The whistleblower’s letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee is officially out, and there are some details in it that should indeed give Republicans pause.
There is no smoking gun in the report, but the complaint is very carefully worded and does give investigators enough to go on to pursue the original allegation that President Donald Trump used the power of his office to influence the 2020 presidential election.
The letter addressed to Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, lays out the allegation and names several key figures in the Trump administration, including Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General William Barr, and even Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Most importantly, however, the letter tells the committee exactly where investigators need to look to get the information they need.
It’s likely that, based on the letter, the next target has already been painted on Giuliani’s back. He has been all over the media with (at best) conflicting messages and is listed multiple times in the letter as Trump’s go-to guy for negotiations with Ukrainian leaders and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. His unofficial status as ambassador to Ukraine (troublesome in and of itself) will make any communications he had with the nation fair game.
Likewise, we’ll also see investigators look into the separate electronic storage system in which the transcript of the call was kept. That system is, according to the letter, normally used for “codeword-level” intelligence and not presidential phone calls. While it is possible that the Trump administration is incredibly concerned with just how much information leaks out, it does raise enough questions that we’ll have no choice but to try to answer.
There is more to the letter, which you can read at the link above. However, it stops short of being a nail in the coffin. Trump, however, will probably have a few more headaches stemming from it.