As With "I Am Not a Crook" Nixon, It's the Cover-Up That May Be Trump's Downfall

September 26, 2019

 
Richard Nixon was compelled to resign over an 18 and 1/2 Minute gap in a recorded conversation with Robert Haldeman about Watergate. Trump is also engaged in an extensive cover-up. ( Scott Beale )

Richard Nixon was compelled to resign over an 18 and 1/2 Minute gap in a recorded conversation with Robert Haldeman about Watergate. Trump is also engaged in an extensive cover-up. (Scott Beale)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH

There's the crime and there's the cover-up.

That was the case with Richard Nixon. He resigned as president rather than face an impeachment vote in the House. The House had been conducting an impeachment inquiry and uncovering how Nixon had condoned the Watergate burglary. But it was the discovery of an 18 and 1/2 minute gap in a taped phone conversation about the Watergate cover-up that led to his resignation.

BuzzFlash was one of the first sites to report yesterday that the media was, at first, treating the White House's alleged "transcript" of Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine as a complete transcript. In reality, the call was filled with gaps and appeared to be only about 1/3 the length of the actual call.

After BuzzFlash posted a tweet pointing out that the White House transcript was likely edited, we asked, "That begs the question, what was left out?" A Washington Post article confirmed a bit later that the so-called "verbatim transcript," as it had been described by Trump, was, in actuality, a "rough transcript," which is an understatement.

After that, the mainstream media shifted to calling it a "rough transcript," a very rough transcript indeed.

With the release this morning of the whistleblower's charges against Trump, we now know the reason behind the partial account of the crucial July 25 Trump-Zelensky call.

According to page three of the now-released whistleblower complaint, there was a concerted effort to suppress any record of the call by moving the real-time transcript to a classified server. The whistleblower thought this alarming enough to create a separate section in his or her complaint.

The whistleblower wrote "that senior White House officials had intervened to 'lock down' all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call."

In essence, the press and the public were initially duped by Trump's claim of releasing a "verbatim" transcript. In fact, as BuzzFlash asked yesterday, "what was left out" and why?

Here we are, more than 40 years after Watergate and Nixon's resignation, and we have a deja-vu-all-over-again moment of a huge gap in a vital piece of evidence of corruption and lawlessneTrump and his advisors, including no doubt the buffoonish and unscrupulous Rudy Giuliani, thought that releasing the abridged "transcript" (which, as we have noted, was really a summary "readout") didn't include a quid pro quo.

However, the quid pro quo had already been conveyed, we can assume, because of Giuliani's many meetings with Ukrainian officials at the behest of Trump. We also don't know what Trump had conveyed prior to the call. Even in the limited "transcript," Trump implied a quid pro quo by mentioning Ukranian defense needs and asking a "favor" of Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son -- and to have him contact Giuliani and William Barr, our attorney general.

No quid pro quo is the key Republican talking point according to a "talking points" memo the GOP accidentally sent out to Democrats in Congress yesterday. But the quid pro quo is in plain sight. The evidence may be included in more detail in the "missing" parts of the transcript on the White House "classified" server.

Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said that even the partial summary of the call "reads like a classic mob shakedown." And that's just based on what Trump was willing to let us know.

Think about Nixon's coup de grace from an 18 and 1/2 minute gap in a taped call. That provides us with a precedent for everything Trump is hiding, including a doctored version of the July 25th phone call that, even after being hacked up, was damning.

To that end, the whistleblower's report provides a treasure trove of Trump administration treason, including the central role of Giuliani in setting up the quid pro quo with Ukranian officials, and that Giuliani had done "damage" to US national security by circumventing the State Department and trying to get Zelensky to "play ball" by accepting Trump's Godfather "offer that he couldn't refuse."

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