Julie Kelly at American Greatness reveals who Michael K. Atkinson really is in a brilliant article. He's strictly Deep State: Inspector General’s Ties Suggest Ukraine ‘Scandal’ is Just More Collusion Hoax.
Kelly begins by rehearsing the usual hagiography that has been quickly deployed to defend Atkinson:
Atkinson, we are told, is a truth-seeker with no partisan agenda or political grudge. “The intelligence community’s chief watchdog, Michael Atkinson, is known to his peers and colleagues as a highly cautious ‘straight shooter’ who tends to keep his head down,” cooed Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand on September 23.
Atkinson is “a no-nonsense, serious and nonpartisan career prosecutor who showed a strong commitment to the law throughout his nearly two-decade career at the Department of Justice,” insisted a puff piece in The Hill on September 26.
Who but mean spirited conspiracy theorists could possibly question Atkinson's motives in sidestepping the regulatory revision process by slyly coming out with a new "whistleblower" complaint form?
Kelly proceeds to enlighten us:
One critical period in Atkinson’s resume, however, has been overlooked—probably intentionally—by his boosters in the media: His work as a top deputy in the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017 during the very same time that the DOJ was investigating Trump campaign aides and, after the election, incoming administration officials. Atkinson worked directly for two figures involved in both the counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign and the set-up of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
In July 2016, the exact month that former FBI Director James Comey officially opened a case against the Trump campaign, Atkinson was named senior counsel to John Carlin, the head of the National Security Division. Carlin was Robert Mueller’s chief of staff when he ran the FBI and was appointed NSD chief by President Obama in 2013.
Carlin’s name has surfaced numerous times in the congressional inquiry into the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. According to closed-door testimony by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Carlin regularly was briefed by former deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe on the Trump-Russia collusion probe.
Kelly documents that Jim Jordan, while questioning George Toscas (you may be familiar with that name from the Strzok/Page texts, ascertained that DoJ attorneys associated with Carlin were regularly briefed on the Russia Hoax by the FBI. Conspiracy theorists will immediately assume that Atkinson was well briefed on that op.
... Carlin’s shop was involved in handling the FISA warrant on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The original FISA warrant, signed by former FBI Director James Comey and Carlin’s colleague, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, used the bogus Steele dossier as evidence to obtain the FISA court’s permission to spy on Page for one year. The warrant accused Page of being a foreign agent yet he has never been charged with a crime.
... Carlin abruptly resigned ... amid controversy related to his handling of FISA material.
Carlin was replaced by Mary McCord: Atkinson stayed on as her senior counsel. A few days after Trump was sworn-in, McCord accompanied Sally Yates to a meeting with White House counsel Don McGahn. The purpose of the meeting was to warn the White House that Mike Flynn may have violated an arcane federal law and was at risk of being “blackmailed” by the Russians.
Actually, of course, the purpose was to smear Flynn and get him ignomiously fired. Jim Comey figured out an even more devestating way--although we'll eventually see how that comes out in the wash.
Coincidentally, both Carlin and McCord have been effusive in their praise of their former counsel. “As soon as I saw that [Atkinson] had recommended it be sent to Congress, that’s all I needed to know it was legit,” McCord told CNN last week. “The mere fact he was not on anyone’s radar is points to the fact that his sense of urgency is credible.”
Atkinson is “someone who is very deliberate, thoughtful and tries to carefully review facts … not someone who seeks attention,” Carlin said in the same article. (Carlin now is a CNBC contributor.)
Another red flag is that Atkinson sent two letters about the “whistleblower” to the House Intelligence committee instead of its Senate counterpart. During his January 2018 public testimony to the Senate Intelligence committee prior to his confirmation, Atkinson said if there was a dispute with the Director of National Intelligence about the veracity of a claim, he would “talk to this Committee if that situation arose to that level, to keep you informed about those events.”
But Atkinson instead notified the highly-partisan House Intelligence committee led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ...
Subsequently, Atkinson sent another letter to Schiff and Nunes on September 17 which is best described as the IG tattling on the acting director for not responding the way Atkinson wanted him to respond.
Read it all. It's quite brilliant.