Politics

Whistle-Blowers in Ukraine Scandal Challenge Trump

None of these officials and—others who have testified—went to Congress entirely of their own volition, like the whistle-blower who submitted a formal complaint through the proper channels in the intelligence community. But several of them, like Taylor, protested the president’s decisions to their superiors within the government and, when called upon by House Democrats, spoke up. In lengthy opening statements and hours of subsequent questioning, they provided detailed accounts of official malfeasance.

In that sense, they are all blowing the whistle on Trump.

In doing so, they ignored the Trump administration’s directive not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry and provided crucial momentum to the Democratic-led investigation. Even Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and an object of scorn from Democrats for his role in the scandal, testified to Congress in defiance of an attempt by the State Department to block his appearance.

The president continues to direct his ire at the original, and still-anonymous, whistle-blower, whom he denounced as “a partisan” and a “political hack job.” But the officials who have come forward publicly, whether voluntarily or at the urging of Congress, point to a much broader chorus of discontent within the government that Trump runs. And they are much harder for the president to dismiss as deep-state opponents—or, as the White House described them yesterday, “radical unelected bureaucrats”—for they are Trump’s own appointees.

So the president may want to cover his ears, because a scandal that started with a single blown whistle has, with each new deposition on Capitol Hill, turned into a high-pitched harmony.

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