As a U.S. Army combat vet, it’s a good bet Sen. Tom Cotton knows the value of solid intelligence.
As an outspoken conservative and Republican supporter of President Donald Trump, Cotton can’t help but see the hostility Trump faces every day from the deep state bureaucracy that feeds the swamp of Washington.
So when the Arkansas senator has harsh words for the inspector general of the nation’s intelligence community about the latest attempt to take the president down, it’s worth taking notice.
In a letter Wednesday, Cotton blasted Inspector General Mike Atkinson, in the office of the director of national intelligence, for Atkinson’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in late September that Cotton called “evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive.”
In particular, Cotton noted that Atkinson would not elaborate on what was described as a “political bias” on the part of the still-anonymous “whistleblower” whose complaint sparked an impeachment drive among Democrats in the House of Representatives that is consuming Washington.
“But now I see in media reports that you revealed to the House Intelligence Committee not only that the complainant is a registered Democrat, but also that he has a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential campaign,” Cotton wrote.
Then he threw in a jab at the Democratic-run House Intelligence Committee.
“I’m dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with your refusal to answer my questions, while more fully-briefing the three-ring circus that the House Intelligence Committee has become.”
Tom Cotton, a Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, blasted the intel community IG today, calling him “evasive,” “insolent,” and “obstructive.” https://t.co/Xfuyw9A1s2
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 9, 2019
That last part isn’t likely to sit well with Democrats — particularly the increasingly obnoxious Rep. Adam Schiff, the California congressman and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. But it makes Cotton’s point.
Under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats in the House have turned the nation’s politics into a malicious circus of finger-pointing and pointed attacks — aimed solely at hurting the Trump presidency.
There’s no doubt that any “political bias” harbored by the individual who filed the complaint about Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky should be a major factor in evaluating the complaint’s merits.
If that bias actually involved a “professional relationship” with one of the Democrats running for president next year, obviously senators had a right to know that.
And plenty of social media users agreed.
Great to see the senate waking up.
— Marginal Safety (@MarginalSafety) October 9, 2019
We need action that accompanies the colorful words . Americans demand more ! Americans deserve strong , competent & honest leadership not these evasive clowns 🤡
— Joe Alex (@JoeAlex2344643) October 10, 2019
Thank YOU, THANK you, Thank YOU! Time to put the gloves on and fight like hell! Americans are furious over this continued harassment of President Trump!
— MMitchel (@IrrefutableMM) October 9, 2019
From the wording of the letter, Cotton was clearly furious that he had to learn such a crucial fact from news accounts of Atkinson’s testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee.
Cotton closed the letter with a series of pointed questions about:
- The nature of the ties between the complainant and the Democratic campaign;
- Whether there were any other “indicia” of political bias senators hadn’t been told about;
- And whether Atkinson or anyone in his office was the source of a misleading Oct. 3 report by CNN’s Jake Tapper that the complainant’s “political bias” was limited to being a registered Democrat.
The closing paragraphs left no doubt where Cotton stood — either on the topic of Trump’s impeachment or on the inspector general’s perceived lack of cooperation with the Senate Intelligence Committee:
“This information is urgently relevant for the American people and their elected representatives to evaluate the complainant’s credibility and to determine whether the House’s so-called impeachment inquiry has been, in reality, a coordinated partisan attack from the beginning,” Cotton wrote.
“This information is also simple, unclassified, and personally known to you. Therefore, please reply in writing no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11. I look forward to your answers, even two weeks late.”
As a combat vet, Cotton knows hostility when he sees it, and he’s hitting it head-on.
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