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Old 01-28-2020, 01:13 AM
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Whistleblower protection


I've seen some suggestions that the whistleblower be called to testify at the impeachment trial.

What kind of protections does the whistleblower have with regards to the impeachment trial? Can they be subpoenaed despite the Senate (I assume) not knowing who they are? Obviously someone and probably more than one person knows who they are. Can the Senate require one of them to disgorge that information?
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:37 AM
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Can any Trump defender tell me why it is important to know who the WB is or why he/she should testify? And, while you are at it, explain why the Bidens should be called as witnesses. I'll hold my breath now.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:05 AM
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I'm not a trump defender but I'll take a run at it.

The argument seems to be that if Trump was actively hunting corruption then he is free to use any means necessary and in this case the corrupt bastards just happened to be his political opponents. If the Bidens admit to being corrupt in the impeachment trial then all of trumps actions are immediately justified.

As for the whistleblower it seems to be a case of the right to cross examine your accuser. In this case trump was accused of doing something impeachable by an anonymous party and if they can put that party on the witness stand we may find out that they are la lying bastard who's only motivation was to seek retribution on trump and similarly to the Russian collusion if the reason the investigation was started is questionable then all of the results of the investigation are questionable as well.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:46 AM
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Whistleblowers are not accusers, they are people that inform the appropriate channels of misconduct and potentially trigger an investigation.

If Trump was hunting corruption then he was to inform the DOJ and allow the department to begin an investigation that may or may not involved the government of a different country.

How these are even questions is staggering.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:29 PM
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Whistleblowers are not accusers, they are people that inform the appropriate channels of misconduct and potentially trigger an investigation.
Although I do not want the whistleblower identified or to be called to testify because I believe that Trump et al are just that vindictive, that sounds an awful lot like a witness. However, the witness in this case has no information as to whether or not Trump abused his power that hasn't been put forth by public testimony.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:43 PM
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Trump defender hat back on:

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Whistleblowers are not accusers, they are people that inform the appropriate channels of misconduct and potentially trigger an investigation.

If Trump was hunting corruption then he was to inform the DOJ and allow the department to begin an investigation that may or may not involved the government of a different country.

How these are even questions is staggering.
There is no way that a whistleblower isn't an accuser. They literally go to the appropriate channels and accuse someone of wrong doing. I don't see any difference between a guy a work calling the anonymous HR line and saying I think Joe is embezzling $100K and a girl going to the cops and saying I think Joe raped Sally. In both cases it triggers an investigation and it could be different it we know that Joe is bsnging the first guy's wife or had just dumped the second girl but we can't know that without knowing who those people are.

DOJ has no authority to investigate corruption in Ukraine. If Trump was concerned the proper people to do the investigation were the Ukrainian government so he went to the proper authority to launch the investigation. Since Trump can't command the Ukrainians to do anything he had to use the only means at his command their funding. It is totally all worth it though if the Bidens are guilty.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:06 PM
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...
There is no way that a whistleblower isn't an accuser. They literally go to the appropriate channels and accuse someone of wrong doing. I don't see any difference between a guy a work calling the anonymous HR line and saying I think Joe is embezzling $100K and a girl going to the cops and saying I think Joe raped Sally. In both cases it triggers an investigation and it could be different it we know that Joe is bsnging the first guy's wife or had just dumped the second girl but we can't know that without knowing who those people are.

