Donald Trump Is Responding To Impeachment Inquiry Like A 'Guilty President,' Says Former CIA Officer

If President Donald Trump ever had any cool about the impeachment proceedings House Democrats are propelling him towards, he clearly lost it on Wednesday, launching into a 16-minute tirade against his perceived enemies during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

Throughout his Oval Office rant, Trump hurled accusations of "treason," while railing against Democrats for launching an impeachment inquiry into his now infamous July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as against journalists for reporting on it.

The U.S. leader has maintained that he did "nothing wrong" in his phone call with Zelensky, even after a rough transcript from the White House showed that he asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son.

However, Trump's increasingly frantic rants against the impeachment inquiry he faces are doing little to prove his innocence, Evan McMullin, a former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer who ran during the 2016 presidential election and now runs Stand Up Republic, an organization dedicated to defending American democracy, told Newsweek.

If anything, McMullin said, Trump is acting like a "guilty president."

"He's responding like a president guilty of serious wrongdoing," he said on Wednesday.

Noting how Trump has railed against the impeachment inquiry, as well as the anonymous whistleblower who flagged the controversial phone call," accusing them of treason, McMullin said that only a "guilty president" would want to threaten a whistleblower.

"A guilty president threatens to execute whistleblowers. A guilty president threatens to execute members of the legislature. A guilty president says the press is the enemy of the people," he said.

"We don't need to speculate about the president's guilt. The whistleblower brought the Ukraine issue to the public," McMullin asserted. "We have a rough transcript of the conversation—released by the White House—that the president had with Ukrainian President Zelensky and the president hasn't denied the facts it contains."

"He's maligned the whistleblower on other grounds, but we haven't heard him say that he didn't ask Zelensky for a favor right after Zelensky raised the topic of U.S. military assistance," McMullin pointed out. "Either way, we know that's what he did."

The president, McMullin asserted, "has a track record of corruption now. "This isn't speculation, although many of us anticipated these abuses early on."

After Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia came to a close leaving the president relatively unscathed, McMullin said, the U.S. leader "learned a lesson."

"He learned that he would not be held accountable for inviting foreign attacks on our democracy and so he pursued them again," the former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer said. "It's a way for him to overcome his unpopularity and get through the next election despite foreign entities being prohibited from participating in our elections and despite the harm that a foreign adversary like Russia seeks to do to the nation in the process."

"Trump has learned the lesson that he will not be held accountable for seeking foreign assistance to win an election in the United States," McMullin expanded. And, he said, if the president is "not checked, sweeping attacks on our democracy such as that of the Russians in 2016, now solicited and protected by the president, are likely to continue."

The president, McMullin said, has "chosen" his current situation "by virtue of pursuing foreign election assistance again."

"So, now, we have a choice: either hold him accountable or allow him to further corrupt our elections so that we're no longer able to hold him accountable through that process."

While McMullin said there is still more information to be gleaned before he would support Trump's impeachment, "at this point, I support an impeachment inquiry."

"I think there needs to be a public discovery and display of facts related to the president's apparent abuses of power," he said. "Then we can consider if impeachment is appropriate."

Ultimately, the scandal Trump currently finds himself embroiled in is a "real moment of truth for our democracy and for freedom in America," McMullin said. "In order to save the republic, we have to hold the president and his foreign backers accountable."

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump rails against journalists asking questions about an impeachment inquiry during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the East Room of the White House October 02, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. leader has escalated attacks on those behind the impeachment inquiry into his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.