Why Trump’s whistleblower preoccupation makes so little sense

Updated

George Conway, a lawyer with considerable experience in Republican politics, published a helpful tweet last week, explaining why the GOP’s interest in the intelligence community’s whistleblower is misplaced.

“Someone calls 911 because they hear shots down the street at the bank,” Conway wrote. “The cops show up at the bank, and, sure enough, it’s been robbed, and there are numerous witnesses there who saw the crime. The suspects confess. Normally, at this point, no one cares about who called 911.”

Quite right. There is no doubt that the intelligence community’s whistleblower effectively helped light the match, creating Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. There is also no doubt that the still-unidentified whistleblower was correct, raising allegations that have been corroborated in great detail.

But it’s also true that the whistleblower, to borrow George Conway’s analogy, is the one who called 911 – and the relevance of that call has long since faded.

As the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noted in his latest column, following acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor’s testimony, “In an instant, the impeachment inquiry no longer rested on the credibility of a whistleblower, nor arguments about the meaning of quid pro quo. Here, spelling out Trump’s wrongdoing in extensive detail, was Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to Ukraine.”

And it’s against this backdrop that the president tweeted this morning:

“Where’s the Whistleblower?”

This comes on the heels of an interview Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) did with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, in which the host said the whistleblower is “an intelligence agent who was involved in the overthrow of the president. Am I wrong?”

The far-right congressman replied, “No, you’re right.”

As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, Republicans have effectively been reduced to arguing, “The person who called 911 may have had suspect motives.” What they don’t seem to realize is that the whistleblower could’ve been an ax murderer and it wouldn’t make any difference.