In Whistleblower's Zeal To Take Down Trump, He May Have Committed a Felony
The whistleblower who kicked off the Ukraine phone call scandal that led to an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump might have set himself up for trouble after reportedly failing to disclose some very important information.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson reportedly admitted to lawmakers Friday that he never bothered to look into the connection between the whistleblower and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
This isn’t because Atkinson forgot to do so
Rather, it’s because the whistleblower never bothered to disclose his communication with the California Democrat.
Per Catherine Herridge: IC Inspector General told lawmakers the whistleblower did not disclose contact w Schiff/Committee staff - so IG never looked into it. IG “had no knowledge of it”.— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) October 4, 2019
According to Fox News, Atkinson said he “had no knowledge” of the contact between the whistleblower and Schiff’s office.
Although there is an argument that could be made that any competent investigator would have asked about possible contacts and connections, it seems this may be a case of deception on the whistleblower’s part.
“The form submitted by the complainant required him to disclose all contacts he had regarding his allegations,” The Federalist’s Sean Davis wrote on Twitter.
“If he failed to disclose those interactions with Schiff before filing the complaint, he could be subject to felony false statement charges,” Davis said.
The form submitted by the complainant required him to disclose all contacts he had regarding his allegations. If he failed to disclose those interactions with Schiff before filing the complaint, he could be subject to felony false statement charges. https://t.co/QGFh9vNFvC pic.twitter.com/aOXUpotkNl— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 4, 2019
According to 18 U.S. Code § 1001, anyone who “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” might be guilty of making a false statement.
By all appearances, failing to disclose a major contact on the complaint form seems to fit the bill here.
According to what Davis later wrote for The Federalist, an official confirmed that the whistleblower hid his connection to Schiff.
The importance of this information can be inferred by how much real estate it takes up on the disclosure form — an entire page. According to Davis, the section was left blank.
While the whistleblower’s complaint already appears to be based on shaky ground, this newest revelation blows another hole in a complaint that is taking on water faster than Democrats can bail it out.
If truth does not fear investigation, what does that say about the whistleblower’s attempt to hide his contact with vocal Trump opponent Adam Schiff?