Michael Atkinson

January 12, 2020 – McCord is the key – Devin Nunes discusses sketchy issues surrounding ICIG Michael Atkinson and origination of the “whistle-blower” complaint

“House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes appears with Maria Bartiromo to discuss two very important issues.  The first is the origination of the “whistle-blower” complaint and new issues surrounding Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.  The second important subject is the background of newly installed FISA Court monitor, David Kris, to oversee the FBI reform promises.

CTH has some explosive new information that has been shared with Mr. Nunes on both issues, but we start with the interview and ICIG Michael Atkinson.

Since our original research into Atkinson, there have been some rather interesting additional discoveries.

The key to understanding the corrupt endeavor behind the fraudulent “whistle-blower” complaint, doesn’t actually originate with ICIG Atkinson. The key person is the former head of the DOJ National Security Division, Mary McCord.

Mary McCord (Credit: public domain)

Prior to becoming IC Inspector General, Michael Atkinson was the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, Mary McCord.

It is very safe to say Mary McCord and Michael Atkinson have a working relationship from their time together in 2016 and 2017 at the DOJ-NSD. Atkinson was Mary McCord’s senior legal counsel; essentially her lawyer.

McCord was the senior intelligence officer who accompanied Sally Yates to the White House in 2017 to confront then White House Counsel Don McGahn about the issues with Michael Flynn and the drummed up controversy over the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak phone call.

Additionally, Mary McCord, Sally Yates, and Michael Atkinson worked together to promote the narrative around the incoming Trump administration “Logan Act” violations. This silly claim (undermining Obama policy during the transition) was the heavily promoted, albeit manufactured, reason why Yates and McCord were presumably concerned about Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It was nonsense.

However, McCord didn’t just disappear in 2017 when she retired from the DOJ-NSD. She resurfaced as part of the Lawfare group assembly after the mid-term election in 2018.

THIS IS THE KEY.

Mary McCord joined the House effort to impeach President Trump; as noted in this article from Politico:

“I think people do see that this is a critical time in our history,” said Mary McCord, a former DOJ official who helped oversee the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and now is listed as a top outside counsel for the House in key legal fights tied to impeachment. “We see the breakdown of the whole rule of law. We see the breakdown in adherence to the Constitution and also constitutional values.”

“That’s why you’re seeing lawyers come out and being very willing to put in extraordinary amounts of time and effort to litigate these cases,” she added. (link)

Former DOJ-NSD Head Mary McCord is currently working for the House Committee (Adam Schiff) who created the impeachment scheme.

Now it becomes critical to overlay that detail with how the “whistle-blower” complaint was organized.  Mary McCord’s former NSD attorney, Michael Atkinson, is the intelligence community inspector general who brings forth the complaint.

The “whistle-blower” had prior contact with the staff of the committee.  This is admitted.  So essentially the “whistle-blower” almost certainly had contact with Mary McCord, and then ICIG Michael Atkinson modified the whistle-blower rules to facilitate the outcome.

There is the origination.   That’s where the fraud starts.

The coordination between Mary McCord, the Whistle-blower, and Michael Atkinson is why HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff will not release the transcript from Atkinson’s testimony.

It now looks like the Lawfare network constructed the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint aka a Schiff Dossier and handed it to allied CIA operative Eric Ciaramella to file as a formal IC complaint.  This process is almost identical to the Fusion-GPS/Lawfare network handing the Steele Dossier to the FBI to use as the evidence for the 2016/2017 Russia conspiracy.

Atkinson’s conflict-of-self-interest, and/or possible blackmail upon him by deep state actors who most certainly know his compromise, likely influenced his approach to this whistleblower complaint.   That would explain why the Dept. of Justice Office of Legal Counsel so strongly rebuked Atkinson’s interpretation of his responsibility with the complaint.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/12/2020)  (Archive)

January 11, 2020 – Devin Nunes writes ICIG Atkinson a second time demanding answers re the hearsay whistleblower complaint

Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy (Credit: public domain)

“House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., demanded answers Saturday from the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s office regarding the whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Nunes sent a letter to ICIG Michael Atkinson raising several questions about the complaint, which ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment, and repeated requests for information that he said went unanswered for months. While several officials met for closed-door sessions to answer questions following the complaint, Atkinson’s testimony has not been released to the public.

