The Whistle Blower

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The Whistle Blower

Credit: Unsplash: Photos for Everyone

Credit: Unsplash: Photos for Everyone

Osman Rana

Credit: Unsplash: Photos for Everyone

Osman Rana

Osman Rana

Credit: Unsplash: Photos for Everyone

Presley Nemecek, Staff Reporter

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Two months ago, the majority of U.S. students began their 2019-2020 school year with the usual dread from the end of summer. Never was it on any student’s mind, nor any Americans, for that matter, that a complaint within the White House would be filed and be made public this last week. It started with a phone call between the President of the United States and the Ukrainian President, in which, as the whistleblower puts, “the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests,” that now has spiraled into an impeachment inquiry.

In the early morning of July 25th, Trump had a phone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which the President pressured Ukraine into investigating our former Vice President, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as help in uncovering that the allegations of the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election originated in Ukraine, and to meet with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr. The main pressure, as the whistle whistleblower states in their complaint, was, “pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals.” Prior to the phone call, Trump had frozen a military aid package of hundreds of millions of dollars and used it as leverage against Ukraine. In the complaint, the whistleblower made it very clear that they did not hear the phone call themselves but have had “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call” inform them, as there were “approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call.” One of the White House officials includes our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. 

As the whistleblower stated in their complaint, “-these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.” However, President Trump has created an Executive Order, 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in United States Elections, where it is written “I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the ability of persons located, in whole or in part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” Although, on June 13th, the President told George Stephanopoulos, anchor at ABC News, that he would accept any hurtful information from foreign countries related to his political rivals. Even with the Executive Order, Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President confirms what he shared with Stephanopoulos and further contradicts his own Executive Order.

After the complaint was publicly released, Ukraine was the first to publicly acknowledge the call as they have stated, “… [the] Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”  Several U.S. officials told of the Senior White House officials intervening to “lock down” all records of the phone call between Donald Trump and the Ukrainian President, mainly the word for word transcript of the call. They intervened by placing the records of the phone call into a system in which it would not normally be placed, which is usually used for highly classified information to limit the number of people that would be able to see the record of the phone call.

With the public release of the complaint was noticed,  an impeachment Inquiry was almost immediately started in Congress. Ms. Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced the Impeachment Inquiry on September 24th and accused Trump of an “assault on the Constitution.” The House also issued 2 subpoenas for records. Following the announcement of the Impeachment Inquiry, Trump tweeted “…If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from the office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Civil War seems like such an extreme outcome, but how far is it from actually becoming a reality? As Shaun King, a civil rights activist, stated, “The United States is in a far more fragile and dangerous position that I think many people understand. I actually think Trump’s threat of a Civil War if he is impeached is a very real one. I’m truly not sure he would ever leave office even if he was defeated in 2020.” Alex Orford, Senior at Green Mountain High School believes, “Trump should have been gone years ago. He has admitted to sexual harassment, which is a crime, he has made our country a laughing stock, and he’s only in office because of an outdated system (the Electoral College). America is better than Donald Trump.” 

With these past events, no one knows what the future will hold. Some people believe that Trump should not be impeached and he should continue to hold a second term. Some are the opposite and believe he should be out of office as soon as possible. “The person overseeing our country has a lot of power. When they abuse that power, they should no longer have access to that power,” stated Laura Matthews, Freshman at Green Mountain High School. As America will watch the events unfold, we will all be at the edge of our seats pondering the outcome. Will the looming threat of a Civil War become a reality for our nation? Will Trump actually be impeached? Will he take a second term as our President in 2020? All of these questions can go either way. It all depends on you. What will be your decision?

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