Lawyers for the Ukraine whistleblower have responded to allegations that their client is politically-motivated (“biased”) and shouldn’t be taken seriously. In short, attorneys Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj said that this is false. To be clear, the whistleblower we are talking about is the first one who expressed concern about the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call, not the second whistleblower.
President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. have both been tweeting about the first whistleblower’s political affiliations, particularly in the context of an Axios story that said this whistleblower “previously worked with [an] unnamed 2020 Democratic candidate.”
Trump Jr. said that this report confirmed the whistleblower complaint was a “partisan hit job.” Trump Jr. also described the situation as “bullshit,” and his father noticed. President Trump quote tweeted his son and criticized the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson for allowing this “Dem Hoax!” to start (Atkinson is a Trump appointee).
Why doesn’t the ICIG do something about this Scam? He should have never let it start, a Dem Hoax! https://t.co/UCbObppWbA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
In light of the ongoing efforts to mischaracterize whistleblower #1’s alleged “bias” in order to detract from the substance of the complaint, we will attempt to clarify some facts.
First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party.
Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch.
Third, in these positions our client has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials – not as candidates.
Fourth, the whistleblower voluntarily provided relevant career information to the ICIG in order to facilitate an assessment of the credibility of the complaint.
Fifth, as a result, the ICIG concluded – as is well known – that the complaint was both urgent and credible.
Finally, the whistleblower is not the story.
To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant.
Although it is true that ICIG Atkinson wrote in an August 26 letter that the whistleblower exhibited “some indicia of an arguable political bias […] in favor of a rival political candidate,” it is also true that the Trump appointee found the complaint “urgent” and “credible.”
“Further although the ICIG’s preliminary reviewed identified some indicia of bias of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate, such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern ‘appears credible’ particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review,” Atkinson wrote.
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]