The Whistleblower Conflict

Okay–I take back every qualm/criticism I’ve ever had about the U.S. Intelligence community. (I might resurrect them at some future date.) It may end up saving America.

A number of media outlets have reported on the Whistleblower complaint filed by an Intelligence officer who was evidently appointed by Trump. This story was originally from the Washington Monthly.

The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed.

The communication in question evidently came in the form of a phone call. Reporters tracked down the president’s phone conversations with foreign leaders around that time;  the three that occurred in the two months before the complaint was filed were Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Macron, and Vladimir Putin.

Also around the same time, Dan Coates, Director of National Intelligence, resigned. And shortly after that, the U.S. pulled out of the INF treaty with Russia.

Inspector General Atkinson (the Trump appointee) identified the whistleblower complaint as a matter of “urgent concern.” That triggered a requirement that the complaint be reported to Congress. But according to the Washington Post, Maguire–the acting head of DNI (this whole bloody Administration is “acting”) asked Bill Barr’s Justice Department for legal guidance and–surprise!– was told to withhold the information.

At that point, Atkinson informed Congress that a complaint had been made, but Maguire continued his refusal to share the information with the House Intelligence Committee.

While it’s tempting to speculate based on the timeline of events, what we actually know is that someone in the intelligence community was so concerned about what transpired on that phone call that he or she filed a whistleblower complaint. The inspector general found the complaint to be not only credible, but of “urgent concern.” When the new acting DNI refused to inform Congress, he took the extraordinary step of telling them that the complaint existed. In other words, to use Joe Biden’s vernacular, this is a Big Fuckin’ Deal.

Since this article was written, Atkinson has testified behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee, and several media outlets have suggested that more than one “impropriety” is involved. This might finally be enough to move Democrats off their reluctance to impeach….

Stay tuned….


  1. The WaPo is now reporting it involved Ukraine.

    It appears Trump was blackmailing Ukraine’s new President into manufacturing dirt on Biden (related to his son’s business) in exchange for releasing funds to fight Russian separatists.

    Yeah, read that again. It’s that bad.

  2. It’s as if we were all watching some long drawn out pathetic tag team boxing match between two no-talent welter weight political parties officiated by the Marx brothers. There is a lot of dancing around. A jab here and jab there but no real punches. And while we all want a Mohammad Ali to step into the ring and settle the fight, he is nowhere in sight.
    But my big concern this morning is that the Red Wing Blackbird and the Meadowlark are gone. For good. As the government I loved is going extinct, so is the natural world I grew up in. My heart is breaking.

  3. “It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed.”

    “WE” knew this was coming when he was elected; we are not surprised by this report and does it really matter WHICH foreign leader Trump is playing “toesies” with at any hour on any given day? The fact that it continues and escalates as we draw nearer and nearer to war. Trump ended President Obama’s Iran Pact and look where we are on that count. Will this disclosure finally open the Pandora’s Box on this administration; don’t hold your breath. This IS another Friday; Trump is “locked and loaded” with Rudy Giuliani back in the news with some connection to this Ukraine issue which we have known and been distracted from before.

    “Stay tuned….”

  4. Democracy lovers are not “grasping for straws” by paying attention to a grave warning. There is nothing to feel sorry for, Becky. Be alert and objective. Defend our democracy.

  5. Someone has ventured away from their isolated Fox News to pay a visit. 😉

    I don’t think we hate Trump…he overwhelms us with stupidity and immaturity on a daily basis. He’s a narcissistic sociopath who has yet to help the people who supported him with their votes. All his actions to date have helped corporations — large and dirty corporations.

    If his conversation was with Ukraine, it won’t make his friend Vladimir very happy. Ukraine citizens won’t be very happy either since 33% are Russian speaking and support the separatists in the country. What a mess!

    Donald will probably blame it on the Fake News and the Democratic-controlled IC. Too bad the Democratic Party is controlled by Wall Street who is afraid impeachment proceedings may be bad for the stock market.

