The allegedly partisan “whistleblower” who ignited the politically biased impeachment inquiry reached out to the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) Michael Atkinson last month to justify contacting House Intelligence Community Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), claiming “nothing substantial was discussed.”
CBS News made the revelation in an overlooked, sort of document dump last Friday saying the Ukraine “whistleblower” reached out to the ICIG to explain why he contacted Schiff’s office.
The news outlet acknowledged that IG Atkinson did not even bother to investigate the “whistleblower’s” contact with Schiff himself.
During his October 4 closed-door deposition, Atkinson indicated he was satisfied with the explanation to the media provided by the office of the California Democrat, claiming the intel panel never discussed the complaint with the CIA officer, CBS noted.
So, denied by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump, Atkinson took the CIA complainant and Schiff’s explanation for a meeting before filing the complaint, possibly in violation of the law at face value.
The IG is supposed to be an independent watchdog whose job is to verify the truth, not rely on an increasingly partisan media.
Moreover, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) determined that the so-called “whistleblower” — like Schiff — possessed a “political bias” that was “in favor of [Trump’s] rival political candidate.”
DOJ’s OLC, however, found the “whistleblower’s” complaint “appeared credible,” but not urgent enough to share with House and Senate intelligence panels.
Instead of going to the ICIG office that is expected to operate independently of political leadership in government, the so-called “whistleblower” chose to go to an office of a lawmaker seeking to remove Trump, confirming his “political bias.”
The “whistleblower” filed a complaint on August 12 that sparked the impeachment inquiry. In the complaint, the CIA officer accuses Trump of abusing his power by engaging in a quid pro quo during a July 25 call with Zelensky.
As part of the so-called quid pro quo alleged by the “whistleblower,” Trump pressured the Eastern European country to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for aid or an Oval Office meeting. The Bidens have denied any wrongdoing. Trump and Zelensky have also dismissed the complaint as false.
Ukraine received aid and met with the president at the United Nations without the Eastern European country doing anything in return.
Schiff has repeatedly denied meeting the “whistleblower,” but he confirmed the CIA officer met the California Democrat’s staff.
The CIA officer’s comment to the ICIG about his contact with Schiff’s staff and the House intel chairman’s explanation mirror one another almost verbatim.
CBS obtained documents showing the CIA officer reached out to Atkinson about a week (October 8) after Schiff’s office finally admitted (October 2) to lying about “never” meeting with the “whistleblower.”
Moreover, the “whistleblower” admitted to blatantly lying to the ICIG in the document about meeting with Schiff’s staff.
At the time the CIA officer reached out to the ICIG, the “whistleblower” was facing the prospect of having violated the law by reaching out to Congress about the complaint, rather than the ICIG.
The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) of 1998 explicitly requires an official concerned about wrongdoing within the government to go to the IC inspector general before the congressional panels in charge of oversight of the intelligence community.
In defending their meeting, both Schiff’s staff and the CIA officer claim nothing of substance about the complaint was discussed. Of course, you have to take the comments from both of them — known to have lied — at face value.
The “whistleblower’s” explanation for contacting the Democrat lawmaker echoes what Schiff’s office told the media was the reason. It could be a coincidence, or it could also suggest coordination or coaching by Schiff’s staff on what to say.
On September 17, days before the House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry on September 24, the lead impeachment inquisitor (Schiff) lied — claiming neither he nor his staffers met the “whistleblower.”
His lie came nearly a month after the “whistleblower” filed the complaint on August 12.
House Democrats have so far refused to release the transcripts of Atkinson’s closed-door deposition or allowed the “whistleblower” to testify. The “whistleblower” has only agreed to take questions in writing.
In the documents obtained by CBS, the “whistleblower” conceded to lying about meeting with Congress before the watchdog, a move that could violate the law if it is found that the CIA officer discussed the contents of the complaint, as reported by the New York Times:
The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistleblower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
CBS News said on November 22 that it reviewed the documents that revealed the “whistleblower” reached out to the ICIG on October 8 “to clarify the nature of his or her contact with Democratic majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee before the complaint was filed,” adding:
The whistleblower acknowledged reaching out to the committee, but claimed that nothing substantial was discussed and that the staff member directed them to go through official channels, according to the “Memorandum of Investigative Activity,” provided to House and Senate Intelligence Committee leadership by intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) Michael Atkinson.
Of course, anyone taking the “whistleblower’s” explanation at face value would have to ignore allegations that the CIA officer is anti-Trump and a Democrat ally.
The “whistleblower’s” comments echoed Schiff’s office’s defense for talking to the “whistleblower” first, saying it is common practice for whistleblowers to consult Congress as to how to proceed with a complaint – information that is available on nearly every executive cabinet department website, even the Pentagon.
It is unclear why a government worker, let alone a member of the intelligence community, would be unaware that there are independent inspectors general who served as watchdog across the government.
In today’s Google-saturated world, all someone concerned about government wrongdoing would do is search how to go about blowing the whistle.
Now, Democrats and their media allies are saying the quid pro quo “evolved” beyond the July 25 call, suggesting their initial claims are falling apart.
As Breitbart News predicted, the Democrats are seeking to expand the impeachment inquiry beyond the call, now claiming that Trump conditioned a White House meeting with Zelensky on Ukraine performing the investigations.
Once the full House votes on articles of impeachment after it goes through the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, there will be a trial in the Republican-led Senate, which is so far expected not to convict.