Republicans are going to smear the Ukraine whistleblower. Don't buy it.

They're already running the all-too-familiar playbook

An elephant.
(Image credit: Illustrated | cyoginan/iStock, aerial3/iStock, vladmarko/iStock)

More than two and a half years into the Trump presidency, Republicans have a tried and true strategy when it comes to dealing with whistleblowers or any other witnesses who threaten to expose the president and his administration's corrupt or unethical behavior. Following the president's lead, they do everything in their power to discredit the individual and destroy his or her reputation, questioning the subject's honesty and integrity, portraying her as a politically-motivated opportunist, and digging up whatever kind of dirt they can — true or not — to sully the person's name. After tarring and feathering the witness or whistleblower in question, they move on to the press and the journalists who reported the story, fulminating against the "fake news" media and the dishonest reporters who would do anything to bring down the president. Finally, if things really look bad, they point to a vast "deep state" conspiracy to undermine and ruin President Trump, who has spent the past three years fighting off baseless smears and treacherous attacks from people within his own government.

By now, this is all excruciatingly familiar, and Republicans are already following this strategy to a tee in response to the latest scandal involving Trump's request that the newly-elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Republicans wasted no time after the news broke last week in attacking the anonymous whistleblower as a liar, a Democratic operative, and worse.

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