    Washington is stymied by the Oligarchs — the Donor Class and cannot act on anything without approval. If the dimwitted Joe Biden gets pushed through in 2020, this blog will have another four years of Trump to write about. Yeehaw!


  6. I wouldnt say this dispute is between the intelligence community and Congress. It’s between the vulgarian, the acting DNI, William Barr, and Congress. The Whistleblower did the right thing, as did the IG. The rest is black letter law. The IG determines whether a complaint falls within the scope of the law. The DNI can include notes explaining a disagreement with the IG, but has no authority to withhold the complaint or decide whether it falls within the scope of the law. Neither do Barr or the president (the process is set up to protect confidential information, and executive privilege can’t be used to cover up criminal activity; in any case, the IG has seen the complaint, so it’s hardly “privileged” any more).

    This administration has been one ethics or criminal-baseb scandal after another, riddled with corruption and incompetence. It’s time for responsible conservatives to wake the fuck up, join the rest of the sane world, and expell the vulgarian and his enablers

  7. If the courts don’t intervene soon, impeachment is “just another word for nothing left to lose.” I would be all in favor of hearings that actually lay out the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of our current occupant of the White House, but that’s not what’s happening. The Administration is just not cooperating with anything, including lawful subpoenas, so what we see is people coming to testify stating that they have “absolute immunity,” which is just something they made up, but it’s good enough for the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee.

    We used to call this an exercise in futility. VOTE BLUE!

  8. Even if David Honig’s comment is true I have come to the conclusion that trump can do nothing at all to cause Moscow Mitch and his cabal of evil republicans to agree to rid our executive branch of the federal government of the criminal filth that crawls within and around the White House

  9. Sheila,

    This question is for you. If trump would actually be impeached could pence be brought down with him as a co-conspirator since he is always there to praise trump and back him up either to the press or at rallies?

  10. In normal times, would this be enough to remove a treasonous president? These are not normal times, and we’ll let this nightmare continue…again…and again…and again…we’re all so tired. Please, Democrats, prove me wrong. Please.

  11. becky has a clue,allow trumps buddies distroy whats left of this admin,join the slave workers who work for peanuts while the profits race to wall street and Americas demise. ive spoke with many a clueless person over the last few years,around the country,obviously,the propaganda machine works well in her burg.
    latest,Ukraine again,dirt on biden and his son,for whatever needs to discredit on a international scale, this is where manafort set up a putin puppet,to only crash Ukraine in
    a war against all odds. but,trump likes thugs like putin,and his ilk,and plays the very political game as some eastern block dictator. but trump,looking more like a old ghetto rat than a president.the dog wistle is out,lets not forget the Iran issue,before were pompaeoed..(since bolton was canned,again)trump signed a piece of
    the wall along the calif,mex boarder,id like to see whats been left since then..tell fisher industries in dickinson n.d. we dont need their sand and gravel pits or aggregate,boycott thier nationwide sales of sand and gravel to state and federal,and private construction sense spending taxpayer money on a company thet relies on gov contracts..and then feels obligated to build a human mockery to America

  12. People like Becky don’t care that the president may have committed treason. She doesn’t care that Trump’s policies keep children in cages, or builds a stupid, wasteful wall – a wall that Mexico is NOT going to pay for, we are. She doesn’t care that the Attorney General flouts the Constitution and black letter law saying that a sitting president is immune from investigations or indictments. She doesn’t care that American farmers are being screwed by mindless trade wars. She doesn’t see the utter hypocrisy and lies of our jobs going to foreign countries even after the “promises” of the president. She doesn’t care that the emoluments clauses in the Constitution are being violated by this president and his egregious family every day. Becky sees only her fear, hate, bigotry and ignorant stupidity reflected in this president. She is one of the fifth avenue gang: She wouldn’t mind at all if Trump did indeed shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. She’d probably applaud and ask him to do it again.

