The whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine reportedly had some form of “professional” connection with one of the Democratic presidential candidates.
Attorneys representing the whistleblower also acknowledged that their client “has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties.”
(Video: Fox News)
The statement by the lawyers came on the heels of a report in the Washington Examiner that the whistleblower worked “or had some type of professional relationship” with one of the 2020 Democratic contenders, according to what Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week.
According to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York:
Now, however, there is word of more evidence of possible bias on the whistleblower’s part. Under questioning from Republicans during last Friday’s impeachment inquiry interview with Atkinson, the inspector general revealed that the whistleblower’s possible bias was not that he was simply a registered Democrat. It was that he had a significant tie to one of the Democratic presidential candidates currently vying to challenge President Trump in next year’s election.
“The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates,” said one person with knowledge of what was said.
“What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate,” another person said.
The whistleblower, whose complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry of Trump by Democrats, “has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party,” attorneys Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj said Wednesday in their “attempt to clarify some facts.”
The statement failed to “clarify” if the anonymous whistleblower actually had contact with any of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls before they had announced their candidacy.
Wow, Just Breaking: “The (big deal) Whistleblower had a ‘PROFESSIONAL TIE’ to 2020 Democratic Candidate.” Washington Examiner, @ByronYork In other words, was working with someone who was potentially running against me. Why wasn’t this reported by the ICIG? A Witch Hunt Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
Their client had “come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials – not as candidates,” the lawyers contended.
“The whistleblower is not the story,” they said. “To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason, the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant.”
But the credibility of the claims has been under question as some of the allegations about the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have proved to be inaccurate, and as Republicans have continued to maintain that political motivation is behind the accusations.
Atkinson’s letter in August indicated that the whistleblower had “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate.” And while Democrats dismissed the arguments of bias, it was soon revealed that the whistleblower also is a registered Democrat and now, apparently, had some “professional” tie to a 2020 Democratic candidate.
It appears the attorneys representing the anonymous whistleblowers – as a second person was announced – also have questionable bias. Besides Zaid’s obvious animus toward Trump, it was reported this week that Charles McCullough, a partner at the Compass Rose Legal Group representing the whistleblowers, once reported directly to the former director of national intelligence and vocal Trump critic, James Clapper.
Zaid, meanwhile, launched a search for CIA whistleblowers “to lawfully challenge” the president almost immediately after his inauguration.
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) January 22, 2017
The attorney has also created a GoFundMe account for the whistleblower’s legal team which has raised more than $200,000 so far, according to Fox News.
In light of the Democratic connections the whistleblower has, Trump has called again for the person to be “exposed and questioned.”
…..The Whistleblower’s lawyer is a big Democrat. The Whistleblower has ties to one of my DEMOCRAT OPPONENTS. Why does the ICIG allow this scam to continue?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
“The Whistleblower’s facts have been so incorrect about my ‘no pressure’ conversation with the Ukrainian President, and now the conflict of interest and involvement with a Democrat Candidate, that he or she should be exposed and questioned properly,” Trump tweeted.
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