October 30, 2019 – Beltway talk suggests the alleged hearsay whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella
(…) RealClearInvestigations is disclosing the name because of the public’s interest in learning details of an effort to remove a sitting president from office. Further, the official’s status as a “whistleblower” is complicated by his being a hearsay reporter of accusations against the president, one who has “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate” — as the Intelligence Community Inspector General phrased it circumspectly in originally fielding his complaint.
Federal documents reveal that the 33-year-old [Eric] Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Further, Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Also, Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. (Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry.)
And Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American who supported Hillary Clinton, led an effort to link the Republican campaign to the Russian government. “He knows her. He had her in the White House,” said one former co-worker, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
Documents confirm the DNC opposition researcher attended at least one White House meeting with Ciaramella in November 2015. She visited the White House with a number of Ukrainian officials lobbying the Obama administration for aid for Ukraine.
(…) A CIA officer specializing in Russia and Ukraine, Ciaramella was detailed over to the National Security Council from the agency in the summer of 2015, working under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked closely with the former vice president.
Federal records show that Biden’s office invited Ciaramella to an October 2016 state luncheon the vice president hosted for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Other guests included Brennan, as well as then-FBI Director James Comey and then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
Several U.S. officials told RealClearInvestigations that the invitation that was extended to Ciaramella, a relatively low-level GS-13 federal employee, was unusual and signaled he was politically connected inside the Obama White House.
Former White House officials said Ciaramella worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016 when the vice president was President Obama’s “point man” for Ukraine. A Yale graduate, Ciaramella is said to speak Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Arabic. He had been assigned to the NSC by Brennan.
He was held over into the Trump administration, and headed the Ukraine desk at the NSC, eventually transitioning into the West Wing, until June 2017.
“He was moved over to the front office” to temporarily fill a vacancy, said a former White House official, where he “saw everything, read everything.”
The official added that it soon became clear among NSA staff that Ciaramella opposed the new Republican president’s foreign policies. “My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine,” he said. “He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.” (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 10/30/2 019) (Archive)
- 2016 Election
- 2016 election meddling
- Adam Schiff
- Alexandra Chalupa
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Clinton campaign
- Democratic National Committee (DNC)
- Eric Ciaramella
- House Intelligence Committee
- Joe Biden
- John Brennan
- Matteo Renzi
- Michael Atkinson
- National Security Council (NSC)
- October 2019
- political bias
- Susan Rice
October 29, 2019 – Swalwell and Schiff confirm in Alexander Vindman’s transcript that he is the hearsay whistleblower’s source/leaker
“Transcripts are being released from various impeachment inquiry witnesses and it’s becoming clear exactly why Adam Schiff wanted to keep all this stuff secret.
(…) There are other questions involving the original whistle-blower (reported to be Eric Ciaramella). We know he was not legally privy to anything on the telephone call between Trump and Zelensky, which has formed the genesis of this matter. That means that whoever gave him the contents was illegally leaking classified information. Perhaps the whistle-blower himself is protected by statute for simply passing that information along, but whoever gave it to him certainly isn’t it for their original crime.
That leads us to Alexander Vindman. He’s become a central figure in these discussions after he marched up to Capitol Hill, proclaiming himself a patriot, and shared all his deep concerns about Donald Trump. He accused the President of “subverting” U.S. foreign policy, which gives you a window into the perverted minds of some of these bureaucrats that assume it is they who actually run things.
It’s been suspected that Vindman was the one who leaked to the whistle-blower and now that his testimony has been released, it seems fairly certain.
In these transcripts, we see Jim Jordan pressing Vindman on who outside of the chain of command he talked to about the call. Then we see Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell jump in and stop him from answering. But it’s what they say when they stop Vindman that gives the entire thing away.
The problem is that Jordan never asked about the whistle-blower. This means that both Schiff and Swalwell accidentally confirmed here that Vindman is indeed the source for the ICIG complaint. In short, if Vindman answering the question about who he talked to would give up the whistle-blower’s identity, that means Vindman was the source.
(…) Last I checked, it’s a crime to share classified information with people not legally able to receive that information. We’ve been told from the beginning of this ordeal that the whistle-blower himself did not have the proper clearance to access the phone call.
The rough transcript of the call, according to the complaint, was first classified as secret and later top-secret, ensuring that only those with the highest clearances would be able to read it.
Not only did Vindman share concerns about a call classified at the highest level, he gave exacting details and quotes to the whistle-blower.
August 12, 2019 – An Intelligence officer files a whistleblower complaint against President Trump over a promise he made to a foreign leader
“Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff are salivating over an August 12 whistleblower complaint by an intelligence officer over a ‘troubling promise’ President Trump allegedly made to a foreign leader during a phone call.
