For the past week, the media has been aflutter with the buzz of impeachment and emotions are running hot.
Progressive politicians and liberal media outlets have been whipped into such a frenzy it might be time to call in the Discovery Channel crew that films Shark Week. Keep in mind, their frenzied response to news of a confidential whistleblower report was full-blown well before the report was released. The exact details of the report – or proof of the underlying claims – didn’t matter. The blood was already in the water.
Conservative politicians and media have been apoplectic that President Trump is facing what appears to be another Deep State “insurance policy” set-up.
Background from the past week…
Monday (09-23-19) reports began to circulate concerning a whistleblower complaint filed against President Trump regarding some sort of alleged impropriety. None of the details were immediately known (supposedly), but the mere mention of an official complaint of presidential impropriety sent the media into a feeding frenzy with immediate calls for impeachment.
As we now know, the initial concern was a supposed quid pro quo involving U.S. aid being withheld in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter presented during a telephone conversation July 25, 2019, between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (spelling very important).
President Trump was quick to respond.
“The very thing that they are accusing President Trump of doing (which I didn’t do), was actually done by Joe Biden. Continues to be a double standard.” @RepDevinNunes @foxandfriends These people are stone cold Crooked. Also, who is this so-called “whistleblower” who doesn’t…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2019
Q: "You can authorize to release the transcript. Will you do that?"
President Trump: "I can do it very easily, but I'd rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I have. I may do it, 'cause it was a very innocent call." pic.twitter.com/PxrFbS3uqZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 23, 2019
Without any direct knowledge of what the complaint contained (supposedly), and prior to the telephone transcript release promised by President Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) determined it was incumbent upon her to pursue impeachment, as she began to frame the handling of the complaint unconstitutional, making assertions that would later be proven untrue.
The times have found us. The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution. It is for this reason that the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. pic.twitter.com/cHq7zgKJ1g
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 24, 2019
Speaker Pelosi’s primary complaint is that September 17, 2019, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG – Michael K. Atkinson), appointed by President Trump (key point for those on the left, despite the failed circus surrounding Mueller and his biased cronies investigating supposed Trump-Russia collusion), decided not to forward the confidential whistleblower complaint to Congress. She claimed the Acting Director of National Intelligence (ADNI – Joseph Maguire) prevented the ICIG from submitting the whistleblower complaint even though he was legally obligated to do so, while also claiming the ICIG determined the complaint was deemed an “urgent concern” and credible, which is crucial to the legal obligation of her former claim.
She continued with an egregious false claim, however, saying, “And this week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically” (beginning 4:03 of the video embedded in the Tweet above).
President Trump has consistently maintained the benign nature of the call as appropriate and congratulatory.
….You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
What do we know now?
In short, a whistleblower filed an “Urgent Concern” complaint alleging President Trump offered a quid quo pro to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, threatening to withhold U.S. aid unless alleged corruption involving former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter was investigated. The whistleblower complaint was reviewed and processed through the appropriate legal and oversight channels, including the relevant Senate and House committees and the ICIG, DNI, and DOJ. The DOJ determined the complaint was not worthy of prosecution and officially closed the matter.
Undaunted by the intelligence community’s and DOJ’s findings of fact, the House of Representatives decided to pursue an impeachment inquiry.
As a precursor to examining the details, it is imperative to understand perception is reality: If you believe it to be true, it’s true to you. If an individual’s bias paints President Trump as evil personified, anything the president does or doesn’t do may be viewed as nefarious. Likewise, if an individual’s bias paints President Trump as unassailably righteous, anything the president does or doesn’t do may be viewed as justified.
The truth is President Trump is not perfect, but he is not evil personified. He is simply a man who has chosen to use his experience to serve his country to the best of his ability. He may not be the most articulate president we have ever had. He may even be prone to mistakes…like the rest of us, but he is not the serial racist, homophobic, Islamophobic evil-doer he is portrayed to be. He is just a man. Unfortunately, due to the bias of the opposing party and their media enablers, every misstep – or perceived misstep – is conflated to a national emergency that threatens the very fabric of our constitutional republic, as alluded to by Speaker Pelosi in the video above and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) opening remarks during ADNI Maguire’s testimony September 26, 2019 (below).
