The CIA employee whose second-hand whistleblower complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-controlled House never told the Inspector General about his interactions with House Democrats as required by law, according to investigative reporter Catherine Herridge.
The revelation came from Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who testified in a closed-door session last week that the whistleblower - a registered Democrat - failed to mention his contacts with Democrats on Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) House Intelligence Committee, who referred him to a Clinton-linked attorney to move forward with his complaint.
According to The Federalist's Sean Davis, "The complainant’s failure to disclose his interactions with Schiff or his staff could put him in legal hot water, as the whistleblower form he submitted requires individuals to disclose “other actions you are taking on your disclosure” under penalty of perjury."
An entire page of the whistleblower form is dedicated to collecting information about previous disclosures so the ICIG can take appropriate action in response to the complaint. “I have previously disclosed (or am disclosing) the violations alleged here to (complete all that apply),” the form requires the complainant to attest. The form includes checkboxes for disclosures to other inspectors general, other agencies, the Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Special Counsel, other executive branch departments, Congress and its respective committees, and media. It also includes a separate question asking the complainant to detail those previous disclosures to the ICIG. -The Federalist
Davis updates his article to note: "An official confirms the whistleblower failed to disclose prior contacts with House Democrats regarding the allegations of his August 12 complaint. The box in Part 3, Question 1 of the form regarding contacts with Congress or congressional committees was unchecked and left blank. The dates of those contacts were also not disclosed as required. And the specific members and committees that were contacted were likewise not disclosed in the section requiring that information."
And while the whistleblower concealed his contacts with Schiff's committee, Schiff lied about them - claiming last month that his panel had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower." This earned Schiff four Pinocchios from the Washington Post.
"We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to," Schiff told MSNBC's Sam Stein when asked if they had ever spoken. "But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation."
A House Intel Committee spokesperson told The Post that Schiff's reply "should have been more carefully phrased."
"Regarding Chairman Schiff’s comments on ‘Morning Joe,’ in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the Committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not," said the spokesperson. "As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the Acting [Director of National Intelligence] as to how the whistleblower could contact the Committee. Nonetheless he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear."
Needless to say, eager to redirect attention, Trump has been focusing on the "Schiff is a fraud" angle for the past week: