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Sen. Cotton Has Some Questions For The Intelligence Community IG Regarding The Whistleblower Complaint

By  Ashe
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) participates in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on January 25, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has sent a letter detailing five questions he has for Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

Late last month, Atkinson testified behind closed doors before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. During that time, Cotton’s staff said, the IG “refused to answer questions about the political bias of the ‘whistleblower,’ despite being in a closed session and despite this information being unclassified.” Later, Atkinson offered this information to the House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by a Democrat.

On Wednesday, Cotton sent a letter to Atkinson with five unanswered questions from his testimony.

“Your disappointing testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 26 was evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive,” Cotton says in the letter. “Despite repeated questions, you refused to explain what you meant in your written report by ‘indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.’ This information is, of course, unclassified and we were meeting in a closed setting. Yet you moralized about how you were duty bound not to share even a hint of this political bias with us.”

Cotton’s questions center around the whistleblower’s political bias:

  1. Does the complainant have (or did he once have) a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential candidate or campaign?

  2. If so, which candidate or campaign and what is the nature of that relationship?

  3. What other “indicia of arguable political bias” of the complainant did you find?

  4. Did you or anyone subject to your control or influence share with CNN that the “arguable political bias” was merely that the complainant is a registered Democrat?

  5. Why did you refuse to answer my questions at the September 26 hearing?

Cotton gave Atkinson a deadline of 5:00 pm on Friday, October 11 to answer the questions.

As Julie Kelly of American Greatness noted, Cotton’s letter lacks any real teeth, reminding readers that the GOP Senate has regularly sent “strongly worded letters” without ever following up on them.

“We’ve seen this movie before in GOP Senate – threats and demands that are never followed-up,” Kelly tweeted. “Just this week, the Senate Judiciary committee asked about criminal referrals it send to DOJ A YEAR AGO related to the Kavanaugh debacle. Lots of letters sent in 2017/18 about FISA/Spy/Russiagate. No action.”

Indeed, throughout the two year investigation into whether President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election (the investigation of which found no evidence to support the media and Democrat’s continued claims about this), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent numerous letters demanding answers to questions. Some of those letters, such as this one, sought answers as to why Democrat-connected consultants were allowed to retroactively file under the Foreign Agents Registration Act while Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was indicted for not doing so in a timely manner. Another letter from Grassley asked why the FBI raided the home of a whistleblower “who reportedly disclosed information about the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One transaction.” These and numerous other letters from the senator were never followed up on, and as Kelly pointed out, neither was the criminal referrals for people who provided false testimony during the investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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