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Amid the process of political trial initiated by the Democrats against Donald Trump, the confirmation this weekend of a second complainant willing to testify in the case of the "Ukrainian plot," further complicated the situation of the president of the United States.
“I can confirm this information from a second # whistleblower represented by our legal team,” said lawyer Mark Zaid on Twitter, formalizing a preview of The New York Times. "He has first-hand information," he explained, referring to the investigation that Democrats opened on Trump accusing him of pressuring President of Ukraine Volodimir Zelenski to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for alleged facts. of corruption
Zaid recently told Washingtonian magazine that he hoped that the identity of the original whistleblower, whom Trump accused of being a traitor, was never made public.
The second complainant was already interrogated by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson.
The president rejected the accusations in two tweets yesterday Sunday, although he made no mention of the second complainant. Trump repeated the claim that Hunter Biden had received "$ 100,000 a month from a company based in Ukraine, despite having no experience in energy … and separately received $ 1.5 billion from China despite having no experience. and for no apparent reason. ”
Trump asked China on Friday to investigate Biden's son.
Other reports say Hunter Biden received up to 50,000 a month as a board member of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.
Trump said on Twitter that “as president” he had “the obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means seeking help from a country or foreign countries. It is done all the time. ” Trump also said that Biden, who leads the intention to vote among the Democrats to be a presidential candidate in 2020, should "throw in the towel."
The pressure on the president increases after the Democratic opposition, which dominates the House of Representatives, ordered the White House on Friday to deliver documents on the Ukrainian case.
The investigations began after a first whistleblower – who according to some reports would be a CIA analyst – filed a formal complaint with the intelligence inspector general about Trump's alleged pressure on Zelenski. A transcript of the telephone call released by the White House, as well as a series of text messages between US diplomats, seem to support the original complaint.
The second informant has not written a complaint, as the first did, and has limited himself to talk with the inspector general of intelligence, an independent figure who is dedicated to ensuring the proper functioning of the CIA and other agencies, such as the DAY, dedicated to military espionage.
The complaint of the first agent caused the Democrats to announce on September 24 the beginning of an investigation to determine if the president abused his power by pressing Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 elections investigating the Biden and, therefore, must Be subjected to a political trial.
The second informant confirmed yesterday may not be the last. On Twitter, lawyer Andrew Bakaj, from the same Zaird law firm, said his office is presenting "multiple informants."
Both Zaid and Bakaj work for the legal group "Rose of the Winds" that specializes in the defense of the so-called "whistleblowers" or informants, that is, those who are aware of illegal activities in their workplace and decide to report them.
Since the scandal broke, Trump has tried to question the credibility of the first whistleblower, allegedly a CIA agent. The president has affirmed that this individual relied on “second-hand information”, since his complaint was made based on the testimony of half a dozen government officials.
So far, Republicans in Congress have been very cautious because they fear that dealing with Trump may bring them problems with the party base, always loyal to the president. However, this weekend, Republican senators Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins took a step forward to express concern about the president's attitude.
Democrats need the support of Republicans in the Senate to dismiss the president, something that has never happened before in the United States.
Only three presidents have so far faced impeachment proceedings: Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) and Bill Clinton (1993-2001), who were acquitted; and Richard Nixon (1964-1974), who resigned before the political trial.
“True doubt about US stability”
The former director of the CIA John Brennan called into question yesterday the "stability" of the United States under the presidency of Donald Trump, accusing the president of corrupting the institutions.
Brennan, who led the CIA in the Barack Obama administration, warned in an interview with the NBC network that "the democratic principles on which this country was founded are being eroded."
Asked about how the CIA could assess the stability of the United States, Brennan said: “We would see it as a very corrupt government that is under the control, right now, of this powerful individual who has been able to corrupt institutions and laws. of that country. " "I think it is not a democracy if an autocrat has it in his hands," he added.
He accused Republican lawmakers of being "malleable" by Trump and considered that "given the polarization in the country, there is enormous political instability here that consumes the government right now." "So yes, I think there is a real question about stability," he said.
Trump revoked Brennan's security authorizations last year, whom he called the "worst CIA director in history."
Whistleblowers, what the law says
The law in the United States protects intelligence agents who report an allegedly illegal act within government agencies.
Framed law. A law enacted in 1998 and amended in 2010 created the General Inspection of Intelligence Services (ICIG).
This agency is independent of the services of the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI), which oversees government agencies.
Any report must be sent to the ICIG, which has to review it within 14 days and, if it is considered credible, transfer it to the DNI. The latter in turn must transmit it to the two parliamentary intelligence committees, that of the Senate and that of the House of Representatives, within the following seven days. The complainant is protected and his anonymity is preserved.
Ukrainian case. On August 12, a member of the intelligence services – a CIA agent according to The New York Times – sent a report focusing on a July 25 telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelenski .
Follow the procedure to the letter, informing the ICIG of an "urgent problem": according to him, the president used his function "to request interference from a foreign country in the 2020 elections in the United States."
His complaint reaches the office of the president of the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, Democrat Adam Schiff, who decides to make it public on September 26.
Two days earlier, the president of the House, also the democrat Nancy Pelosi, had launched a impeachment procedure against Trump.