“He’s the only one of all the star chamber games that were played in the basement of the Capitol, with the secretive interviews. The only one that’s not released is the one with the IC Inspector General. “That’s unacceptable,” Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Nunes, along with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., previously had sent a letter to Atkinson in September 2019 in which they raised a number of issues related to the whistleblower’s complaint. Nunes’ new letter claimed Atkinson’s office has not responded satisfactorily.

Among Nunes’ main concerns: the decision to revise a form for whistleblower complaints that removed the requirement of first-hand information in order for a complaint to be relayed to Congress.

Nunes’ September letter had inquired about the update to the form that had left out the first-hand knowledge requirement, and how it had been dated August 2019 despite evidence that it was created on Sept. 24, 2019. Atkinson’s office later claimed that the form had been backdated in error because it had received preliminary approval in August. Now, Nunes is asking that if that was the case, why it took until late September for it to be posted alone.

“What he’s claiming is, essentially, ‘We’re just dumb, we made mistakes, it was a huge mistake,’” Nunes said Sunday. “That’s fine if you want to claim incompetence, but you need to have the documentation, the evidence to prove that you were indeed incompetent.” (Read more: Fox News, 1/12/2020)  (Archive)

January 6, 2020 – Devin Nunes claims Republicans have an active investigation into Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson steps into an elevator as he leaves a secure area in the Capitol after a day of questions about the whistleblower complaint that led to the impeachment hearings. (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

“Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes told The Sara Carter Show that Republicans have an active investigation into Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who alerted lawmakers to the so-called whistleblower complaint that has led to President Donald Trump’s partisan impeachment in the House.

Nunes, R-CA, spoke to this reporter for Monday’s podcast. He revealed that transcripts of Atkinson’s secret testimony will expose that the Inspector General either lied or he needs to make corrections to his statements to lawmakers. The transcripts have been kept from the public by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-CA because it is damaging to their “impeachment scam,” Nunes said.

The whistleblower, who has not been formally named by lawmakers, met with Schiff’s staff members prior to submitting their complaint to Atkinson. Schiff was chided by Republican lawmakers and many members of the media for falsely claiming that his committee had no contact with the whistleblower.

(Atkinson) is under active investigation. I’m not gonna go any farther than that because you know obviously he has a chance to come in and prove his innocence, but my guess is Schiff, Atkinson they don’t want that transcript out because it’s very damaging. ~ Rep. Nunes

(Read more: Sarah Carter, 1/06/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – Rep. John Ratcliffe says the hearsay whistleblower made false statements in his written complaint to the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding the evidence

“Rep. Ratcliffe said House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is burying evidence of the whistleblower’s crimes in the House SCIF.

Impeachment ringleader Adam Schiff still won’t release the transcript of Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson’s October 4 closed-door testimony even though he has released 15 other witness transcripts.

A couple of weeks ago, Ratcliffe revealed he “asked IG Atkinson about his “investigation” into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified “secret” so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions.”

Ratcliffe suggested Monday that the “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella committed perjury by making false statements in his written forms filed with the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding evidence of Ciaramella’s crimes to protect him from a criminal investigation.

Ratcliffe said it’s time to release the transcript of ICIG Michael Atkinson’s testimony.

“The way to do that would be to release the Inspector General’s testimony or even just pages 53 to 73,” Ratcliffe said noting there is nothing in those pages that would release the identity of the whistleblower nor jeopardizes national security. (Read more: The Gateway Pundit, 12/09/2019) (Archive)

November 30, 2019 – ICIG Atkinson refuses to answer Senator Tom Cotton’s request for more info on the ‘hearsay whistleblower’s bias

“Senator Tom Cotton sent a letter on October 9th to Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, after his dishonest testimony before the Senate Select Committee on September 26th.