...
Whistleblowers are not accusers. Not. The guy who called 911 because that house over there is on fire- no one ever asks who called. They just go put out the fucking fire. I called the cops when I saw some dudes climbing on top of my favorite liquor store. The cops showed up with a truck thad had a ladder, and guess what? My part was done as soon as I hung up the phone.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:23 PM
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Whistleblowers are not accusers. Not. The guy who called 911 because that house over there is on fire- no one ever asks who called. They just go put out the fucking fire. I called the cops when I saw some dudes climbing on top of my favorite liquor store. The cops showed up with a truck thad had a ladder, and guess what? My part was done as soon as I hung up the phone.
Trump supporter's hat on:

That's not quite true. See what the Seville Police Department thinks is:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seville Police Department
For example, if you witness 2 people across the street from you, 1 standing on the sidewalk and 1 going through your neighbor's car and call the police and tell them about the event and do not give your name, and the police respond and find both persons standing on the sidewalk, it is quite possible that neither person will be arrested even though a crime has been committed! This is because the officer did not see the person going through the car and without a witness who can be identified and who could testify that the person in the red shirt was going through the cars, no arrest can be made. Being resistant to crime often involves civic duty as well, the willingness to become involved and to make a stand. This is true even when it means possibly testifying to the facts in court. That's simply how the system works.
So if you just call the police and walk away then nothing is going to happen unless the person you accused is caught red handed.

Let's try this with a definition from Google Accuse:

1: charge (someone) with an offense or crime.

2: claim that (someone) has done something wrong.

Back to your roof example. If you called the cops and said two people were on the roof of the building having a tea party the cops aren't going to show up. You have to imply or claim that someone is or has done something wrong for the cops to show up. That is an accusation. If the cops show up and you're not willing to do anything more then they let the person go unless they caught them in the act.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:49 PM
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While the whistleblower is technically an accuser, he's not the only one. If he were, then yes, he'd likely have to come forth during the trial. But various other people have come forth, most recently John Bolton. So no one needs to know who the whistleblower is and there's no need for him to testify.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:54 PM
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...I called the cops when I saw some dudes climbing on top of my favorite liquor store. The cops showed up with a truck thad had a ladder, and guess what? My part was done as soon as I hung up the phone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
Trump supporter's hat on:

That's not quite true. See what the Seville Police Department thinks is:




So if you just call the police and walk away then nothing is going to happen unless the person you accused is caught red handed.

Let's try this with a definition from Google Accuse:

1: charge (someone) with an offense or crime.

2: claim that (someone) has done something wrong.

Back to your roof example. If you called the cops and said two people were on the roof of the building having a tea party the cops aren't going to show up. You have to imply or claim that someone is or has done something wrong for the cops to show up. That is an accusation. If the cops show up and you're not willing to do anything more then they let the person go unless they caught them in the act.
Yeah, it's really actually true. It happened. I was there. And if the fellas were having a tea party they were trespassing while doing so, and the cops saw it. They're witness to it. No one asked me jack shit after I hung up the phone. Fact. Not alternative fact.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post

Back to your roof example. If you called the cops and said two people were on the roof of the building having a tea party the cops aren't going to show up. You have to imply or claim that someone is or has done something wrong for the cops to show up. That is an accusation. If the cops show up and you're not willing to do anything more then they let the person go unless they caught them in the act.
No.

You call the police to give them information. They then act on it. It's up to the police to decide what to do once they arrive. Not you.

The whistleblower gave out information. It was up to other authorities to act on their information. They are not accusers. Period.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:24 PM
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So, I guess the Trump supporters are saying that if anyone in law enforcement ever decided to solicit anonymous tips and developed a mechanism to protect the identity of the tipsters, that would be totally unconstitutional? And wrong, and an affront to the rights of criminals everywhere?

So there would never be a well publicized nationwide program with a phone number and official forms and to facilitate anonymity and billboards encouraging criminals to rat out their cohorts, right? Because that would be totally unconstitutional.

https://www.crimestoppersusa.org/contact/submit-a-tip/


Good God, the Gangster Clown Posse is ridiculous.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-28-2020 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:28 PM
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Using the liquor store analogy - a person calls the cops and says "There are people hanging around the back door in the dark with a crow bar. I think they might be breaking in." The cops show up and, lo and behold, there are two guys wearing latex gloves walking away from the back door with a crow bar and there are pry marks around the lock. The cops arrest them and charge them with attempted burglary. Are you saying the defendants have a constitutional right to know who called the cops? And, by the way, are they guilty of nothing because they saw the cops coming and walked away without getting in?
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:36 PM
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[QUOTE=Oredigger77;22105493]I'm not a trump defender but I'll take a run at it.

