How come the “White House officials” mentioned in the now infamous whistleblower complaint, did not file complaints themselves, since supposedly they had concerns, and where the ones who apparently had first-hand knowledge of the phone call?
It’s a good question, and one of the many inconsistencies in the complaint that have top republicans wanting to know the sources mentioned in the complaint.
In the wake of startling testimony from acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, top Republicans have been pushing to identify the White House officials who told a whistleblower of alleged misconduct by the Trump administration, as Democrats ramped up their impeachment inquiry.
Republicans specifically questioned why the whistleblower’s sources in the White House didn’t file a complaint themselves — especially given that relevant whistleblower procedures are not designed to protect second-hand complaints.
The New York Times has reported that the whistleblower is a CIA officer detailed to the White House – there has yet to be any official confirmation of this report.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News’ “Shepard Smith Reporting” that the administration had an apparent “leak problem,” adding, “if they’re leaking something that’s supposed to be classified, then … that probably is criminal in nature.”
“Let’s find out,” Biggs said when Smith asked if he wanted to see the whistleblower’s sources.
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The whistleblower’s complaint, which has been released to the public, contained no firsthand accounts of wrongdoing. It cited information from “White House officials” who alleged there’d been efforts to hide Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, among other conversations. The Trump administration reportedly began placing transcripts of Trump’s calls with several foreign leaders in a highly classified repository after leakers publicly divulged the contents of Trump’s private calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia in 2017.
Besides there being no firsthand accounts in the Whistleblower complaint, there are other inconsistencies concerning to Republicans. Such as, the complaint stated that Trump made a “specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike” — a request that does not appear in the declassified transcript of the call released by the Trump administration on Tuesday. Trump mentioned CrowdStrike, however, he did not specifically “demand the server.”
In addition, the complaint claimed that by mid-May, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker sought to “contain the damage” from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine. This is also untrue, and in fact, in memos and text messages, it has been shown that Volker was encouraging Giuliani’s efforts and was facilitating contacts for him in Ukraine.
And finally, the compliant said that a “State Department official” was on the call, which was not borne out by the transcript.
As questions such as these have arisen concerning the whistleblower’s identity and credibility, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., echoed Biggs’ skepticism and called for more information.
“It is imperative we find out which White House official talked to the whistleblower and why. Why didn’t they lodge the complaint?” he asked on Twitter.
“When I think of whistleblower complaints I generally think of someone with firsthand knowledge of the events in question,” Graham added.