Brent Budowsky: Deep Throat's defending our democracy

Brent Budowsky: Deep Throat's defending our democracy
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When the president of the United States and commander in chief of the military says that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee should be charged with treason, this is not the America that George Washington founded but the abuse of government that Washington warned the nation to forever protect our country from.

The courageous and patriotic whistleblower who is now under fierce, shameful and possibly illegal attack by the president and his supporters performed a historic service to democracy. He or she followed the rules, obeyed the law and confidentially presented his information to the inspector general for intelligence.

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The whistleblower was obviously working with some extremely well-informed national security insiders who can be fairly described as modern Deep Throats — who were also motivated by defending democracy.

Other potential whistleblowers and Deep Throats who have similar information should demonstrate the same courage and patriotism of the whistleblower and confidentially inform the inspector general, who will be remembered by history as a man of integrity and honor, of what they know. On matters that are not classified, they should tell their truths to respected members of the media but only in ways that are clearly permitted under law.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees should conduct historic nonpartisan hearings and request public testimony from former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack MORE, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon, former Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE and former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial MORE to give the nation the benefit of their views on great issues of democracy and security now being discussed across America and around the world.

I have long admired McMaster, Coats, Gordon and Mattis, while Bolton knows critical truths that the nation would be well-served by learning.

The extraordinary public hearings I propose should not be tied to the impeachment process. The witnesses I suggest should be free to offer whatever advice they choose on whatever matters they desire, but they should not be required to discuss impeachment unless they feel duty-bound to do so.

McMaster, Coats, Gordon, Mattis and Bolton should discuss publicly and clearly what they believe about the idea that Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial The Memo: Day One shows conflicting narratives on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) should be investigated for treason, and whether they believe that any president or Cabinet member should threaten or solicit support from foreign leaders to attack a domestic political opponent.

They should offer their advice about whether any president, attorney general or secretary of State should travel across the world to ask leaders of foreign intelligence services to provide or manufacture “dirt” designed to discredit the CIA and FBI, and in some cases, their own intelligence services, that exposed the profound and indisputable truth that Russia is attacking American and Western democracy by trying to discredit domestic opponents of political candidates the Russians support.

They should offer their advice about whether this conduct by a president, secretary of State and attorney general designed to discredit the CIA, FBI and former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE could incentivize multiple foreign enemies to attack our elections.

They should offer their advice about the need to protect the unity and resolve of NATO and other alliances that defend our democracies from foreign threats, and whether politicians who divide the democratic alliance are aiding and abetting foreign enemies and dictators who break our laws to destroy our democracy.

They should offer advice about whether a secretary of State should use his department to become a political weapon, demoralizing our foreign service and staining its reputation in democracies around the world, by reopening an old investigation to revive partisan attacks against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, while joining a phone call pressuring a foreign leader to initiate new defamations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' MORE, a potential Democratic nominee in 2020.

Now is the time for good men and women who know great truths to come to the aid of our country — and democracies everywhere!

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.