The left is thoroughly hypocritical regarding their concern over President Trump’s quid pro quo.
Joe Biden brazenly admitted to his own quid pro quo regarding Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin while implicating former President Obama: “I said, call him.”
…we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.
In a joint letter to Ukrainian General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutesenko, Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had their own quid pro quo moment, threating to withhold U.S. aid unless he provided cooperation to the Mueller probe.5-4-18 Menendez joint letter to General Prosecutor of Ukraine on Mueller investigation
Timeline of the Critical Facts…
- July 25, 2019 – Trump-Zelenskyy telephone conversation
- August 12, 2019 – Whistleblower sends formal “Urgent Concern” complaint letter to Congress and ICIG (ICIG determined the complaint to be an “urgent concern” and credible)
- August 26, 2019 – Whistleblower complaint forwarded by ICIG Atkinson to ADNI Maguire (ADNI determine the complaint not to be an “urgent concern”)
- September 9, 2019 – ICIG Atkinson letter to intelligence oversight committees affirming his disagreement with DNI’s determination
- September 13, 2019 – Adam Schiff’s letter to ADNI demanding the release of the whistleblower complaint to Congress
- September 17, 2019 – ICIG letter reaffirming his disagreement with the DNI’s determination
- September 24, 2019 – Steven Engle’s unclassified (Slip Opinion) memo regarding “Urgent Concern” Determination by the ICIG (DOJ determined the complaint not to be an “urgent concern” and not required to be forwarded to Congress)
- September 25, 2019 – Trump-Zelenskyy telephone conversation transcript
- September 26, 2019 – ADNI Joseph Maguire’s House Intelligence Committee testimony
- September 26, 2019 – Whistleblower complaint released (redacted)
While reviewing the documents below, please pay special attention to the spelling used by the whistleblower and the official telephone transcript for Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Almost universally in the media and elsewhere the Ukrainian President’s name is spelled Zelensky. It is only in official circles, and specifically by the CIA, that his official spelling Zelenskyy is used. That is very telling.
Remember when Chuck Schumer warned, “Let me tell you. You take on the Intelligence Community; they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you” (0:26 of the video clip below)?
"He's being really dumb to do this." -Senator Schumer on Trump taunting US intelligence agencies https://t.co/QbGSmx9Xvp
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 4, 2017
Supporting Documentation and Videos
July 25, 2019, Trump-Zelenskyy Telephone Conversation TranscriptTrump-Zelenskyy Transcript
From the Trump-Zelenskyy telephone transcript, please note the absence of any threat by President Trump to withhold aid and the inclusion of Crowdstrike, which is also mentioned by the whistleblower. Crowdstrike is the firm that determined the DNC was hacked by Russians, leading full-circle back to the bogus Trump-Russia collusion counter-intelligence investigation started by the FBI, continued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and currently under investigation by Connecticut Prosecutor John Durham, specifically regarding possible Ukrainian involvement. Joe and Hunter Biden are only mentioned with regard to the ongoing investigation being conducted by Prosecutor Durham at the behest of Attorney General Barr.
As confirmation Ukrainian President Zelenskyy did not feel any (quid pro quo) pressure, please view the press conference video below, paying particular attention to his acknowledgment that “it’s better to be on TV than by phone” (1:15) and that (beginning at 7:40) he does not want to “be involved in [disputes concerning] Democratic open elections,” while specifically stating, “Nobody pushed me” [in response to whether he was pressured to investigate Joe Biden].
August 12, 2019, Whistleblower Letter
The ICIG provides a form for submitting an unclassified “urgent concern” complaint, but The Federalist writer Sean Davis uncovered what appears to be a convenient change in the form (supposedly) around the same time the whistleblower submitted his complaint, yet the new form was not publicly released until 43 days after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.
