Report: Anti-Trump Whistleblower Concealed Contacts With House Democrats From Inspector General
The anti-Trump whistleblower whose allegations against President Donald Trump sent Congress into an impeachment frenzy concealed his interactions with House Democrats from the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) and failed to disclose them as required, Fox News reported on Friday.
According to Fox News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge, ICIG Michael Atkinson testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) that the anti-Trump complainant, whose identity has not been made public, did not inform the ICIG in his complaint that he or his team had already contacted Democratic staff working for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House intelligence committee.
Per Catherine Herridge: IC Inspector General told lawmakers the whistleblower did not disclose contact w Schiff/Committee staff – so IG never looked into it. IG “had no knowledge of it”.
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) October 4, 2019
Colleague Catherine Herridge rpts ICIG Atkinson told lawmakers the whistleblower did not disclose to the ICI that he contacted Schiff's committee. Atkinson said the whistleblower volunteered he was a registered Democrat
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 4, 2019
The complainant’s failure to disclose his interactions with Schiff or his staff could put him in legal hot water, as the whistleblower form he submitted requires individuals to disclose “other actions you are taking on your disclosure” under penalty of perjury. An entire page of the whistleblower form is dedicated to collecting information about previous disclosures so the ICIG can take appropriate action in response to the complaint.
“I have previously disclosed (or am disclosing) the violations alleged here to (complete all that apply),” the form requires the complainant to attest. The form includes checkboxes for disclosures to other inspectors general, other agencies, the Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Special Counsel, other executive branch departments, Congress and its respective committees, and media. It also includes a separate question asking the complainant to detail those previous disclosures to the ICIG.
“Before going to Congress, the C.I.A. officer had a colleague convey his accusations to the agency’s top lawyer,” The New York Times reported earlier this week. “Concerned about how that avenue for airing his allegations was unfolding, the officer then approached a House Intelligence Committee aide, alerting him to the accusation against Mr. Trump.”
The New York Times noted that the anti-Trump complainant only notified the committee’s Democrats of his allegations.
If the anti-Trump complainant did, in fact, refuse to disclose previous disclosures of his allegations to Congress or the news media, he could be subject to felony criminal penalties for making false statements. While a letter from the so-called whistleblower to Schiff and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was declassified and released last week, the underlying form submitted by the anti-Trump complainant has not been made public.
The final portion of the whistleblower form requires whistleblowers to attest under penalty of perjury that they have neither misstated nor concealed material facts in their complaints.
“I certify that all of the statements made in this complaint (including any continuation pages) are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief,” whistleblowers are required to attest. “I understand that, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001, a false statement or concealment of a material fact is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.”
UPDATE: An official confirms the whistleblower failed to disclose prior contacts with House Democrats regarding the allegations of his August 12 complaint. The box in Part 3, Question 1 of the form regarding contacts with Congress or congressional committees was unchecked and left blank. The dates of those contacts were also not disclosed as required. And the specific members and committees that were contacted were likewise not disclosed in the section requiring that information.