No, nobody changed whistleblower rules

One of the impeachment talking points from Republicans has been that somebody changed the whistleblower complaint rules to allow “hearsay” evidence, so clearly the deep state is out to get Trump and something is fishy and Hillary Clinton is orchestrating it all from her pizza basement while George Soros writes checks. Or something. No, it’s not true, and yes, Republicans are flailing with it. But there is an interesting part here, which is how dumb conclusions get amplified into conspiracy theories which then rattle around the president’s malfunctioning brain, and this Wonkette post traces the whole thing – it’s pretty interesting. Especially how the Federalist, a right wing propaganda rag with mysterious funding sources run by idiot child Meghan McCain’s husband, is involved.

Faced with an incredibly damning whistleblower report that was corroborated by the Ukraine shakedown transcript and Donald Trump’s own admission that he tried to lock the incriminating call in the Bin Laden Vault so no one would ever see it, the GOP attack machine lurched into gear to discredit the whistleblower and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG). Naturally, The Federalist was first to man the ramparts, laundering a bullshit Twitter thread from some climate-denying loon into a full-blown conspiracy theory that was then broadcast through the president’s Twitter megaphone. If bullshit were music, these guys would be a brass band!

Normally we do our best to ignore the Federalist dumpster fire, other than to occasionally ask, “Who funds that rag anyway?” But in this case we’re going to have make an exception. So, here is your Anatomy of a Lie, a play in four acts.

There’s quite a bit of detail. The most important part, apart from the machinations of the Republican lie machine, is that no rules were changed, complaints can include second-hand evidence (this has always been the case), this complaint had some of both, and this requires the IG to determine the validity of any second-hand evidence, which is exactly what happened. So there’s your scandal.

But it’s funny to see how badly the Federalist pretends to be a journalistic enterprise. Personally, I prefer the Federalist Pitchbot on Twitter.

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