A complaint recently filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) reportedly alleges that the “whistleblower” who triggered the partisan impeachment inquiry may have broken federal law by indirectly soliciting money from mainly anonymous sources, potentially including foreigners, via a GoFundMe page.
The GoFundMe page in question has raised over $227,000 so far. In collaboration with impeachment whistleblower lawyers from the Compass Rose Legal Group, Whistleblower Aid helped start the GoFundMe page in question back in September.
Filed on November 8, the complaint alleges that the leaker that sparked the impeachment probe is capitalizing on his position within the intelligence community to generate funds in violation of the law.
“A U.S. intelligence officer who filed an urgent report of government misconduct needs your help. This brave individual took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. We’re working with the whistleblower and launched a crowdfunding effort to support the whistleblower’s lawyers,” the GoFundMe page proclaims.
The complaint claimed that donations from an estimated 6,100 individuals “clearly constitute” gifts to the “whistleblower” that may be restricted because of the leaker’s official position within the intelligence community pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.203 and other statutes.
On Tuesday, Fox News, which obtained the complaint, revealed, “The complaint also raised the possibility that some of the donations may have come from prohibited sources, and asked the ICIG to look into whether any ‘foreign citizen or agent of a foreign government’ contributed.”
Moreover, the complaint alleges that the “whistleblower” and his lawyers, who helped create the GoFundMe page, appear to be exploiting their access to classified information.
In the November 8 complaint letter to ICIG Michael Atkinson, the same watchdog who received the impeachment probe leaker’s complaint, Anthony Gallo from Tully Rinckey PLLC, the law firm representing the new whistleblower, notes:
[M]y client believes … that the federal employee you are protecting and their attorneys apparently have strategically weaponized their alleged whistleblowing activities into a very lucrative money-making enterprise using a charity incorporated under a different name than the trade name it is using for fund-raising purposes, which would appear to my client to be a clear abuse of the federal employee’s authority and access to classified information.
When alluding to a “charity,” Gallo was referencing the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid, also known as Values United, an organization co-founded by one of the activist attorneys — Mark Zaid — representing the leaker that triggered the impeachment probe.
Tax documents from Values United reportedly show that the organization paid over $250,000 for advertising and consulting services alone.
Gallo concluded in the complaint:
We are requesting you investigate whether [criminal statutes or regulations have] been violated by the federal employee you are protecting when they reportedly requested an investigation into a matter that they had no direct personal knowledge of, and on account of which they were able to obtain sizable gifts from unknown persons because of their official duty.
Tully Rinckey PLLC is refusing to reveal the identity of their client. Fox News, however, learned that the new whistleblower “is the holder of a top-secret SCI security clearance and has served in government.”
“I have not seen anything on this scale,” Gallo told Fox News, referring to the more than a quarter-million dollars raised so far. “It’s not about politics for my client— it’s whistleblower-on-whistleblower, and [my client’s] only interest is to see the government ethics rules are being complied with government-wide.”
News reports have described the intelligence community “whistleblower” at the heart of the impeachment inquiry and his lawyers as anti-Trump partisans.
Although the GoFundMe page alleges that “donations will only be accepted from U.S. citizens,” most of the donors are not named.
Andrew Bakaj, one of the impeachment “whistleblower’s” lawyers, maintained that the fundraising effort had not violated any law.