Report: Whistleblower Is CIA Agent Who Once Worked in White House
The unnamed U.S. intelligence official who filed a whistleblower complaint following a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky works for the Central Intelligence Agency, a new report claims.
Citing three anonymous sources, The New York Times reported Thursday that the CIA officer, who the newspaper characterized as male, “was detailed to work at the White House at one point.”
“The man has since returned to the C.I.A., the people said. Little else is known about him,” The Times reported.
A lawyer for the whistleblower, Andrew Bakaj, refused to confirm this information.
“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” Bakaj told The Times.
“The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity,” he added.
But New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet defended his reporters’ efforts to uncover the whistleblower’s identity.
“The role of the whistle-blower, including his credibility and his place in the government, is essential to understanding one of the most important issues facing the country — whether the president of the United States abused power and whether the White House covered it up,” Baquet said.
In recent days, Democrats have focused on the phone call detailed in the whistleblower’s complaint, during which they claim Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Previous media accounts have said Biden pressured Ukraine to dismiss a prosecutor who was investigating an energy company that paid Hunter Biden.
The Washington Post linked the call to a July decision to temporarily withhold about $400 million in aid to Ukraine, though the money was paid earlier this month.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the start of an impeachment probe into Trump, citing in part the phone call.
The White House released a transcript of the call on Wednesday, and later that day, a copy of the whistleblower’s full complaint was sent to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
Then on Thursday, the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee released the complaint, parts of which are redacted, to the public.
“In the course of my ofﬁcial duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government ofﬁcials that the President of the United States is using the power of his ofﬁce to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election,” the whistleblower wrote.
“This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central ﬁgure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.”
Those are significant allegations. However, the whistleblower admits he’s recounting much of the evidence secondhand.
“I was not a direct witness to most of the events described,” the complaint reads. “However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple ofﬁcials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.”
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