Friday, November 8, 2019

Sean Davis Slam Dunks The Intel Community IG

UPDATE: As commenter Yancey promptly pointed out, this article is a month old--October 1, 2019. I got it from a link and failed to note the date. But it's good stuff, so I'm leaving it up.


Sean Davis of The Federalist has an outstanding take down of the whole process whereby Eric Ciaramella's bogus complaint was peddled to the public as "whistleblower" evidence of Trump wrongdoing:

In a press release issued late Monday, the intelligence community inspector general admitted it changed its policy and its whistleblower form after an anti-Trump complainant alleged that Trump broke the law during a phone call with the Ukrainian president.

It's pretty dense, so to do justice to it I'd have to paste in the whole thing. I'll simply select what are "theme sentences" (with a few exceptions) to show the overall trajectory of Davis' reporting.

On Monday, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) admitted that it did alter its forms and policies governing whistleblower complaints, and that it did so in response to the anti-Trump complaint filed on Aug. 12, 2019. ... 
The ICIG also disclosed for the first time that the anti-Trump complainant filed his complaint using the previously authorized form, the guidance for which explicitly stated the ICIG’s previous requirement for firsthand evidence for credible complaints. ... 
The ICIG’s claim that it would have been incorrect to perceive a requirement for firsthand information is bizarre considering the previous version of the form clearly stated in unambiguous language that firsthand evidence was required in order for “urgent concern” whistleblower complaints to be deemed credible. It said, in bold, underlined, all-caps text, “FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED”:

Because the complaint did not allege wrongdoing against a member of the intelligence community (the president of the United States is an elected constitutional officer, not an employee of a statutory agency), did not allege wrongdoing with regard to an intelligence activity (a phone call between two elected world leaders is basic diplomacy, not the execution of a statutorily required intelligence activity), and relied primarily on hearsay rather than firsthand evidence, both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel determined that the anti-Trump complaint was not an “urgent concern” under the law and was therefore not required to be transmitted to the relevant congressional committees. In spite of those determinations, the ICIG on its own and after revising its internal guidance and policies regarding firsthand evidence decided the complaint did qualify as an “urgent concern” and forwarded the anti-Trump complaint to Congress. 
This timeline raises significant questions about the rationale for the rule changes by the ICIG, ... 
The ICIG in its press release also failed to disclose when precisely its whistleblower forms and rules were changed, despite top lawmakers on oversight committees in both chambers specifically requesting that information. 
The president’s release of the transcript of his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that numerous allegations within the complaint filed with the ICIG were false. ... 
The anti-Trump complaint that was released last week, which congressional Democrats are using as the basis for impeachment proceedings against the president, is riddled not with evidence directly viewed by the complainant, but repeated references to what anonymous officials allegedly told the complainant: 
In fact, the ICIG admitted in its Aug. 26 letter to the DNI that its office never even reviewed the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky prior to determining whether the complainants hearsay allegations about the phone call were credible. 
Although the ICIG stated in its Monday press release that the complainant claimed on his whistleblower form to be in possession of firsthand evidence of criminality by Trump, the complaint released to the public contains no such firsthand evidence. A congressional official told The Federalist on Monday that the House Intelligence Committee has not received the underlying whistleblower complaint form submitted by the anti-Trump complainant. 
Michael Atkinson, the ICIG, is slated to testify under oath before the House Intelligence Committee later this week.

Atkinson's testimony should be fun. To refresh your recollection re Michael K. Atkinson: Oh My! Michael K. Atkinson, ICIG.


  1. A good article, but over a month old now.

    1. Oh my goodness! Well I'll leave it up--as you say, it's a good article. :-(

    2. Hey, but the new post is up to date!

  2. Once again, Occam's Razor.

    The most recent incarnation of the coup is manifest as a faux impeachment investigation conducted as a one-sided Star Chamber exercise within the Democrat controlled House of Representatives. This conspiracy is now known to have begun at least as early as 2017 when the whistleblower's attorney spilled the beans publicly. Furthermore, Ciaramella has been deeply involved in coup activity (spy within the White House) and is the classic definition of a Fifth Columnist. The ICIG clearly has a leadership role within the coup and corruptly facilitated the OP via his deliberate malfeasance. This criminal gang also includes a former ambassador and other high ranking State Department officials plus a military officer. And all of this is real life, not a Tom Clancy novel.

    This insanity is beyond the pale and it will not stop until Durham comes forth with indictments.


    This is a good article on Ciaramella's background.

    It ends by asking, "What is most puzzling is how ... Ciaramella — whose history of radical politics is well-documented — could have gotten so close to powerful people in the Obama administration... like Susan Rice, ... Biden, and the highest echelons of the National Security Council."

    What's the puzzle?