    She represents perfectly the 60 million idiots who voted for Trump and will do it again even as she files her bankruptcy papers. She is why we thinking people need to overwhelm the next election with the highest voter turnout in history.

  13. At this point the GOP simply refuses to recognize legitimate authority. We are dangerously close to the end of democracy. We should be prepared to outvote the useful idiots of uneducated white ‘merca, and prepared for something more extreme should that vote go unheeded.

  14. I am a huge fan of truth so the more that sneaks by the Republican “honor” guard surrounding the person who conquered their party the happier I am.

    What I have learned from the past three years though is that the only protection from tyranny that exists for us are the existence of two reasonably honest political parties. When we are down to one as we are now we are as vulnerable as new borns.

    The freedoms guaranteed by our Consitutuion are that fragile.

  15. Just so I have the names straight from the Guardian:

    The intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, determined that the whistle blower’s complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern”, a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees.

    Last month the president named Joseph Maguire, a former navy official, as acting director of national intelligence after the departure of Dan Coats, who often clashed with Trump, and the retirement of Sue Gordon, a career professional in the number two position.

    Now Maguire is refusing to share details about the whistle blower complaint with the House intelligence committee, asserting that its subject is beyond his jurisdiction.

    Maguire, in a further departure from standard procedure, consulted with the justice department in deciding not to transmit the complaint to Congress. It is not clear whether the White House was also involved, he said.
    Let’s face it one after another all these so-called “we got you” President Agent Orange shouts and screams for impeachment has resulted in nothing.

    To be clear, if the House voted to impeach President Agent Orange, it is like a prosecutor bringing a case to court. A jury in this case the Senate would have to vote guilty or vote for acquittal. Does anyone think any Republican in the Senate will vote guilty????? So cranking up an impeachment vote is a waste of time.

    Investigate yes, and let’s see where it leads.

  16. Talk about complete Insanity, during Donald Trump’s long rambling drawn-out news conference with Scott Morrison the Australian president, the only thing he could point to was that the whistleblower is partisan, and that we have the strongest military on the planet that he personally has rebuilt. Oh and that he engineered the stock market surge, personally defeated the isis caliphate, and built the world’s largest ship, the Gerald Ford. Unfortunately, all of these things started under the Obama administration’s first and second terms.

    The guy definitely lives in his own reality. And let’s not forget the Australian president Scott Morrison, he was so disgustingly boot lick-ish, you could see Trumps eyes rolling back in his head in ecstasy.

  17. Expanding on Nancy’s question, and realizing that this is just for historical non-normalization, how many of the enablers are subject to impeachment and/or criminal prosecution for their cover ups and disobeying clear law (I am thinking DNI, IRS, etc.)?

    In the event that the Democrats retake two branches of government (and grow a backbone, the latter being less likely), can any of the people involved in obstruction be charged with criminal violations in 2021?

    The way I see this, we have had a termite infestation in our government. We need to exterminate (prosecute and jail) the “termites”, check for structural damage (in every branch of government), and replace or repair as necessary. I fear that the Democrats will just plan for the usual “repaint as needed” approach. (I’ll be happy with any better metaphors anyone else comes up with).

  18. Becky: “I see you Trump-haters are still grasping for straws. I almost feel sorry for you(.)”

    As Peoples Temple member Deborah Layton told Senator Leo Ryan at Jonestown, Guyana in November of 1978: “I see you Jim Jones-haters are still grasping for straws.” Within hours, Jim Jones had ordered Senator Ryan’s murder and supervised the mass suicide of 978 people.

    As Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten told the California sheriff a few days before the seven Tate-La Bianca murders on August 9th and 10th, 1969, as well as two ancillary slayings, one before and one afterward: “I see you Charlie Manson-haters are still grasping for straws.”

