During his rally in Louisiana on Nov. 6, President Donald Trump read a series of tweets from the attorney for the so-called “whistleblower” in which the lawyer proclaimed “a coup has started.”
Trump, while addressing a huge audience in Monroe, pulled a printed copy of a Fox News story out of his jacket and read it to the cheering crowd.
“I don’t know if you saw, I’m coming off the plane and they hand me — look at this character — they just hand me this story,” he said, referring to Mark S. Zaid, the attorney representing the “whistleblower” in the impeachment proceedings against the president.
“Coup has started. First of many steps,” Zaid wrote in January 2017. “Rebellion, Impeachment will follow ultimately.”
Trump called Zaid a “sleazeball” and read another post on Twitter from the lawyer who predicted that “CNN will play a key role in Donald Trump not finishing out his first term.”
Trump said: “It’s all a hoax, it’s a scam, and you know who helps them, these people, the media,” he said, pointing to the back of the hall, as the crowd booed.
Trump cited a third tweet, in which Zaid writes that “as one falls, two more will take their place,” likely referring to Trump administration employees who defied the White House and that the “coup” would occur in “many steps.”
The president mocked Zaid’s client, noting that House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff suddenly dropped any plans to have the “whistleblower” testify.
“Its a disgrace, it’s so bad what they do to our country,” Trump said. “They rip the guts out of our country, and its a shame, and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it, and people should stop … because we have a country to run.”
Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations first identified the “whistleblower” as Eric Ciaramella, a CIA employee and Obama era holdover who is a registered Democrat.
Meanwhile, former Special Ukraine diplomat Kurt Volker, a key witness in the Trump impeachment proceedings, is directly rebutting the so-called “whistleblower’s” allegation that he pressed the president’s supposed “quid pro quo” in Kiev.
The whistleblower’s nine-page formal complaint states that Volker traveled to Kiev the day after Trump talked by phone on July 25 with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint says the mission was specifically to reinforce the president’s “demands” which the complaint said included a desire for Zelensky to cooperate in a probe of Joe Biden.
Volker testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and two other committees, that the whistleblower’s account is “not accurate.”
Volker, according to a transcript released on Tuesday, said his trip was previously scheduled as a post-election meet-and-greet. He said he had no idea the Biden issue had come up in the president ’s call. His read-out said Trump congratulated Zelensky and that they talked of a possible visit to Washington.
“The whistleblower report says that I was dispatched to Ukraine after the President’s phone call to meet with President Zelensky to talk about it,” Volker testified on Oct. 3. “That’s not accurate. I was planning on a visit to Ukraine to fall after the 21st of July, which is when the parliamentary election was. I did not want to show up in Ukraine during an election campaign.”
Volker’s answer is in sharp contrast to the whistleblower’s report, which is based on second-hand sources.
The whistleblower said: “On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kiev and met with President Zelensky and a variety of Ukrainian political figures. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker …. reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelensky.”
Volker said he did give advice on how to “navigate” a campaign to fight corruption and how to stay out of the U.S. 2020 election.
Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, was on the Kiev trip and backed up Volker’s version.
“I was not on that July 25th, 2019, call and I did not see a transcript of that call until September 25th, 2019, when the White House publicly released it. None of the brief and general call summaries I received contained any mention of Burisma or former Vice President Biden, nor even suggested that President Trump had made any kind of request of President Zelensky.”