The whistleblower at the center of the current Ukrainian phone call controversy may have committed a felony in his attempt to damage President Trump.
According to a report from the Western Journal, the unidentified individual failed to disclose in his official complaint that he had first brought the information to a Democratic congressional office.
This missing information was first learned when Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson testified behind closed doors on Friday that he “had no knowledge” the whistleblower had spoken to Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff’s office.
From the report:
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.
Fox News adds:
On Friday, sources also told Fox News that Atkinson also revealed that the whistleblower volunteered he or she was a registered Democrat and that they had a prior working relationship with a prominent Democratic politician.
In a statement after the hearing with the inspector general, Schiff ripped into Republicans, saying they have “continued the president’s strategy of deflection by making the absurd claim that because a whistleblower contacted the committee seeking guidance, the committee cannot conduct an investigation into the complaint.”
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“If that were true, no whistleblower could contact Congress, and no committee could conduct an investigation,” Schiff said.
Schiff’s office acknowledged Wednesday that the whistleblower had reached out to them before filing a complaint in mid-August, giving Democrats advance warning of the accusations that would lead them to launch an impeachment inquiry days later.
The Western Journal reports the Federalist’s Sean Davis claimed this failure to disclose the information could subject the whistleblower to “felony false statement charges.”
“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,” Davis said in a tweet.
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
The Western Journal reports 18 U.S. Code § 1001 specifies that an individual who “falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” could be subject to felony charges of making a false statement.
“Failing to disclose a major contact on the complaint form seems to fit the bill here,” the report adds.