Saturday, 9 November 2019

Ukraine Whistleblower’s Attorney Sends White House ‘Cease And Desist’ Letter After Trump Criticism

An attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower has sent a “cease and desist” letter to the White House, accusing President Donald Trump of putting his client in danger with his public remarks.

The attorney, Andrew Bakaj, wrote the letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, reported CNN.

“I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger,” Bakaj wrote.
“I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior,” he said in the letter.
Bakaj then spends several paragraphs discussing the Office of the President, lecturing Trump and his counsel that “President John F. Kennedy used his voice to challenge our nation to seek out new heights and ‘go to the moon’ and strive to achieve things ‘not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’” Bakaj also cited Presidents Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln.
He accused Trump’s “rhetoric and behavior” of falling “well beneath the dignity of the office.”
On the second page of the letter, Bakaj explains what actions Trump has taken that allegedly put his client in danger. From the letter:
While engaging in foreign affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York on September 26, 2019, the President equated whistleblowers and my client – as well as my other whistleblower client – with “spies,” stating:
“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
In the “old days,” spies were summarily executed.
Recently while speaking with members of the press, the President specifically discussed my client and encouraged journalists to report who they suspect the whistleblower to be, saying:
“[The press] know[s] who it is. You know who it is. You just don’t want to report it … You know, you’d be doing the public a service if you did.”
Finally, the President quoted Pastor Robert Jeffress by writing the following on social media:
“…If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War[-]like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
Bakaj says the examples he provided “constitute only a small fraction” of Trump’s rhetoric against the whistleblower, who claimed in a complaint that Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The actual transcript of the call showed no such demand and Zelensky has said that he did not feel any pressure from Trump during the call.
Bakaj ends his letter by saying, “should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client.” He then threatens that he and his co-counsel “will not hesitate to take any and all appropriate action against your client” and anyone else who is “complicit in this vindictive campaign against my client.”

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