On Friday, a source told Fox News that a National Security Council (NSC) staffer had spoken about Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “multiple” people outside of the NSC, and had characterized the call as “outrageous.” This occurred before the whistleblower’s complaint had been submitted. This development had been reported to then-senior National Security Council (NSC) leadership.
According to Fox:
The development comes as Fiona Hill, a former special assistant to the president who worked on European and Russian affairs, is set to give a deposition next week. Fox News has reached out to Hill for over a week with questions about whether she helped prep for the July 25 call or received any readout of the call.
Hill departed the White House in July, after working under ex-National Security Advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton.
Separately, President Trump’s new National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, appeared on Fox Business News’ Lou Dobbs on Thursday and said he plans to reduce the number of staff members of the National Security Council over the next 15 months to about 100 from the current level of 178. O’Brien said that the Obama administration had over 200 staffers on its NSC while the George W. Bush administration had only 100. He told Dobbs that, “It just ballooned into a massive, you know, bureaucracy…under the last administration. We want to bring it back to historic levels. We think we can be more efficient and better serve the President with that sort of a streamlined organization.”
O’Brien said the cuts would happen through attrition. He explained that “most of them are detailed from agencies, from the DOD, from various branches of the military, from the State Department.”
Considering that the most recent leak from an NSC staffer resulted in the whistleblower’s complaint which has become the basis of the Democrats’ bogus impeachment inquiry, Trump is obviously concerned.
However, a senior administration official said Friday that O’Brien’s planned staff reduction was unrelated to the leaks. That seems rather unlikely. A smaller staff would be in the administration’s best interest as it would make members a bit more accountable and leakers somewhat easier to find.
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the whistleblower’s attorneys asked lawmakers if, instead of appearing before Congress in person, their client might answer questions in writing. So far, there has been no response.
Their source said the whistleblower’s attorneys fear that Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee would leak their client’s identity.
Several ideas have been tossed around about how to protect the whistleblower’s anonymity such as having him or her “appear remotely and using technology like voice modulation software to conceal his identity.”
Other ideas involve the use of secure rooms called Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, or SCIFs. The source said that “while those rooms are available on Capitol Hill, appearing there likely would pose additional challenges to protecting the whistleblower’s anonymity given the number of people, especially reporters, in the halls of Congress. One alternative that has been discussed is using a SCIF at an executive branch agency, people familiar with the matter said.”
Given how significantly the whistleblower’s case has unraveled over the last couple of weeks, I think we should dispense with the term “whistleblower.” Like Christine Blasey-Ford, he or she is a tool of the Democratic Party.
The Democrats’ protection of this individual stands in sharp contrast to their Stalinesque treatment of the President. Even the accused have rights in the U.S. justice system. The Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment “provides that a person accused of a crime has the right to confront a witness against him or her…as well as the right to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses.” House Democrats have accused our President of an offense that falls into the category of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He is entitled to a defense and he deserves to confront his accuser.
(Relevant segment begins at 3:55.)