The internal properties of the newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public.
Prior to the alleged change, Mr. Davis provides a screen capture of the verbiage used on form IC IG ICWSP Form 401, Rev. 24May2018, indicating first-hand knowledge is required to submit and “Urgent Concern” complaint.
Mr. Davis also provides a screen capture of the ICIG CPD – ICWPA Disclosure Form, Rev. August 2019, used today, which provides an option for information received “from others.”
Although OneSource Media was not able to verify the IC IG ICWSP Form 401 source document recognized by Mr. Davis prior to August 2019, we were able to verify the use of yet another form found on the DNI website.
An archived copy of the DNI’s ICIG Hotline website from April 16, 2019, provides a link to an entirely different form than Mr. Davis provides as the forerunner to the Urgent Concern Disclosure Form used today. Following the “April 16, 2019” link (or July 2, 2019 link), as opposed to the “today” link, produces different results. The website looks very similar, but the links produce entirely different forms. However, like the form used today, the archived form does not require first-hand knowledge.
Please note the form link found on the July 2, 2019, archive does not work, just the April 16, 2019 archive.
Whether the whistleblower used any of these forms, and whether they were accepted or rejected, is not known to OneSource Media. What is known is that the whistleblower submitted an “urgent concern” complaint letter directly to Congress and that letter was forwarded to ADNI Maguire.Whistleblower Complaint - Unclassified
Since the whistleblower’s complaint was made public, reports have surfaced denying its accuracy. The first denial refers to a claim made on page 3 of the complaint regarding Counselor to the State Department Ulrich Brechbuhl being present on the Trump-Zelenskyy phone call.
— Christina Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) September 26, 2019
Another denial, from Fox News, refers to a claim made on page 7 of the complaint regarding Ambassador Kurt Volker.
And according to the whistleblower complaint, by mid-May, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker sought to “contain the damage” from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine.
But a July 19 text message conversation from Volker to Giuliani, provided to Fox News on Thursday, showed that Volker had in fact encouraged Giuliani to reach out to Ukraine — even sending Giuliani a message reading, “connecting you here with Andrey Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky.”
August 26, 2019: ICIG Atkinson Letter to ADNI Maguire (redacted)
This letter accompanied the whistleblower’s “Urgent Concern” complaint, admitting the whistleblower’s identity was known to the ICIG but that it needed to be protected. It is apparent from this letter that the original “Urgent Concern” complaint letter was accompanied by a classified appendix, intentionally separated to maintain the unclassified nature of the original complaint letter, but forwarded to ADNI Maguire with copies to the intelligence oversight committees in the House and Senate.
The separation of the complaint letter from the “classified” appendix is important.
The original complaint letter was independently sent “unclassified” to the intelligence oversight committees, possibly so it could be publicly released. This would indicate the oversight committees apparently had the complaint letter as of mid-August. Then, the whistleblower intended to send the “classified” appendix separately.
ICIG Letter to ADNI Dated 08-26-2019
The Complainant’s Letter referenced a separate, Classified Appendix containing information pertaining to the urgent concern (hereinafter, the “Classified Appendix”), which the Complainant also provided to the ICIG and which the Complainant intends to provide to Chairmen Burr and Schiff. (p. 2)
September 9, 2019: ICIG Atkinson Letter to Intelligence Oversight Committees Affirming His Disagreement with the DNI’s Determination
This letter affirms ICIG Atkinson’s adherence to the required review guidelines for “Urgent Concern” complaints while distancing himself from ADNI Maguire’s decision not to forward the complaint to the House Intelligence Committee.ICIG Leterr Date 09-09-19
September 13, 2019: Chairman Schiff’s Letter to ADNI Maguire
In his letter to ADNI Maguire, Chairman Schiff detailed the mandatory review and reporting requirements incumbent upon the offices of the ICIG and DNI regarding “Urgent Concern” complaints, stating Congress should have received the complaint from them no later than September 2, 2019. He proceeded to categorize their failure to provide the complaint as a violation of law, which is emphatically put down by the “Slip Opinion” provided on September 24, 2019.
