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Politics

About the Altered Whistleblower Reporting Form

Who altered the CIA complaint form, and when?

Thomas Gallatin · Oct. 1, 2019

Last week, a writer with The Federalist published a potential bombshell story alleging that “the intelligence community secretly” changed a whistleblower complaint form to eliminate “a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoings.” The story ignited a firestorm of accusations after President Donald Trump demanded to know “WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT? DRAIN THE SWAMP!”

On Monday, top House Republicans sent a letter to Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson seeking answers: “Based on the language on [the May 24, 2018] form, it appears that the requirement for first-hand information has been an ICIG policy regardless of how a whistleblower makes an urgent concern report. Curiously the urgent disclosure form that now appears on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website has recently changed and no longer contains this explicit first-hand information requirement. … The timing of the removal of the first-hand information requirement raises questions about potential connections to this whistleblower’s complaint. This timing, along with numerous apparent leaks of classified information about the contents of this complaint, also raise questions about potential criminality in the handling of these matters.”

There has been pushback over the Federalist’s claim of an altered document, including a statement from the office of the ICIG noting that the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) does not specify that a whistleblower must have direct knowledge to make a complaint. Furthermore, the statement says, “The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information.” No specific date was given for when the original form was altered.

The questions are these: When was the form altered and why? Could it have been altered to either A) fast-track the complaint to Congress, or B) provide greater anonymity protection to the whistleblower, or both? But the biggest question is this: Who is this “whistleblower”? This is especially relevant because the whistleblower’s complaint of a quid pro quo has been refuted by the transcript of the phone call in question. This should have ended the issue, but now the Democrats are only doubling down even harder on impeachment.

Meanwhile, as more information comes to light, it appears clear that Trump and other administration officials were, and remain, intent on investigating the origins of the Democrats’ first Russia-collusion political charade. Both Trump’s calls to the Ukrainian president and his communication with Australia’s president bear this out. He’s not seeking dirt on his 2020 campaign rivals; he’s looking into who is responsible for obstructing his presidency from Day 1.

Finally, what do Democrats actually have here? The best they’ve got — and this is stretching it to the extreme — is a violation of campaign-finance laws. In other words, they have nothing to justify their impeachment demands. However, the Democrats aren’t worried about facts or even laws. It’s all about projection of the narrative that Trump is corrupt and unfit for office, and Democrats aim to keep that narrative front and center through the 2020 election campaign. And they can depend on their Leftmedia propagandists to do just that — as is apparent in the recent media-driven shift in public sentiments about impeachment.

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