Michael Atkinson withheld information on the partisan CIA “whistleblower” when he testified before the senators.

Tom Cotton sent a letter to Atkinson wanting answers.

From Senator Tom Cotton’s office:

Michael Atkinson (Credit: public domain)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today sent a letter to Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, after his evasive testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a closed hearing on September 26. Inspector General Atkinson repeatedly refused to answer questions about the political bias of the “whistleblower”, despite being in a closed session and despite this information being unclassified. The Inspector General wouldn’t reveal this information to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but later revealed it to the House Intelligence Committee.

The letter outlines five outstanding questions Senator Cotton has for Inspector General Atkinson and asks him to reply no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11. The full text of the letter is below and can be found by clicking here.

Dear Inspector General Atkinson,

Your disappointing testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 26 was evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive. Despite repeated questions, you refused to explain what you meant in your written report by “indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” This information is, of course, unclassified and we were meeting in a closed setting. Yet you moralized about how you were duty bound not to share even a hint of this political bias with us.

But now I see media reports that you revealed to the House Intelligence Committee not only that the complainant is a registered Democrat, but also that he has a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential campaign. I’m dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with your refusal to answer my questions, while more fully briefing the three-ring circus that the House Intelligence Committee has become.

So, I will ask again and give you one more chance to answer: what are these “indicia of arguable political bias”? More specifically:

  1. Does the complainant have (or did he once have) a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential candidate or campaign?
  2. If so, which candidate or campaign and what is the nature of that relationship?
  3. What other “indicia of arguable political bias” of the complainant did you find?
  4. Did you or anyone subject to your control or influence share with CNN that the “arguable political bias” was merely that the complainant is a registered Democrat?
  5. Why did you refuse to answer my questions at the September 26 hearing?

(…) According to Paul Sperry, Atkinson refuses to comply with the Senator’s request.

And Adam Schiff refuses to release Atkinson’s closed-door testimony from the basement star chamber.

(Read more: Gateway Pundit, 12/03/2019)

November 30, 2019 – John Ratcliffe suggests IC IG Atkinson’s transcript is being withheld because of his testimony to possible connections between Schiff’s staff and the hearsay whistleblower

“Republican Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe hinted Saturday at the reason he believes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff won’t release Michael Atkinson’s transcript.

Ratcliffe suggested in a tweet that Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, might have revealed information about a possible connection between the whistleblower and members of Schiff’s staff.

“It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his ‘investigation’ into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified ‘secret’ so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions,” he tweeted.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/01/2019)

October 30, 2019 – Beltway talk suggests the alleged hearsay whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella

Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson arrives for a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2019. (Credit: Eric Baradat/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

(…) 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.)

Alexandra Chalupa and Eric Ciaramella (Credit: public domain)

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)

October 24, 2019 – New Strzok texts reveal a ‘crescendo of leaks,’ Grassley/Johnson write ICIG Atkinson asking for an investigation

Ron Johnson (l) and Charles Grassley (Credit: public domain)

“Top Republicans on Wednesday demanded that Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson explain why the watchdog hasn’t said if it’s investigating “a number of leaks of highly sensitive information” in recent years — and released several previously unpublished texts and emails from since-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, specifically asked the ICIG why Strzok texted bureau colleague Lisa Page on Dec. 15, 2016: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.”

“What are they worried about, and what are they kicking into ‘overdrive?’ Johnson and Grassley wrote. “Who are the ‘sisters,’ and what does it mean to say that the ‘sisters have [been] leaking like mad’?”

Additionally, the senators pushed to know whether the ICIG was looking into Strzok’s email to FBI colleagues on April 13, 2017, when he wrote that an unidentified “agency” might be the “source of some of the leaks” to the media that he’d been seeing.

