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A blow to the heart of democracy

September 27, 2019 07:32 pm Updated: September 27, 2019 11:04 pm

We now have the elusive smoking gun that loyalists of President Donald Trump called “fake” and “hoax” and that Trump critics suspected was there all along.

Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son “to help the president’s 2020 re-election bid,” according to a whistleblower complaint released Thursday morning.

The fallout from the whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could be viewed on Twitter and television, as the number of Democrats supporting the impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued to grow.

Trump, running to form, fired off a series of tweets, once again claiming his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect.”

Redactions, edits and claims to perfection aside, enough content remains in the whistleblower’s complaint to make it one of the most frightening documents in the history of the U.S. presidency.

The complaint also alleges the White House tried to cover up the phone call by restricting and removing records and transcripts of the communication, according to reports from multiple White House officials.

“This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” the whistleblower, an unnamed intelligence officer, wrote in the complaint.

“Gravity” is putting it mildly. The release of the whistleblower’s complaint and its clear message that there is more to Trump’s actions than meets the eye constituted a serious blow to the heart of democracy.

Put simply, fallout from the complaint and Thursday’s congressional hearing is a nightmare for Americans. Compared to the complaint, the Mueller report is as tame as a children’s story. The complaint, written by one unidentified individual, is a post-Watergate “Deep Throat” that could signal both a constitutional crisis and the undoing of a presidency.

The greatest threat to Trump is . . . Trump. His Tweets, his big mouth, his constant need for non-stop attention and sucking all oxygen from the air along with all media coverage, looks like it stoking a giant fireball. It doesn't help that he's obliquely threatening the life of the whistle blower who came forth against him, or that he's sucked in his Vice President and his Attorney General into the chain of illegal actions swirling in the vortex of the Ukraine affair.

The fact is that inside one paragraph comprised of his own words from the transcript that he released, Trump has ensured his guilt of putting his own interests ahead that of our nation. The decisive phrase is "I would like you to do us a favor though. . ." That coming right on the request for anti-tank missiles is direct and stark linkage that puts Trump's fixation and vendetta on getting Joe Biden taken down via a surrogate before our national strategic interests. Worse, it is making our loyalty to treaties and allies contingent on their kow-towing peronsonally to paying off our president, either with cash, or an action targeting the son of a political rival to Trump.