Impeachment proceedings could be a gift to US enemies


The House of Representatives voted to formalize impeachment proceedings on Thursday, and they have a heavy slate of witnesses scheduled for testimony this week. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has indicated he will release transcripts of recent closed-door witness depositions, which means the country -- and the rest of the world -- will get a look at the inner workings of our government.

This comes after President Donald Trump and his supporters have pilloried House Democrats for not doing more of their investigatory work in public. But they may want to be careful about what they wish for. While this newfound transparency is an important part of the impeachment process, it won't be cost-free. In fact, it comes with additional security risks, as our enemies will likely follow these developments -- hoping to glean insights into potential White House weaknesses.

Going public

Our enemies have already learned a lot from the whistleblower complaint, written statements and leaks that have emerged from the closed-door depositions. Intimate details have been revealed about how the US government works -- including who works on call readouts, who listens to classified presidential phone calls, how classified servers are used to store and transmit material and how dysfunctional US bureaucracy has become under this President. Get the strongest, smartest opinion takes of the weekSign up for CNN Opinion’s Provoke/Persuade weekly newsletter.Provoke/Persuade MeBy subscribing you agree to ourprivacy policy.Throw in public hearings and the release of deposition transcripts -- and there are significant additional risks. Think about it this way -- it's not like we have Kremlin officials testifying about how Russian President Vladimir Putin's communications work, or which advisers and personal staff he directs to implement his dirty work.New information that will be revealed to the public over the course of the impeachment proceedings will be prime fodder for manipulation by foreign powers. The US intelligence community assessed that Russia is intent on using information warfare to undermine the credibility of our institutions -- the presidency likely being one of them. Detailed accounts that may reveal how the President, or perhaps his staff, misused their roles will just add fuel to the fire that Russia, and likely other adversaries, are intent on stoking through information warfare and their cadre of bots, trolls and fake personas. Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing.

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