The center of the complaint is that President Donald Trump broke the law during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when he asked him to investigate Joe Biden’s family dealings. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel released an opinion on Wednesday that complaint was not an “urgent concern.”
The complaint was submitted on August 12th – and would’ve never been able to be submitted, if it weren’t for a last minute change in the rules regarding whistleblower complaints. As Sean Davis unearthed in a recent piece at The Federalist:
Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings.
The brand new version of the whistleblower complaint form, which was not made public until after the transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the complaint addressed to Congress were made public, eliminates the first-hand knowledge requirement and allows employees to file whistleblower complaints even if they have zero direct knowledge of underlying evidence and only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”
The internal properties of the newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed.
Prior to those recent changes, the whistleblower complain form read, in part, “The [Intelligence Community Inspector General] cannot transmit information via the ICPWA based on an employee’s second-hand knowledge of wrongdoing…If you think that wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions, [the Intelligence Community Inspector General] will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA.”
Pictured below is the prior form explaining that information must be first hand:
And the new version allowing individuals to submit as second hand sources:
A sampling of the second-hand language includes the whistleblower saying “I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials,” “officials have informed me,” “officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me,” “the White House officials who told me this information,” “I was told by White House officials,” “the officials I spoke with,” “I was told that a State Department official,” “I learned from multiple U.S. officials,” “One White House official described this act,” “Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me,” “I also learned from multiple U.S. officials,” “The U.S. officials characterized this meeting,” “multiple U.S. officials told me,” “I learned from U.S. officials,” “I also learned from a U.S. official,” “several U.S. officials told me,” “I heard from multiple U.S. officials,” and “multiple U.S. officials told me.”
Why couldn’t these U.S. officials simply submit a complaint themselves? Why the need to launder the information through an intermediary? That was apparently so important that the rules for submitting a complaint had to be changed for that express purpose.
The truth will come out soon enough, and the new “Ukrainegate” scandal will be just as anti-climactic as “Russiagate” was for Democrats.