It is not clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with, or what was promised, according to the Washington Post – however, the complaint itself has given the president’s opponents a brand new ‘gotcha’ to chase in their quest to bring Trump down.
What’s more, acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has been refusing to share details about the phone call with lawmakers.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees.
But acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers, touching off a legal and political dispute that has spilled into public view and prompted speculation that the spy chief is improperly protecting the president. –WaPo
And as NBC News reports, over the last several days “the secret whistleblower complaint has been the subject of an increasingly acrimonious standoff between the acting intelligence chief and Schiff, who has demanded Maguire’s testimony and a copy of the complaint.”
Maguire has agreed to testify publicly next week, Schiff announced Wednesday, saying in a statement that the Inspector General “determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent,” adding “The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”
The matter burst into public view Friday when Schiff disclosed that an unspecified whistleblower complaint had been filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community, but was being withheld from his committee. That independent watchdog deemed the matter an “urgent concern” that he was required by law to turn over to the congressional intelligence committees.
But Maguire, after consulting with the Justice Department, overruled him, according to a series of letters between a DNI lawyer and Schiff that have been made public. –NBC News
According to Schiff, withholding the information from the House Intelligence Committee he chairs is illegal – and has raised questions over a potential coverup.
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted on Thursday, [Sept. 19, 2019]:
….Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2019
CNN analyst Phil Mudd responds following a report from The Washington Post revealing President Donald Trump’s communications with a foreign leader sparked the whistleblower complaint that has led the acting director of national intelligence to agree to testify amid a showdown with Congress.
August 12, 2019 – Hearsay whistleblower sends letter to Senate and House Intel Committee chairmen Burr and Schiff
This is the text of the unnamed whistleblower’s Aug. 12 letter to Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
August 12 – October 11, 2019: A look at IC IG Michael Atkinson’s activities surrounding the hearsay whistleblower
“Last week the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, testified behind closed doors to congress. Atkinson testified about his role in bringing the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint forward. The details of that testimony are now starting to surface and thankfully congress is taking a closer look at the sketchy background of Michael Atkinson.
There are numerous aspects to the whistle-blower (likely CIA operative Michael Barry), and the complaint, that just don’t add up. One of the areas of focus is the backdating of changes made to the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint form. As Sean Davis notes:
[…] Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, told HPSCI lawmakers during a committee oversight hearing on Friday that the whistleblower forms and rules changes were made in, even though the new forms and guidance, which were not uploaded to the ICIG’s website until September 24, state that they were changed in August.
Despite having a full week to come up with explanations for his office’s decisions to secretly change its forms to eliminate the requirement for first-hand evidence and to backdate those changes to August, Atkinson refused to provide any explanation to lawmakers baffled by his behavior. (read more)
The CIA ‘whistle-blower’ had no first-hand knowledge; everything was based on hearsay. The CIA operative never informed the ICIG about prior contact and coordination with the House Intelligence Committee (Adam Schiff). The CIA operative never disclosed congressional contact on the complaint form, and the complaint forms were changed specifically to accommodate this CIA operative.
On Sunday, October 6th, Ranking Member Devin Nunes also discussed his concerns with the testimony of Michael Atkinson. Nunes noted the testimony “was a joke.”
Nunes told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday host Matt Boyle, “[The ICIG is] either totally incompetent or part of the deep state, and he’s got a lot of questions he needs to answer because he knowingly changed the form and the requirements in order to make sure that this whistleblower complaint got out publicly.”
“So he’s either incompetent or in on it, and he’s going to have more to answer for, I can promise you because we are not going to let him go; he is going to tell the truth about what happened,” Nunes added. (read more)
ICIG Atkinson never reviewed the call transcript and facilitated the complaint processing despite numerous flaws. Additionally, Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel that highlighted Atkinson’s poor decision-making.
President Trump announced Joseph Macguire as the Acting ODNI on August 8th, 2019. (link) The CIA operative “whistle-blower” letter to Adam Schiff and Richard Burr was on August 12th (link). Immediately following this letter, the ICIG rules and requirements for Urgent Concern “whistle-blowers” was modified, allowing hearsay complaints. On August 28th Adam Schiff begins tweeting about the construct of the complaint.
Given the nature of Atkinson’s background, it appears his prior work in 2016, during his tenure as the lead legal counsel for the DOJ-NSD, likely played a role in his decision.
Here’s Nunes Sunday Interview (audio):
The center of the 2016 Lawfare Alliance election influence was/is the Department of Justice National Security Division, DOJ-NSD. It was the DOJ-NSD running the Main Justice side of the 2016 operations to support Operation Crossfire Hurricane and FBI agent Peter Strzok. It was also the DOJ-NSD where the sketchy legal theories around FARA violations (Sec. 901) originated.
Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD) in 2016. That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were the former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.
Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.
Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/07/2019)
(Republished with permission)
- Adam Schiff
- Admiral Joseph Maguire
- Carter Page
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Crossfire Hurricane
- Department of Justice National Security Division
- Devin Nunes
- Donald Trump
- FARA violations
- first-hand evidence
- FISA application
- FISA court
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- hearsay whistleblower
- House Intelligence Committee
- IC OIG
- illegal surveillance
- John Carlin
- Judge Rosemary Collyer
- Lawfare Alliance
- Mary McCord
- Michael Atkinson
- Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
- Peter Strzok
- political surveillance
- political targeting
- Richard Burr
- Trump-Zelensky transcript
- urgent concern
- Volodymyr Zelensky
- whistleblower forms
- whistleblower rules
August 11, 2019 – The State Dept encourages and facilitates Rudy Giuliani’s meeting with Ukrainian officials who are trying to expose corruption of U.S. officials during the 2016 presidential election
(…) “With more reporting by John Solomon, cited and attributed to on-the-record officials in the State Department and Ukraine, a much more clear picture emerges. In reality, and unfortunately as expected, the fulsome picture is 180° divergent from the media narrative.
The government of Ukraine under both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and now President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been trying to deliver information about Obama officials and Democrat party officials (DNC on behalf of Hillary Clinton) requesting the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.
Both Poroshenko and Zelensky administrations had tried, unsuccessfully, to get information to current U.S. officials. U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine were refusing to give visas to Ukrainian emissaries because they did not want the damaging information sent to the President Trump administration.
Failing to get help from the U.S. State Department, the Ukrainians tried a workaround and hired a respected U.S. lawyer to hand deliver the documentary evidence directly to the U.S. Department of Justice. The contracted American lawyer hand-delivered the information to the U.S. Department of Justice in New York.
However, after delivering the information and not hearing back from the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, now led by President Zelensky, interpreted the silence as the Trump administration and U.S. government (writ large) being upset about the Ukraine involvement overall. Out of concern for a serious diplomatic breakdown, the Zelensky administration made a personal request to the U.S. State Department for assistance.
The U.S. State Department then reached out to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and asked him if he would meet with Zelensky’s top lawyer, Andrei Yermak.
Rudy Giuliani agreed to act as a diplomatic intermediary and met with Yermak in Spain. After the meeting, Mr. Giuliani then contacted the State Department Officials in charge of Ukraine and Europe and debriefed them on the totality of the subject matter as relayed by Andrei Yermak.
All of this activity preceded the phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
President Trump and President Zelensky discussed the issues, and this phone call is the one now referenced by the concerned “whistleblower”. The “whistleblower” obviously had no knowledge of the background and why the subject matter discussed in the phone call was framed as it was.
Apparently, in the phone call, President Zelensky was explaining what action the Ukranian government had already taken to try and get the information about corrupt U.S. officials, including former VP Joe Biden, to the U.S. government.
It was from this clarification of information that President Trump is reported to have told Zelensky it was OK to proceed with an internal investigation of corruption in Ukraine that might also encompass former U.S. officials. Yes, that would include Joe Biden.
From this context, we can see how the “whistle-blower”, knowing only half of the information – might incorrectly perceive the conversation. Additionally, there’s a possibility the “whistle-blower” may be ideologically aligned with the same government entities that were trying to block the Ukrainian government from delivering the information in the first place.
Beyond the media, pundits and democrat politicians making fools of themselves, four very significant questions/issues become obvious:
- Who in the U.S. State Department Ukraine embassy was blocking the visas of Ukrainian officials, and why?
- Who was the official at the New York office of the DOJ who took custody of the records hand-delivered by the American lawyer working on behalf of Ukraine? and…
- Why were those records never turned over to Main Justice?…. Or
- If they were turned over to main Justice, why didn’t they inform the Trump administration they had received them?
At the end of this fake news narrative parade, these will be the questions that remain. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/21/2019)
- 2016 Election
- Adam Schiff
- Andrei Yermak
- August 2019
- Clinton campaign
- Democratic National Committee (DNC)
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- diplomatic breakdown
- election manipulation
- House Intelligence Committee
- IC whistleblower
- Joe Biden
- Petro Poroshenko
- Rudy Giuliani
- Southern District of New York (SDNY)
- Volodymyr Zelensky
July 20, 2019 – Schiff says Inspector General Horowitz’s work is ‘tainted’ ahead of report on surveillance abuses
“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has pivoted from ‘deepfake doom‘ influencing the 2020 election, to downplaying an upcoming watchdog report by the DOJ’s Inspector General due sometime in September.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Conference (where he had a pow-wow with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson last July), Schiff claims that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was co-opted into a scheme to protect President Trump by instigating a “fast track” report last year at Trump’s behest, according to the Washington Examiner‘s Daniel Chaitin.
