A new report from The Washington Examiner on Tuesday revealed that the CIA whistleblower reportedly “had a significant” connection to a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate who is challenging President Donald Trump in the election.
“In an Aug. 26 letter, the Intelligence Community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, wrote that the anonymous whistleblower who set off the Trump-Ukraine impeachment fight showed ‘some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate,'” The Examiner’s Byron York wrote. “Now, however, there is word of more evidence of possible bias on the whistleblower’s part. Under questioning from Republicans during last Friday’s impeachment inquiry interview with Atkinson, the inspector general revealed that the whistleblower’s possible bias was not that he was simply a registered Democrat,” York continued. “It was that he had a significant tie to one of the Democratic presidential candidates currently vying to challenge President Trump in next year’s election.”
One person with knowledge of what was said told York, “The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates.”
A second person with knowledge of Atkinson’s testimony said, “The IG said the whistleblower had a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates.”
A third person said, “What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.”
The Examiner notes that all three sources indicated that Atkinson did not reveal the identity of the Democrat presidential candidate.
In late September, the Trump administration told Fox News that the CIA whistleblower “who leveled an explosive accusation against President Trump concerning his talks with Ukraine had ‘political bias’ in favor of ‘a rival candidate’ of the president.”
At the start of October, CNN reported that the “possible political bias” mentioned in “the Intelligence Community Inspector General report refers to the fact that the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian President is a registered Democrat.”
“Further although the ICIG’s preliminary reviewed identified some indicia of bias of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate, such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern ‘appears credible’ particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review,” Atkinson wrote.
Democrats have sought to make as much of their push to impeach the president as secretive as possible, with The Washington Post reporting yesterday that Democrats want to have the whistleblower testify in front of them at a secret location, without their GOP colleagues present, and want to prevent Republicans from learning the whistleblower’s identity.
“House Democrats are weighing extraordinary steps to secure testimony from a whistleblower whose complaint prompted their impeachment inquiry, masking his identity to prevent President Trump’s congressional allies from exposing the individual, according to three officials familiar with the deliberations,” The Post reported. “The steps under consideration include having the whistleblower testify from a remote location and obscuring the individual’s appearance and voice, these officials said.”