At the center of the controversy over President Donald Trump’s call with the Ukraine president is the so-called “whistleblower,” a CIA officer who does not appear to have firsthand knowledge of what he alleges happened.
But there’s more to it, as seen in reports that the whistleblower had “political bias” in favor of a 2020 Trump rival, and that weeks ago, the intel community surreptitiously dropped a rule that required whistleblowers to have direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings.
And there’s an alarmed veteran CIA official who said the whistleblower complaint against the president may have been written by left-wing lawyers or congressional staffers — he characterized it as a “blatant politicization of intelligence by Trump haters.”
All of which has Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asking if whistleblower protections should apply here.
“If they are not really a whistle blower, they don’t get the protection,” Grassley said, according to The Hill.
This coming from a lawmaker with a history of protecting whistleblowers.
Grassley told WQAD-TV that the whistleblower protection laws are relatively new.
“It was probably only in the last 15 years that we finally got whistleblower legislation covering intelligence,” he told News 8’s Jim Mertens. “It was considered too sensitive an issue, (some people thought) you shouldn’t have whistleblower protection laws.”
“I think whistleblowers at any level ought to be listened to,” he said. “I consider them a great source of keeping the government honest.”
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also has concerns about the “bizarre” circumstances of the whistleblower.
“It doesn’t come from a person with personal knowledge. It’s like I heard these people say this, and now I’m reporting it. I think that is pretty bizarre,” Cornyn told The Hill.
“Secondly, after a certain point, it doesn’t just allege facts, it really is kind of a dossier or political diatribe, so I think there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical,” the senator added. “Having said that, we are in the process of talking to the director of national intelligence and the inspector general.”
In testifying before the House Intelligence Committee last week, acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire said, “I think the whistleblower did the right thing.”
This being in reference to the complaint itself, not the unusual circumstances that surround it.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the complaint “makes me more suspicious about how all this happened.”
“I want to know who was the person that went to the whistleblower,” he said. “This was a fairly sophisticated effort to write a narrative rather than blow a whistle.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor the morning after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry that this has been the goal all along, The Hill reported.
“We know that House Democrats have been indulging in their impeachment obsession for nearly three years now,” he said. “A never-ending impeachment parade in search of a rationale.”
McConnell also drew attention to a Washington Post article seen below, that was run the day of Trump’s inauguration.
The news article was titled, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun https://t.co/nwWUWyGcXS
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 20, 2017
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