By Tank Murdoch @TheNatSent
(TNS) President Donald Trump sent perpetually outraged Democrats into orbit yet again on Friday when fired Intelligence Community Inspector General Michal Atkinson of “Ukrainegate” infamy.
As reported by Fox News, the president formally notified the House and Senate intelligence committees of his decision late Friday in a letter, indicating that he had lost confidence in the ICIG.
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“This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, effective 30 days from today,” the president wrote.
“It is extremely important that we promote the economy, efficiency, and the effectiveness of Federal programs and activities. The Inspectors General have a critical role in the achievement of these goals,” the president continued. “As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
The president addedÂ he would nominate a replacement “who has my full confidence and who meets the appropriate qualifications,” at a later time.
Cue the Democrat outrage, led by theÂ least credible voice of them all: House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff of California.
Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.
It puts our country and national security at even greater risk. pic.twitter.com/Pnm7chdIkl
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 4, 2020
Before we get to this piece of work, we want to remind readers of some things regarding Atkinson, the actions he took, and the result of his actions: The impeachment of an innocent president.
Recall last fall that an ‘unnamed whistleblower’ working for the CIA in the White House as a member of the National Security Council (none dare speak his name, Eric Ciarmella, allegedly) filed a complaint with Atkinson regarding a July phone call President Trump placed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the president supposedly demanded a “quid pro quo” — a pledge from Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid.
The White House quickly released a transcript of the phone call — something Democrats never expected Trump to do — and it clearly proved there wasÂ no quid pro quo.
Nevertheless, this ‘whistleblower’ filed a complaint with Atkinson, which actually turned out to be second-hand information since the individual was not on the phone call and could not directly attest to what the president did and did not say.
As the Heritage Foundation notes:
UnderÂ federal law, a member of the intelligence community can file a whistleblower complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General with respect to an â€œurgent concernâ€ relating to an intelligence activity under the authority of the director of national intelligence. If the ICIG deems the complaint credible, he reports it to the director of national intelligence, who in turn informs the Senate and House intelligence committees.
At the time of the Trump-Zelenskiy call, theÂ ICIGâ€™s policy unequivocally required that, to be deemed credible, a complaint must be based on first-hand knowledge.
ThisÂ whistleblower complaint, however, is based entirely on second- and even third-hand information. Although the whistleblower says that he learned about â€œmostâ€ of the events from other people and sources â€” suggesting that at least some of his knowledge comes from his own observations â€” every specific event he describes was revealed to him by second-hand sources or from press reports about what other people said. Not once does he identify any information learned first-hand.
So, what gives? How could Atkinson consider a clearly illegal complaint to be ‘urgent?’ Simple;Â he changed the rules:
On Sept. 30, ICIG Michael Atkinson issued aÂ news releaseÂ acknowledging that, under the policy existing when he received this complaint, he could not have deemed it credible and reported it to the director of national intelligence. Instead, he admitted, he processed the complaint under a policy allowing second-hand information â€” a policy that he did not establish untilÂ afterÂ he received that complaint.
According to the release, Atkinson merely accepted that the whistleblower’s complaint was indeed based on first-hand observations of at least some of the events he complained about, though Atkinson never provides any such ‘first-hand’ information.
So, to review, he 1) could not have legally accepted the complaint because it was not based on first-hand info as the law requires, so he 2) changed the policy to allow second-hand information as ‘valid.’ As Heritage notes, “Atkinson had the wrong policy all along, which he only decided to change in response to this complaint, or he had the right policy all along, which he ignored for this whistleblower and changed only after explosive congressional and media attention. Neither of these is acceptable.”
The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officerâ€™s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filedÂ a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. TrumpÂ asked Ukraineâ€™s governmentÂ to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initiallyÂ blocked lawmakersÂ from seeing it.
Then,Â after Atkinson testified before Schiff’s Secret Squirrel Impeachment Inquiry in the basement of the Capitol Building last fall, he released all witness transcriptsÂ except that of Atkinson — mostly likely, according to GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, because it would have proved collusion. We noted:
In late November, ace investigative reporter Paul Sperry tweeted out a question related to secret impeachment inquiry testimony before the House Intelligence Committee related to Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community.
Specifically, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Community chair Adam Schiff have released 15 transcripts of testimony, the transcript of Atkinsonâ€™s testimony has yet to be made public.
Why? Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former federal prosecutor, responded.
I know why @paulsperry_ It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his “investigation” into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified “secret” so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) November 30, 2019
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So, Atkinson was pivotal in assisting the Deep State’s ongoing coup attempt against a duly elected president. And of course, while the House forced Congress to be distracted by and consumed with impeachment earlier this year, coronavirus was sneaking its way into our country.
Atkinson’s lucky he’s only being fired. He should be brought up on charges for violating whistleblower statutes. And Schiff should be charged as a conspirator.
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