff he's felt he was so clever for pulling off? He thinks he's a master negotiator, master strategist, a very stable criminal genius...
He's gotten away with everything but then he gets stitched up for something that, as far as he's concerned, he didn't even do?
Now, IANAL (and also, I'm not a lawyer).
I'm not a national security consultant.
I'm not a reporter.
But I am a poet. I have the open mic appearances and award nominations to prove it.
This is poetry.
And ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it gives such a pretty spite.
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