  19. Becky, you didn’t answer Irwin’s question. I guess you’re too busy drinking the Cool-Aid.

  20. Larry Kaiser @ 12:04pm:

    Not to detract from your very salient, correct, and excellent point, but only for historical accuracy. Leo Ryan, at the time he was murdered by Jim Jones’ followers in Guyana, was a Democratic Congressman, not a Senator, from California.

  21. A note to Pelosi:

    You have all the evidence you need to impeach the president, his attorney general and a supreme court justice. Why isn’t this happening? The voters gave you the MANDATE and the majority in the House to do what is right by us. WE want you to impeach this criminal enterprise and publicize its’ vagaries, crimes and defilement of the Constitution. Why won’t you do this? We asked you to do this?

    Being afraid of a Republican stonewall guarantees that wall’s existence. Screw the Republicans. Let them vote to acquit. But first, the DNC and the HOUSE leadership MUST advertise the crimes and the proofs EVERY DAY and in EVERY MEDIA OUTLET everywhere. Keep telling the truth to the American people. EVERY DAY!!! Then, let the Republicans vote to acquit. Let them wear that back home in November. Let them say, “I voted to acquit this proven criminal enterprise because my donors told me to.” Let’s see how well that plays.

  22. Good points, Vern. If we must insist that we are going to win before agreeing to play, there would be no games played, and in this case, what is winning? Is “winning” successfully removing Trump from office, or at this stage of the game, carrying out our constitutional duties? Aren’t we under a duty to remove a lawless president from office, or at least try, and isn’t that “winning” irrespective of the outcome? If we impeach and the Senate doesn’t convict, let them take that record back home for their constituents to swallow, especially those senators up for reelection in 2020. It will provide immense fodder for their town halls – guaranteed.

  23. Sheila,

    Thanks for answering my question…..even though it was a bit disappointing ?

    I was hoping that by merely being a participant of trump’s admin that pence could also be kicked out with his boss.

  24. Having worked in Army Intelligence for three years then NSA for five and having remained in close contact with the intelligence community during my career with IBM, let me assure you that that group occupies the same bell curve as every other organization I’ve ever come in contact with, with employees and their skills ranging from mediocre to magnificent. One of my closest friends in NSA was the final authority on 18 different foreign languages and an outstanding cryptographer and historian. In his spare time he was the first to notice, through voice intercept transcripts, that China had entered the Korean War, for which he won an Outstanding Civilian Service Award. Another talented analyst worked for hours overtime every day for which he received no compensation. There was no shortage of dedication and brilliance there or later at CIA where I supported the computer installation.

    Trump’s refusal to acknowledge, let alone rely on the priceless intelligence products these agencies produce is but one more of his impeachable offenses. What kind of person chooses to work with less than the best input in arriving at important decisions? Who looks for second or third tier or ideologically driven data to come to important life-altering conclusions? Whatever your response, that person is no friend of America, or freedom, or peace.

    Todd used the word sociopath. Bear in mind that that is simply a neologism for the more descriptive word I’ve heard and used most of my life – psychopath.

  25. Thank you Mr Turner. While we may not achieve impeachment, the process thereof, IF solidified, will give us a leg up in the fall of 2020. I hope.

  26. US is in a constitutional crisis. Normal channels of dealing with high crimes & misdemeanors is being obstructed by POTUS, DOJ and defended by the Republican Congress. The Democratic House not using the path mandated by Constitution, due to political strategy for the 2020 Presidential Election, further side-lines US core premise. I’m so disappointed in and disqusted with the DOJ making new rules that guard the wrong doing of POTUS without consequence, except for threatening whistle blowers, and scapegoating others for diversion.

  27. Trump’s Justice Dept. is arguing that he can’t even be investigated, let alone tried and convicted of wrong-doing. Who knew that he would usher in tea-party movement to a return to a monarchy?

  28. Nancy – We can be rid of Trump, Pence, and other vermin quickly and painlessly by VOTING purposefully. VOTE NO TO GOP

    King Donald and his GOP subjects are already rigging the 2020 election.

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