Washington’s newest scandal, over a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump, intensified Thursday amid revelations that the White House and Justice Department tried to keep it quiet.
The affair, centering on Trump’s contacts with a mystery foreign leader, has also injected a toxic element into relations among the President, the intelligence community and Congress.
It is hard to see how any of this ends well.
Six months after special counsel Robert Mueller shut up shop, the White House again faces suspicion over Trump’s dealings with a foreign power and seems to be taking steps to stop the full story from coming out.
Democrats are rummaging for new skeletons in Trump’s closet and yet another showdown is developing between the executive and Congress that appears almost certain to play out in the courts.
The details of the controversy unleashed when a whistleblower sounded the alarm about the President are complex, disputed according to political allegiance and largely not public.
The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Thursday that the contacts at issue between Trump and the foreign leader involve Ukraine. In the past, some of Trump’s supporters, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have urged the Kiev government to open investigations that the President could use to raise suspicions about his political rivals, including Joe Biden. In a heated exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night, Giuliani denied asking Ukraine to investigate the former vice president, before admitting he had done just that.