Yesterday Palmer Report pointed out that, even as Donald Trump was attacking and harassing the Ukraine whistleblower in an effort to make the person’s life miserable, he wasn’t exposing the person’s identity. This means that either Trump doesn’t know who the whistleblower is, or he’s afraid that if he outs the person’s identity, it’ll just prompt the person to go public and make things even worse for Trump.
Now Donald Trump has announced that the transcript of his call with the president of Ukraine to be publicly released. Trump doesn’t really want this to happen, of course, as the transcript would prove that he illegally tried to conspire with a foreign nation to alter the outcome of the 2020 election in his own favor. But he has to say things like this in the fading hope of trying to maintain the appearance that he’s innocent. The thing is, he may have made a major legal mistake by saying it.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, now with NBC News, put it this way on Twitter: “Trump just said he wants the Ukrainian call transcript released. This should be viewed as an official declaration that the whistleblower is now free to talk about any information he/she has involving that call.”
In other words, whatever privilege Donald Trump may be trying to invoke in the hope of keeping the whistleblower complaint from being released, he just waived it. This doesn’t mean that the complaint will be magically released tomorrow, or that the whistleblower will suddenly go public tomorrow. But it does significantly alter the legal battle over the complaint itself. This means we’re now more likely to see it – and to see it sooner than we otherwise would have.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report