From Words and Deeds Blog:
Individual #1 thought he had a brilliant idea to capture headlines over the weekend: blame departing Secretary of Energy Rick Perry as the impetus behind the phone call to the Ukraine on July 25.
Then the other shoe dropped. The existence of a second whistleblower (and possibly others) was confirmed by lawyers for the original complainant.
From ABC News:
- Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower who sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and triggered an impeachment inquiry, tells ABC News that he is now representing a second whistleblower who has spoken with the inspector general.
- Zaid tells ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that the second person — also described as an intelligence official — has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint and has been interviewed by the head of the intelligence community’s internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson.
- The existence of a second whistleblower — particularly one who can speak directly about events involving the president related to conversations involving Ukraine — could undercut Trump’s repeated insistence that the original complaint, released on Sept. 26, was “totally inaccurate.”
The lead attorney for the firm confirmed this story shortly thereafter:
NEWS UPDATE: I can confirm this report of a second #whistleblower being represented by our legal team. They also made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against. This WBer has first hand knowledge. https://t.co/zYkUYgJ0mE
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) October 6, 2019
The President took to Twitter to denounce the latest development.
The first so-called second hand information “Whistleblower” got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another “Whistleblower” is coming in from the Deep State, also with second hand info. Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2019
Analysis from the Sunday Washington Post says the original whistleblower complaint has held up under scrutiny:
- 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 P. Litman, a former U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania who has represented other government whistleblowers.
Let’s get back to the Rick Perry Excuse for a moment before I close out this post:
Axios reports –via three sources– and NBC has confirmed remarks made by President Trump on a Friday conference call with House members.
- Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was “perfect”and he did nothing wrong.
- But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president’s comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection.
- Another source on the call said Trump added that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days” — referring to Perry.
- There is no mention in the text messages of Perry playing a role in making this call happen.
Actual footage of Rick Perry leaving his office today pic.twitter.com/SsU53cyAkh
— Devin Nunes' Alt-Mom (@NunesAlt) October 6, 2019