Schiff claimed the president wanted McCabe, who briefly took over as acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey in May 2017, investigated and his pension taken away and suggested someone such as former Attorney General Rod Rosenstein obliged the president by making a referral.
“The inspector general found that McCabe was untruthful. He may very well have been untruthful,” the California Democrat said, but noted that is not where main his concern lies.
The initiation of the inspector general’s inquiry in McCabe happened, Schiff said, “because the president wanted it politically.” He added, “Once you go down that road, it leads to disaster.” –Washington Examiner
“I have no reason to question the inspector general’s conclusion, but that investigation was put on a fast track. It was separated from a broader inspector general investigation, which is still ongoing,” said Schiff. “Why was that done? It was done so he could be fired to not get a pension. It was done to please the president when the initiation investigation is tainted. So are the results of that investigation.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/22/2019)
June 25, 2019 – Congress issues a subpoena to Robert Mueller and he agrees to testify
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress on July 17 on his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday night.
In a joint statement, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said that Mueller had agreed to testify in an open session.
“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” they said.
The committees issued subpoenas Tuesday to compel Mueller’s testimony, according to the joint statement. The decision to compel Mueller to testify is a landmark move that will put an end to a months-long saga on Capitol Hill where lawmakers have for weeks fought to get access to information about whether President Trump obstructed justice. (Read more: The Daily Beast, 6/25/2019)
June 12, 2019 – Rep. Elise Stefanik fact checks Rep. Adam Schiff on Comey testimony
“Elise Stefanik (R., NY) clashed with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Ca.) Tuesday during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. Schiff claimed Stefanik was wrong about former FBI director James Comey’s testimony concerning when Congress was informed about the investigation into the Trump campaign.
The New York representative questioned Andrew McCarthy during a committee hearing yesterday about notifying congressional leadership when an investigation is opened into a political campaign. She specifically referred to the FBI opening its investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, a counter-intelligence investigation codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Former FBI Director James Comey testified in March of 2017 that congressional leadership was not notified until that month about the investigation due to its sensitive nature.
“We know now that the FBI opened its counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, but they did not brief the Gang of Eight until March 2017 just days before former director Comey publicly announced the investigation during a March 20th, 2017 open hearing before this committee,” Stefanik said yesterday.
Schiff tried to correct Stefanik, telling her that her timeline was not correct, to which Stefanik doubled down.
“Regarding the timeline, it was clear in the open hearing in front of this committee that director Comey testified that he chose not to brief the Gang of Eight on the opening of the counter-intelligence investigations,” Stefanik said.
“I hope you would agree based upon the testimony of Director Comey that he circumvented the process,” she added later.
“I would only say that that was not his testimony,” Schiff responded. “The first time he was briefing the counter-intelligence investigation to us was contemporaneous with his disclosing it to the public.” Stefanik responded that Schiff was misrepresenting her statement.
A subsequent tweet from Stefanik confirmed her claims about Comey’s testimony. The video of Comey’s March 2017 testimony shows Comey admitting that the FBI delayed notifying congressional leadership about the investigation into the Trump campaign.
June 12, 2019 – Devin Nunes compares the Mueller report to the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier
“Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, sharply criticized the Mueller report during a June 12 hearing, saying the report failed to address key players and irregularities in the FBI’s investigation and contained selectively edited information.
Nunes also called out his Democratic counterparts, saying that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report did debunk many of the false claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that had been perpetuated by Democrats, including members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Witnesses at the hearing—titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1″—included Robert Anderson and Stephanie Douglas, described by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as former executives from the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Left out of Schiff’s description was the fact that both witnesses had worked under former FBI Director Mueller prior to his role as special counsel.
(…) Nunes, who referred to the Mueller report as “the Mueller dossier,” noted that it “either debunked many of their favorite conspiracy theories or did not even find them worth discussing.” Nunes then provided a specific list:
- “Mueller’s finding that Michael Cohen did not travel to Prague to conspire with Russians.
- No evidence that Carter Page conspired with Russians.
- No mention of Paul Manafort visiting Julian Assange in London.
- No mention of secret communications between a Trump Tower computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
- And no mention of former NRA lawyer Cleta Mitchell or her supposed knowledge of a scheme to launder Russian money through the NRA for the Trump campaign. Insinuations against Mitchell originated with Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson and were first made public in a document published by Democrats on this committee.”