The argument seems to be that if Trump was actively hunting corruption then he is free to use any means necessary and in this case the corrupt bastards just happened to be his political opponents. If the Bidens admit to being corrupt in the impeachment trial then all of trumps actions are immediately justified.

IF Trump was actually hunting corruption. This is a false premise or at least there is no evidence to support it. So, right there the explanation falls flat. Even if he was, he is not free to use any means necessary. Any LEGAL means, perhaps, but not ANY means. The ends cannot justify the means.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:56 PM
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The identity of the whistle blower is not a secret. Everyone who cares to know who it is, knows it.
If he was to be called he could try to negotiate protection but it is unlikely he would get much as he doesn't have any leverage. However, he still has the same whistle blower protection as every other government employee.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:57 PM
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As a criminal defense attorney, I routinely see investigations that begin with a "confidential informant', who usually provides a reason for police to start surveilling a business, or following a person, or asking questions of potential witnesses.

Eventually, the case gets to me, where it's my job to try to quash the fruits of the investigation. One argument is that the investigation was initiated due to a potentially unreliable source who may have had ulterior motives.

Guess what? That never ever works. The fact that an unnamed person led the police to start snooping around is always irrelevant if the snooping led them to find out that criminal activity was underway. Why the police became suspicious is irrelevant.

Of course, the criminals always want to know who the rat is. But their reason is simply retribution, not because that revelation will be the key to unraveling the prosecution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seville Police Department
For example, if you witness 2 people across the street from you, 1 standing on the sidewalk and 1 going through your neighbor's car and call the police and tell them about the event and do not give your name, and the police respond and find both persons standing on the sidewalk, it is quite possible that neither person will be arrested even though a crime has been committed! This is because the officer did not see the person going through the car and without a witness who can be identified and who could testify that the person in the red shirt was going through the cars, no arrest can be made. Being resistant to crime often involves civic duty as well, the willingness to become involved and to make a stand. This is true even when it means possibly testifying to the facts in court. That's simply how the system works.
(Emphasis added)
The Seville Police Department are deceiving you to try to get you to cooperate, because it's always easier for cops when they get witnesses coming to them instead of having to find them. But 'it is quite possible' a criminal will get away because you didn't do your civic duty when you chose to remain anonymous is a bunch of bullshit.

In actuality, if the cops get an anonymous call, they would go out, and if the caller provided details that matched the observations the cops saw, it would be a basis to further the investigation. And it would be the results of that investigation that would be the basis of the criminal charge.

Now, of course, if there was no other evidence other than a 911 caller, that wouldn't be enough (but, that's true even if we have the person's name; just because you call the police on somebody doesn't mean you are always telling the truth).

But suppose the cops are called about the guy going through the car, and when they arrive they see two people both in red shirts, both of whom could match the description. At that point, the cops are going to speak to both people, since the anonymous caller gave them a reason to do so. Now, suppose one seems nervous and furtive, so the cop (concerned for his safety) pats him down and finds a screwdriver and a bunch of loose change in his pockets. The other guy points out he lives two doors down. There is a busted door handle on the neighbor's car and paint chips on the edge of the screwdriver match the color of that car. Do you really think the anonymous 911 caller tanked the case?
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:31 PM
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The guy who called 911 because that house over there is on fire- no one ever asks who called.
The fuck they don't. Not only did they get my information when I called in a fire around the corner at 3:00 AM, when they subsequently visited me, they were pretty damned accusatory with their line of questioning.

