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OPINION: Whistleblower’s report was an act of patriotism



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“Our responsibility is to keep it."

Speakerof the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s words, underscoring the importance of preserving the American republic, unified the Democratic Caucus in support of an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. 

The announcement of the formal impeachment inquiry follows an official whistleblower report alleging presidential abuse of power. The report indicates that Trump worked to “solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election” by pressuring the Ukrainian government under the administration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a phone call to “initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden."

The whistleblower continues to allege that Trump and high-level White House officials worked to cover up the call between Trump and Zelensky by transferring the call transcripts from the computer regularly used to store them to a separate computer system used to store classified and sensitive material. The use of the separate electronic system to store the transcript, according to the whistleblower, caused White House officials to question the president’s actions, as “the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective."

While the president indicated his desire to uncover the identity of the whistleblower and equated the individual to a spy worthy of punishment, it is clear that the whistleblower acted through the proper channels to check the president's recklessness and to raise alarm at the abuse of power that occurred in the White House Situation Room.

The whistleblower’s courageous act of reporting the alleged misconduct in the White House was an act of patriotism, as the interests of the nation triumphed over the interests of the self.

This idea is supported by the Whistleblower Protection Act, passed by the 101st Congress in 1989, which strengthened protections for whistleblowers seeking to expose governmental wrongdoing. The codified protections of whistleblowers highlight the vital role whistleblowers play in removing forces of corruption and upholding the integrity of the United States government. Attacks and retaliation against the whistleblower are alarming, then, as they signal the destruction of mechanisms intended to expose corruption, waste and ethical wrongdoing.

The whistleblower serves as a watchdog, personifying the transparency that is so vitally needed to protect our government from internal and degrading threats. The responsibility lies on us to stand with the American patriot who blew the whistle in response to the foreign interference allegedly induced by Trump. 

Benjamin Franklin responded in seven words to a group of inquiring citizens asking what form of government had been established at the Constitutional Convention. “A republic, if you can keep it," Franklin briefly said, alluding to the need for active citizen engagement to preserve the newly formed government.

The whistleblower heeded Franklin’s advice. It is time for us to do the same by supporting the patriotism of the whistleblower and the actions the individual took to expose the impeachable offenses committed by the president.

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