Second official with more direct information on Trump-Ukraine call considering filing whistleblower complaint – Washington Examiner
A second intelligence official is reportedly weighing blowing the whistle on President Trump’s communications with Ukraine.
The New York Times reported Friday that two people briefed on the matter indicated the official is considering whether to file his own whistleblower complaint and testify before Congress. The official is said to have more direct information on the president’s July phone call with the leader of Ukraine than the first whistleblower, whose complaint alleged that Trump used his power as president to urge Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, his political rival.
The initial whistleblower, an unnamed CIA officer, did not have direct knowledge of the call, indicating, “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described” in the original complaint letter. However, the Intelligence Community watchdog’s office revealed that the whistleblower checked two boxes on the August complaint: “I have personal and/or direct knowledge of events or records involved” and “other employees have told me about events or records involved.”
The second official is among those who were interviewed by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson to corroborate the original whistleblower’s claims. A new complaint may add credibility to the first whistleblower’s complaint.
Because the second official met with Atkinson, it’s unclear if the person would need to file a complaint in order to receive whistleblower protections, as witnesses who speak with inspectors general are protected by federal law.
The news of a potential second whistleblower comes as the first whistleblower is under fire for talking to a House Intelligence staffer before filing the complaint. The CIA officer has also been accused of “possible bias,” with Atkinson pointing to the fact that the person is a registered Democrat.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently announced an impeachment inquiry into the president after the initial complaint was made. During the call in question, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden for corruption, requesting that he look into the 2020 Democratic front-runner and his son’s connections to an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on his part and has even demanded to meet the original whistleblower, who fears being put in “harm’s way” after the president called the person “close to a spy” and referenced punishments for spies “in the old days.”