Update at the end
On Monday, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) directly rebuked the report by The Federalist that the Intelligence Inspector General altered the disclosure form between May 2019 and August 2019 when the ‘whistleblower’ lodged his complaint.
“The Disclosure of Urgent Concern form the Complainant submitted on August 12, 2019 is the same form the ICIG has had in place since May 24, 2018,” a press release sent out late Monday notes.
The IG also believes that the filer has more than second-hand information or they would not have been able to determine it was “credible” and “urgent,” requiring a 14-day review.
The four-page statement also clarifies that the governing rules “went into effect before Inspector General [Michael] Atkinson entered on duty as the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community on May 29, 2018.”
In other words: the current rules have been the rules used by the ICIG for such complaints since before Trump’s handpicked appointee began leading the agency –- and those rules have not changed since.
The press release also attempts to dispel adjacent misinformation that has been spread about the ICIG’s official procedures regarding the whistleblower’s knowledge of the Ukraine phone call. The ICIG said there is no requirement to possess first-hand information:
Although the form requests information about whether the Complainant possesses first-hand knowledge about the matter about which he or she is lodging the complaint, there is no such requirement set forth in the statute. In fact, by law the Complainant – or any individual in the Intelligence Community who wants to report information with respect to an urgent concern to the congressional intelligence committees – need not possess first-hand information in order to file a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern.
The whistleblower sort of had direct knowledge:
The IG also states he felt the complainant had direct knowledge even though he was not a direct witness [errors have already been pointed out] since he had “official and authorized access to the information and sources referenced in his letter and classified appendix.”
Am I alone in thinking that sounds like second-hand knowledge. Does access mean first-hand?
The whistleblower used the form that was in effect since May 2018 and he checked off two boxes as having first-hand knowledge and knowledge from other sources:
The Complainant on the form he or she submitted on August 12, 2019, in fact, checked two relevant boxes: The first box stated that, “I have personal and/or direct knowledge of events or records involved”; and the second box stated that, “Other employees have told me about events or records involved.”
“In summary,” the report concludes in reference to the misinformation being shared by the president and his allies, “the whistleblower submitted the appropriate Disclosure of Urgent Concern form that was in effect as of August 12, 2019, and had been used by the ICIG since May 24, 2018.”
Law & Crime described the reports by the right as a two-pronged conspiracy theory pushed by Sean Davis of the Federalist whose publication is funded by unknown donors.
Davis, however, claimed he was vindicated by Monday’s report because of the way the ICIG’s statement notes how “certain language” in the forms handed out to whistleblowers “could be read – incorrectly – as suggesting that whistleblowers must possess first-hand information in order to file an urgent concern complaint with the congressional intelligence committees.”
The form appears to have been changed recently by the IG’s own admission, adding to the confusion.
Stephen McIntyre, who had the original story, tweeted, “IMO, as in my original thread, the change in form was done to try to conceal the conflict between policy underpinning Form 401 at time of submission of WB Complaint and ICIG decision to proceed based entirely on second-hand information plus public news.”
It’s odd that the archives, including Wayback Machine, only have snapshots of the form from September 30th. All others are missing though there are screen grabs on this site, on Mr. McIntyre’s Twitter page, and on The Federalist. In way of a benign explanation, perhaps the screenshots disappeared to avoid confusion.
The mainstream media — CNN and the NY Times in particular — were the first to report the whistleblower did not have first-hand information and did not qualify as a whistleblower.
After the Acting DNI Joseph McIntyre received the complaint from the intelligence IG, he determined it was “credible” and “serious,” and was “not ignored.”
SEAN DAVIS WAS ON LOU DOBBS LAST NIGHT STICKING TO HIS STORY
You decide if what Sean Davis is saying her jives with the 4-page statement (which you can read in full below).
Davis was on Lou Dobbs last night claiming it vindicated his reporting.
He also tweeted:
Not only did the IC IG admit tonight that it eliminated its requirement for first-hand evidence and changed its forms accordingly, it admitted that it changed its own whistleblower rules *because of the anti-Trump complaint.* https://t.co/Hch0L8DdIC pic.twitter.com/Iz9AGQOzR4
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 1, 2019
We should add the information provided by the complainant, describing his information as second-hand.
This is from the Whistleblower Complaint provided to Congress.
They describe themselves as being “not a direct witness”. pic.twitter.com/W743PLGaHt
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 1, 2019