I agree that whistle blowers do differ from some types of accusers. Whistle blowers are typically insiders, thus needing additional protections from retribution. I guess you could argue that simply handing over documents that increment someone aren't accusations, but I'm not sure I care about the semantics nearly as much as that the protections are in place and followed through.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:57 PM
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Being that the OP is really just asking a question that seems to have been answered, could I mention another thing about the whistle blower and the trial: The other day, Lindsay Graham said he didn't think the whistle blower should be revealed now, but only possibly later down the road. Rand Paul obviously wants him to be outed. What's up with that? Graham is a huge Trump supporter. Paul has gone against Trump on some fairly substantial items: he is against what Trump did to the Iran nuclear deal, did not agree with his Syria missile strike, wants to limit Trump's war powers, etc. I know this is crazy, but maybe Graham doesn't want the whistle blower revealed because he thinks this will look bad for Trump, and Paul wants him revealed for the same reason. I don't think this is likely, it's just that it's kinda weird that they don't agree on this.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:15 PM
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Being that the OP is really just asking a question that seems to have been answered, could I mention another thing about the whistle blower and the trial: The other day, Lindsay Graham said he didn't think the whistle blower should be revealed now, but only possibly later down the road. Rand Paul obviously wants him to be outed. What's up with that? Graham is a huge Trump supporter. Paul has gone against Trump on some fairly substantial items: he is against what Trump did to the Iran nuclear deal, did not agree with his Syria missile strike, wants to limit Trump's war powers, etc. I know this is crazy, but maybe Graham doesn't want the whistle blower revealed because he thinks this will look bad for Trump, and Paul wants him revealed for the same reason. I don't think this is likely, it's just that it's kinda weird that they don't agree on this.
THey are both aware that the wb has no relevance except to misinform the base, and create obfuscation. We're not talking about high school freshmen here. They may disagree on a point, or they could be making dust swirl around together.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:51 PM
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THey are both aware that the wb has no relevance except to misinform the base, and create obfuscation. We're not talking about high school freshmen here. They may disagree on a point, or they could be making dust swirl around together.
Graham is more a part of the swamp and Paul is more of a swamp drainer. He'd like to expose the backroom coordination with the WB and Graham would prefer to preserve his ability to make backroom deals with future WBs himself.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:47 PM
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Graham is more a part of the swamp and Paul is more of a swamp drainer. He'd like to expose the backroom coordination with the WB and Graham would prefer to preserve his ability to make backroom deals with future WBs himself.
"Paul is more of a swamp drainer." Not anymore. He made a choice which was on ample display this week. There are no drainers in the rebupkis anymore, if there ever were. (There never were)
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:20 PM
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The identity of the whistle blower is not a secret. Everyone who cares to know who it is, knows it.
I'm among those who don't care to know who it is, because I don't. I just read news reports and they are careful not to give out any names.

Quote:
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Being that the OP is really just asking a question that seems to have been answered,
I'm not sure it has been answered, but maybe I missed something. I was looking for a legal answer in the OP, and I don't think anyone's provided one. There've been some political answers, but those aren't the same.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:55 AM
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"Paul is more of a swamp drainer." Not anymore. He made a choice which was on ample display this week. There are no drainers in the rebupkis anymore, if there ever were. (There never were)
There prob never really were but what did he do this week wrt his position on swamp draining? I guess we can all define that term any way we want so nevermind.

Facebook used to be taking down the WBs name but I don't think they are anymore. I've seen two posts in the last 24 hours that are still up.

Its interesting that Roberts wouldn't read the name. I assume that he was instructed not to by both sides in the very beginning. Doesn't seem like he would have made a "ruling" like that on the fly.

As for WB protection, I think its less about security than about job protection. His job(s) are not really at risk since everyone knows who he is already. His security is not much more at risk than any of the other swamp creatures involved IMHO.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:27 PM
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WRT identity of a 9-1-1 caller.... In my experience as a supervisor in a 9-1-1 center I can say that asking for a caller's name is typically one of the questions asked of all callers regardless of the nature of the call. But as with many general rules, it is not always followed. Some call takers forget to ask the question, or sense given a caller's apparent reluctance that asking for the caller's name is likely to lead to not getting cooperation in providing other critical information. YMMV. And some callers refuse to provide a name.