Gaining momentum, Chairman Schiff levels serious accusations against the Executive Branch.
Schiff Letter to ADNI Regarding Urgent Concern Whistleblower Complaint
The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials. This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible “serious or flagrant” misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law.
September 17, 2019: ICIG Atkinson Letter Reaffirming Disagreement with ADNI Maguire’s Determination
In this follow-up letter to the intelligence oversight committees, ICIG Atkinson attempts to further distance himself from ADNI Maguire while also clarifying his opposition to the DOJ’s determination that the scope of the complaint does not involve intelligence oversight activities within the DNI’s authority, removing its “urgent concern” status.ICIG Leterr Date 09-17-19
September 24, 2019: Assistant Attorney General Steven Engle’s Unclassified Slip Opinion
The “Slip Opinion” details the timeline of both the receipt and review of the whistleblower’s complaint, along with the legal factors considered to determine the complaint was not an “urgent concern,” but that it was credible and that, if the allegations were true, they could potentially constitute a “serious or flagrant problem” as it relates to accepting campaign finance contributions or seeking foreign assistance to interfere in or influence a federal election.
According to the ICIG, the President’s actions could involve a “serious or flagrant problem,” “abuse,” or violation of law, and the ICIG observed that federal law prohibits any person from soliciting or accepting a campaign contribution or donation from a foreign national. See, e.g., 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a). The ICIG further noted that alleged misconduct by a senior U.S. official to seek foreign assistance to interfere in or influence a federal election could potentially expose the official to serious national security and counterintelligence risks. Although the ICIG’s preliminary review found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate,” the ICIG concluded that the complaint’s allegations nonetheless appeared credible. (p. 3)
Notice the ICIG’s subtle inclusion of “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” Nothing to see here. Please move along.
According to the “Slip Opinion,” proper protocol may have been abandoned by the initial submission of the whistleblower’s complaint directly to Congress.
…the employee first “report[s] such complaint or information to the [ICIG].” Id. The ICIG then has 14 days to evaluate the credibility of the complaint “under subparagraph (A)” and determine whether to transmit it to the DNI. Id. § 3033 (k)(5)(B). If the ICIG transmits the complaint to the DNI “under subparagraph (B),” then the DNI “shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the [DNI] considers appropriate.” Id. § 3033(k)(5)(C).
Each of those steps builds on the previous one, but they all must rest on a sound jurisdictional foundation. If the complaint does not involve an “urgent concern,” as defined in the statute, then the remaining procedures are inapplicable. When the ICIG receives a complaint that is not an “urgent concern,” then he has not received a report “under subparagraph (A)” and section 3033(k)(5)(B) does not trigger a reporting obligation. And when the DNI receives a transmittal that does not present an urgent concern, then the DNI is not required to forward it to the congressional committees, because the complaint is not one “under subparagraph (B).” Id. § 3033(k)(5)(C). (p. 6)
As a final determination, even though the complaint was not deemed an “urgent concern,” it was referred to the DOJ Criminal Division for additional review.
Engle, Stephen - Memorandum
For the reasons set forth above, we conclude that the complaint submitted to the ICIG does not involve an “urgent concern” as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G). As a result, the statute does not require that the DNI transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees. Consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 535, however, the ICIG’s letter and the attached complaint have been referred to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice for appropriate review. (p. 11)
According to multiple outlets, including The Hill, Epoch Times, National Review and more, Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec made the following statement regarding the final determination of the DOJ’s Criminal Division referral from the ICIG:
Relying on established procedures set forth in the Justice Manual, the Department’s Criminal Division reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted. All relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion, and the Department has concluded the matter.
September 26, 2019: ADNI Joseph Maguire’s Public Hearing
In the video below, please pay special attention to Chairman Schiff’s thorough mischaracterization of the telephone conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelenskyy (beginning at 25:56). The following is a brief excerpt:
I have a favor I want from you, though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good: I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent. Understand? Lots of it, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, not just any people, I’m going to put you in touch with the attorney general of the United States, my attorney general, Bill Barr. He’s got the whole weight of the American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy [Giuliani], you’re going to love him, trust me.
Remember, perception is reality. Although Chairman Schiff appears to believe his misrepresentation of the facts during his opening statement, he later backtracks, referring to his deliberate misquote as a parody (1:40:33).
My summary of the president’s call was meant to be at least part in parody. The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself. Of course, the president never said, ‘If you don’t understand me, I’m going to say it seven more times.’ My point is that’s the message that the Ukraine president was receiving, in not so many words.
But, his claim of parody is undermined by his closing remarks regarding his summary of the call (29:39).
This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate with the president of Ukraine. It would be funny if it wasn’t such a graphic betrayal of the president’s oath of office, but as it does represent a real betrayal. There’s nothing the president says here that’s in America’s interest, after all. It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy, for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.
Key Observations and Conclusions
- The whistleblower did not have first-hand knowledge of the events reported so every claim it contains should be carefully scrutinized.
- The whistleblower may have intentionally sent the “Urgent Concern” complaint to Congress as a subversive measure to assure its delivery (and damage) in anticipation that it may not be considered an “urgent concern.”
- The original letter submitted by the whistleblower to Congress appears to be very legally precise as if drafted by a team of legal experts (or intelligence operatives) to craft a particular narrative of abuse, and as such, may be proof of a coordinated attack in the spirit of the Russia collusion hoax. Maybe that’s why the New York Times claims the whistleblower was a CIA plant, according to the usual unnamed sources.
- The ICIG appears to either have been swayed by the precision of the complainant’s narrative or already possessed a bias against President Trump, because
- The legal opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel for the Department of Justice categorically rejected the premise that the complaint met the narrowly defined “urgent concern” criteria, meaning the mandatory congressional reporting requirements did not apply.
- An objective reading of the transcript does not reveal a quid pro quo or any threat.
- The whistleblower complaint and all the theatrics it will cause will undoubtedly prove to be another colossal waste of time and taxpayer money.
- If an investigation of a quid pro quo is deemed necessary, it should be part of the ongoing investigation being conducted by Prosecutor John Durham, as intimated by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham.
- The Hill’s investigate journalist John Solomon provides proof that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin referred to during Joe Biden’s admitted quid pro quo was fired in direct relation to his investigation of Hunter Biden.
The controversy ignited anew earlier this year when I disclosed that Joe Biden admitted during a 2018 videotaped speech that, as vice president in March 2016, he threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin.
At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.
In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.
A Few Closing Items
The Hannity show video clip President Trump tweeted below includes several salient points regarding the need to safeguard the sanctity of private conversations between the President and other Heads of State, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) issues a plea to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden (2:46).
Why aren’t we investigating Joe Biden and Hunter Biden? [Be]cause I’ll promise you this; Hunter Biden, if his name was Hunter Smith, no one would have hired him. He wouldn’t have found a billion dollars in China and an oligarch in Ukraine wouldn’t be hiring him…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2019
All of this is actually moot thanks to a “Mutual Legal Assistance” treaty Jesse Waters discovered between the United States and Ukraine, signed by former President Bill Clinton.
US - Ukraine Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance
— David Higgins (@dhiggins63) September 28, 2019
This thread by Matt Beebe is a must-read for anyone seeking the truth in the ongoing anti-Trump coup being conducted by the Deep State. https://t.co/2pygo7gFs4
— OneSource Media (@mediaonesource) September 30, 2019
If you’ve made it this far, you deserve to be treated to this precious gem put out by Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). It says it all…