“I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us,” Strzok wrote, according to documents that the senators included in their letter to the ICIG. “Might explain all these weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as a source of some of the leaks.”

In a June 6, 2017 email to Page, Strzok mused, “Think there will be a crescendo of leaks/articles leading up to Thurs.”

And, a Dec. 13, 2016 text message apparently showed Strzok trying to set up a Skype meeting with a reporter. “Text from reporter: retrieving my password for Skype,” he wrote.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulted the FBI last year for repeated violations of its media communications policy, noting that agents had received gifts from reporters and leaked regularly.

Then, on April 6, 2017, Strzok wrote to senior FBI leadership to complain about a New York Times article entitled, “C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed,” claiming it painted the FBI in an unfavorable light and got key facts wrong.

“Mike, below is inaccurate, favors the CIA at the expense of the FBI in particular, and is at odds with what Apuzzo and Goldman know,” Strzok wrote. “Most importantly, it’s at odds with the D’s [FBI Director’s] recent public testimony that we’ve been looking at links (which necessarily imply favoring Trump) since July ’16.”

Read the full letter to Atkinson, including the newly released Strzok Texts here.

(Read more: Fox News, 10/24/2019)  (Archive)

October 6, 2019 – Intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson interviews second whistleblower

“Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson interviewed a second whistleblower with alleged knowledge about the call between President Donald Trump and the leader of Ukraine.

Democrats have led an impeachment inquiry over the call.

The first whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid, confirmed on Oct. 6 that he’s also representing the second whistleblower. Like the first whistleblower, the second one is also a member of the intelligence community. According to Zaid, the anonymous official has firsthand knowledge of some of the events described by the first whistleblower. Both “made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against,” the attorney wrote on Twitter.

Zaid didn’t clarify whether the second whistleblower has filed a formal complaint, revealing only that he or she has spoken with Atkinson. Zaid didn’t reply to a request from The Epoch Times for clarification.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/06/2019)

September 26, 2019 – The anonymous “hearsay whistleblower” complaint re Trump/Zelensky call, is released (pdf)

Eric Ciaramella

“If you have read any of the documents that came from Fusion-GPS, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele, you will likely find an amazing amount of similarity to the format and writing in this “whistleblower” complaint.

It was obviously written by a Lawfare member.

The complaint is the same structure as the Steele Dossier.  No direct knowledge; no direct evidence to the claims; second-hand gossip, rumors from people who might have known another person to have overheard something, mixed with prior media reports to narrate a story as told by the author. Here is the complaint:

The complaint is based on the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine.  Here’s the transcript of that call:

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) is Michael K Atkinson.  ICIG Atkinson is the official who accepted the ridiculous premise of a hearsay ‘whistle-blower‘ complaint; an intelligence whistleblower who was “blowing-the-whistle” based on second-hand information of a phone call without any direct personal knowledge, ie ‘hearsay‘.

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.

If the DOJ-NSD exploitation of the NSA database, and/or DOJ-NSD FISA abuse, and/or DOJ-NSD FARA corruption were ever to reach sunlight, current ICIG Atkinson -as the lawyer for the process- would be under a lot of scrutiny for his involvement.

Yes, that gives current ICIG Michael Atkinson a strong and corrupt motive to participate with the Schiff/Lawfare impeachment objective.

Atkinson’s conflict-of-self-interest, and/or possible blackmail upon him by deep state actors who most certainly know his compromise, likely influenced his approach to this whistleblower complaint.   That would explain why the Dept. of Justice Office of Legal Counsel so strongly rebuked Atkinson’s interpretation of his responsibility with the complaint.

In the Justice Department’s OLC opinion, they point out that Atkinson’s internal justification for accepting the whistleblower complaint was poor legal judgment.  [See Here]  I would say Atkinson’s decision is directly related to his own risk exposure:

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/26/2019)