A CIA officer whistleblower failed to follow the law for protecting members of the intelligence community (IC) seeking to report government malfeasance by going to the Democrat head of the House Intelligence Community before the IC inspector general (IG).
On Wednesday, the New York Times (NYT) revealed:
The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistleblower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
However, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) of 1998 explicitly requires an official concerned about wrongdoing within the government to go to the IC inspector general before the congressional panels in charge of oversight of the intelligence community.
Under a section titled, “Summary of Procedures for Reporting Urgent Concerns Pursuant to the ICWPA,” the official Director of National Intelligence (DNI) website states:
The employee may contact the congressional intelligence committees directly as described in clause (i) only if the employee –
- a. before making such a contact, furnishes to the DNI, through the IC IG, a statement of the employee’s complaint or information and notice of the employee’s intent to contact the congressional intelligence committees directly; and
- b. obtains and follows from the DNI, through the IC IG, direction on how to contact the congressional intelligence committees in accordance with necessary and appropriate security procedures.
The CIA whistleblower in question went to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff’s office days before the intelligence community’s inspector general, the internal investigator, and watchdog.
Investigators from the office of the IC IG are expected to operate independently of political leadership in government.
The whistleblower released information behind a July 25 call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the whistleblower, the U.S. commander-in-chief abused his power by urging Zelensky to investigate former American Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s ties to a potential criminal in Ukraine.
Trump denies the allegations. The July call, however, is now at the center of the impeachment proceedings that House Democrats are pursuing.
Former VP Biden is the leading Democrat presidential candidate.