More on “Pressure”

The whistleblower’s stuff has been released, and his cover letter and the complaint itself can be read in their entirety here.

A couple things jump out at me right from the start.

One that’s readily apparent in the cover letter is that the whistleblower repeatedly makes clear he has no knowledge of the events about which he claims such concern—it’s all related to him by carefully unnamed source—often “multiple” sources.  He does cite, in attempts to corroborate, remarks publicly made Rudy Giuliani, President Trump, and selected Ukrainian officials, but those remarks are removed from the context in which they were made and given only the context of the whistleblower’s complaint.  Beyond that, he cites claims made by an organization called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.  This is an organization comprised of Eastern European, Caucasus, Central Asian, and Central American “media and journalists” and unknown personnel represented to be from unidentified “investigative centers.”  The claims made by OCCRP are unsubstantiated in the whistleblower’s cite, yet he presents them seriously and expects those to whom he’s complaining—outside of channels, mind you—to take them at face value.

And this lead paragraph from the whistleblower’s cover letter (right-click and select from the popup menu to get a bigger image):

As we know from the released telecon transcript, no such pressure was applied, nor did Giuliani or Barr play any sort of central role in this non-existent letter, being mentioned on as points of contact in Ukraine’s investigations of corruption.  We also know more generally, from Wednesday’s press conference, that Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said bluntly that he felt no pressure to do anything.

One last thing, an apparently small item, but it illustrates the general level of…sloppiness…with which the “complaint” was prepared. The whistleblower wrote, in the 3rd paragraph of page 3 of his missive that a “readout” of the telecon posted on “the website of the Ukrainian President” was translated “from the original Russian.” The Ukrainian and Russian languages are similar, but they are distinct from each other. Any translation here would have been from Ukrainian.


A couple things appear, also, from the ICIG’s (Michael Atkinson) transmittal letter to Acting DNI Director Joseph Maguire.

One concerns the whistleblower’s characterization of Trump’s 25 July telecon with Zelenskiy. Atkinson, in his own words, says that “the ICIG did not request access to records” pertaining to that telecon. The ICIG made no attempt to corroborate or refute the whistleblower’s characterization. Atkinson’s rationale for that decision boils down to his finding such an attempt “too hard, so don’t bother.”  Never mind that Trump, with Zelenskiy’s agreement, released that transcript in a timely manner.

There’s also no indication that Atkinson made any effort to talk with any of the whistleblower’s “multiple US government officials” sources or even any of his named sources—Giuliani and Barr, for instance—to see if they agreed or disagreed with any of the whistleblowers claims of what they said.

That’s not much of a “preliminary review.”

Again, wow.

Many in Congress complain about Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in the Federal government….

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