The alleged “whistleblower” may get the whistle blown on himself.
This morning I commented to Ray-SoCal that I wouldn't be surprised if crimes were committed during the Impeachment Theater. Of course, that doesn't mean those crimes would be easy to prove. However, one important revelation during the Impeachment Theater that points in that direction was that we learned that Eric Ciaramella and Sean Misko were overheard at the NSC talking about taking President Trump out. As Senator Paul slyly notes, that happened before any talk of a "whistleblower," and in retrospect looks very much like the beginnings of a conspiracy. A conspiracy to do what? Possibly a conspiracy to submit false statements to the Federal government--that's right, it's not just a crime to the FBI, it's a crime to lie to the federal government generally.
Let's see how this could work, following Parry:
During the Senate trial, there was one portentous occurrence when Chief Justice John Roberts declined to read aloud a question addressed to the House managers from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). As later disclosed by Paul, that question was the following:
Are you aware that House Intelligence Committee staffer Shawn [sic] Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together, and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings?
"While at the NSC". And to make the implications of that perfectly clear, Paul notes that their time together at the NSC was: "before there were formal House impeachment proceedings." Now add in "plot." What's a plot? That's right: a conspiracy.
Following Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling, Paul tweeted the following:
My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings. My question is not about a “whistleblower” as I have no independent information on his identity.
Just so. Paul’s question cuts to the heart of the matter. Regardless of who the whistleblower may be, Paul wants to know if Ciaramella, Misko, and possibly other Schiff staffers conspired to impeach the president. If it turns out that Ciaramella is the whistleblower, then the follow-up question becomes whether or not he conspired with Schiff, et al., to concoct what is now exposed as a fictitious and materially false and misleading account of the Trump–Zelensky call.
Did Ciaramella submit a false complaint to the inspector general? If so, was his false report concocted with Schiff, et al.? Is Ciaramella at the heart of this fraudulent and failed impeachment effort?
There we have it. A possible conspiracy to submit false statements to the IC inspector general, Michael Atkinson. A conspiracy that involved Misko, Schiff, "et alios." Who might those others be? Possibly Michael Atkinson--whose witness testimony was withheld. Nor does Barr/Durham need to wait for the Senate Intel Committee to act on this--they have full authority to investigate this possible federal crime, and for all we know have been hard at work already.
For good measure, Parry brings up the case of Kevin Clinesmith by way of comparison:
Recall that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, another overeager Democrat partisan, has been referred for criminal prosecution for falsifying material information included in the FISA applications to intercept the communications of Trump campaign associate Carter Page. This is serious stuff, and young Kevin is in a heap of trouble.
But how does that compare to the whistleblower’s predicament? What are the legal penalties for conjuring up a lie for the purpose of launching a fraudulent impeachment? And what do you do with someone whose deliberate fabrication bitterly divided the nation and effectively shut down the presidency, the House of Representatives, and the Senate as they sorted out truth from fiction?
If ... Ciaramella is the whistleblower, then he is in grave jeopardy. But what of Misko, Schiff, and others who may have conspired with him? Will they skate and leave him to take the heat?
Maybe Clinesmith and Ciaramella can keep each other company ... Will they roll to the Bureau and start naming names to save themselves from disaster?
UPDATE 1: One way this could work might run something like this ...
Ciaramella and Misko, shortly after Trump is inaugurated, begin conspiring to have Trump removed.
After both leave the NSC, they continue being fed information by sympathetic insiders at the NSC--information for which they have no "need to know." Is it a crime on both sides? I'm not sure but it may be.
Among those insiders feeding Ciaramella/Misko information is Mr. Vindman.
After the Ukraine call the conspirators consult--perhaps with others, as well--to come up with what they think is a plausible story, one that could lead to impeachment.
That story is demonstrably false and is based on a demonstrably false theory of Interagency dominance over a president.
Actual submission of false statements in the form of a conspiratorially jiggered "whistleblower" complaint.
Conspiracy to submit false statements to the federal government, conspiracy to defraud the government of honest services, actual submission of false statements.
We can hope.
UPDATE 2: Alex Vindman and his brother Yevgeniy were both dismissed from the NSC today. And his brother? Maybe something is known.
UPDATE 3: Is this gonna be Firing Week?
If it’s going to be Firing Week (which beats infrastructure week) let’s remember that POTUS can remove the ICIG for any reason or no reason https://t.co/mhq1w2nmgS— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) February 7, 2020