One of the attorneys for the anonymous whistleblower that sparked a presidential impeachment kept a lid on his client’s identity as best he could, but kept no such secret about his own intentions — as Mark Zaid openly called for a “coup” in 2017. The whistleblower’s other lawyer in 2019, Andrew Bajaj, also tweeted in 2017, “we’re there” for invoking the 25th Amendment.
The early intentions of Zaid and Bakaj were widely known. But they weren’t the only far-left lawyers behind the unelected government bureaucrats in the attempted election nullification caper (aka impeachment), as revealed in “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.” Most of the impeachment witnesses who testified before the House Select Committee on Intelligence in late fall 2019 were represented by lawyers steeped in Democratic politics and some associated with extremist causes.
Among the rare witnesses with direct knowledge of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was then-National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who came very close during testimony to admitting he told the whistleblower about the call.
David Pressman represented Vindman. After mid-level roles in the Clinton White House and State Department, Pressman went to work in the early 2000s for the extreme left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center. While there, Pressman was involved in the center’s campaign to take down a monument to the Ten Commandments outside the Alabama State Judicial Building. He returned to government in the Obama administration, and President Barack Obama eventually named Pressman as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Security Council for special political affairs in 2014.
In stark contrast to Vindman, former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch had zero direct knowledge of either the Trump-Zelensky call or Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma. She seemed to be there to be a sympathetic witness. Her lawyer was Lawrence S. Robbins, who previously represented Jane Sanders (wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders) during an FBI investigation of her handling of finances when she was president of a Vermont college that went bust. Robbins also represented several associates of Bill and Hillary Clinton during the Whitewater investigation of the 1990s.
Moreover, Robbins was a public cheerleader for impeachment since at least mid-2018, as he wrote an op-ed for Politico calling for Trump’s ouster from office for allegedly violating campaign finance laws in paying Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their fling. After the Mueller report’s release, Robbins again demanded Trump’s ouster for obstruction of justice, even though the report cleared Trump and his campaign of the underlying matter of Russia collusion.
Lee Wolosky represented former NSC official Fiona Hill. Wolosky was on the NSC for the Clinton White House and then joined the Democratic law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, famous for litigating on behalf of Al Gore in the Bush v. Gore lawsuit for Florida’s electoral votes in 2000. Obama appointed Wolosky U.S. Special Envoy for Guantanamo, to lead efforts to close the U.S. detention facility for terror suspects there — which never happened.
Not all the lawyers were in the tank for Democrats. William Taylor, who became the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine after Trump fired Yovanovitch, hired Never-Trumper John B. Bellinger III, a former legal advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was among 50 former Republican national security officials who signed an August 2016 letter saying, “None of us will vote for Trump.”
The assorted lawyers advising impeachment witnesses, for the most part, had a clear-cut desired outcome. That’s not to say they weren’t serving their clients best interest considering none of the witnesses identified a finite high crime or misdemeanor that Trump committed.
None were more up front about their motives than the whistleblower’s lawyers — with the possible exception of Robbins.
On Jan. 3, 2017, weeks before Trump’s inauguration, Zaid tweeted, “#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately.” On May 9, Zaid tweeted about Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton: “Johnson (1868), Nixon (1973), Clinton (1998) impeachment hearings. Next up @realDonaldTrump (2017).” Zaid was off by a couple of years. That June, marking 45 years since Watergate, Zaid tweeted: “And 45 years from now we might be recalling stories regarding the impeachment of @realDonaldTrump. I’ll be old, but will be worth the wait.”
Bakaj on August 2017 tweeted, “The 25th Amendment concerns @POTUS’ inability to discharge the powers and duties of office. Says nothing about mental health. We’re there.” Bakaj interned as a college student for the Senate offices of Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. He also held government jobs at the Justice Department, CIA inspector general’s office, and the U.S. embassy in Kiev.
Zaid and Bakaj were involved in the project “Whistleblower Aid,” co-founded in 2017 by John Tye, who also previously worked for the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as the climate change activist group Avaaz. Tye also maxed out to Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving $2,700. Whistleblowers calling out government misconduct is great, but the founding of the group in 2017 cast doubt on just how nonpartisan it was.
The fact is, just as certain members of Congress and liberal nonprofits were rather public in paving the way for a Trump impeachment for something — anything, what was less transparent is the legal community in and around the D.C. swamp was also ready to pounce. “Abuse of Power,” reveals these motives and others that long preceded a Ukraine phone call.