Some calls are readily verifiable by a police officer arriving at a location. Caller reports traffic lights are out at the corner of Smith and Main. Officer arrives and sees that is true and directs traffic. Unless there are signs of tampering at the traffic light control box at the intersection the police really have no interest in identifying the caller.

But for some of the examples in this thread I would absolutely ask for a caller's name. If a caller has a particular history of providing reliable (or unreliable) information then that can be one factor to raise in seeking a warrant or justifying not conducting further investigation beyond an initial assessment.

A building on fire? Certainly! Having the caller's name could ease follow up for investigating officers if the blaze is suspected of being intentionally set. People on top a commercial building in the middle of the night? Hell yes! Could be a break-in in progress. The caller could be a key witness and police may wish to follow up.


But an anonymous caller might be able to provide sufficient detailed information to allow police to get a warrant that furthers an investigation. One anonymous caller once provided a detailed description of where a handgun was hidden in a park and also alleged that the gun was owned by a particular person who deals drugs and has his drug stash hidden in a drop ceiling above a particular ceiling tile in his bathroom. Police found the handgun where it was reported to be and presented the rest of the anonymous caller's reports from the 9-1-1 call to a judge who issued a warrant authorizing the inspection of the area above the drop ceiling in the suspect's home. Drugs were found there and the suspect was arrested.


So, why might questioning the whistleblower in the Trump Ukraine investigation be relevant? In this case a key issue is the state of mind of Trump. That is something that is established by questioning witnesses and gathering documents. Knowing who the whistleblower is can help identify other witnesses and/or relevant documents or other evidence. It could even identify areas of investigation that are unlikely to prove fruitful. It is all about followup.

And then there is the issue of reliability. If a particular whistelblower has a history of providing reliable information then that bolsters the willingness of investigators to take his/her report seriously.

And conversely if a particular whistleblower has a history of providing information that proved unreliable the his/her statement may necessitate additional corroboration before being taken seriously. Something along the lines of a 9-1-1 call I had where the caller was reporting her ex-boyfriend for dealing drugs out of a bar that she claimed to be standing across the road from. And yet when asked to describe what her ex was wearing she was unable to do so. Police followed up but found the report to be unsubstantiated. Records showed a history of her making uncorroborated accusations against her ex and this call was used as part of the evidence to get a restraining order against her.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:31 PM
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There prob never really were but what did he do this week wrt his position on swamp draining? I guess we can all define that term any way we want so nevermind.

Facebook used to be taking down the WBs name but I don't think they are anymore. I've seen two posts in the last 24 hours that are still up.

Its interesting that Roberts wouldn't read the name. I assume that he was instructed not to by both sides in the very beginning. Doesn't seem like he would have made a "ruling" like that on the fly.

As for WB protection, I think its less about security than about job protection. His job(s) are not really at risk since everyone knows who he is already. His security is not much more at risk than any of the other swamp creatures involved IMHO.
You mean Pauls attempt to out the wb? It makes him swampier to me? I don't know where you were going with that.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:55 PM
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You mean Pauls attempt to out the wb? It makes him swampier to me? I don't know where you were going with that.
How do we know that the person that Paul named is the whistleblower? That's secret squirrel stuff.

I'm sort of over debating the Trump impeachment, but it brings up an interesting question about whistleblowers in general.

All Paul asked was if person X did such and such and Roberts refused to read the question. It seems that doing things like that actually expose the whistleblower. For example, Did John Bolton do Y? Yes he did. Did Mick Mulvaney do Y? No he did not. (Continue for 15 more names)

Did person X do Y? I refuse to answer that question due to whistleblower protection.

It seems that by protecting him, they are outing him.

Last edited by UltraVires; 02-02-2020 at 08:55 PM.
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