I speculated on Thursday about the identity of the Ukraine phone call leaker based on an anonymous State Department source. This was early in the story, and much has been learned since then by intrepid independent journalists. I have come to believe that identity of the leaker (I refuse to call that person a “whistleblower”) is unimportant, as the reality is shaping up to be a conspiracy consisting of many players is at the heart of the story, and that the complainant is merely the front man intended to project a veneer of credibility on the whole gambit. Let’s review what we know and what we suspect.
1. What we know: Rudy Giuliani was approached by Kurt Volker, then the US Special Representative to Ukraine at the State Department, to meet with Andriy Yermak, a top adviser of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in order to help facilitate a phone call and/or meeting between Zelensky and President Trump. Volker is concurrently the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and also a senior adviser at his old lobbying firm, BGR Group, which just happens to represent Ukraine.
What we suspect: David Kramer from the McCain Institute was involved in pushing/propagating the fake Russian dossier.
David Kramer, who had known McCain since his days at the State Department, is an expert on Russia and is involved with the McCain Institute for International Leadership. He was deposed in December 2017 as part of a legal battle waged by a Russian businessman Aleksej Gubarev over BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier.
Kramer’s deposition — which reads like a spy thriller and offers an extraordinary behind-the-scenes lead up to the publication of the dossier — reveals that he circulated the dossier to multiple news organizations.
Read the rest here.
There are no such things as coincidences. John McCain was virulently anti-Trump, as were/are many in the McCain Institute. Kramer propagated the fake dossier, likely at McCain’s behest. Both Kramer and Volker were in the McCain Institute’s International Leadership group. Volker helped set up Guiliani’s contacts with Ukrainian officials. Occam’s razor says that this gambit was a repeat play of the beginnings of the Russian dossier hoax, with Volker’s resignation Friday adding suspicion to fuel the media’s fire. [Note: an alternative view to Volker’s resignation is that he was caught out and was forced to resign. Regardless, either reason makes him complicit in the conspiracy.]
2. What we know: Giuliani and Yermak spoke on the phone twice and met in Spain in July, the State Department was back-briefed by Giuliani after each instance, and a phone call between the two presidents took place in July. News of a “whistleblower” complaint against President Trump was reported by the Washington Post on 19 September, citing “two officials familiar with the report.” Here is a .pdf of the complaint itself released by the House Intelligence Committee just prior to testimony given by acting DNI Joseph Mcguire last Wednesday. The White House released a detailed summary of the phone call between the two presidents, which debunked most of the hearsay in the complaint. House Intelligence Committee Chairman opened his committee hearing on Thursday with his version of what the phone call consisted of, accusing the President of crimes and impeachable offenses. It was obviously a prepared statement that later in the hearing he pawned off as a “parody” because the released transcript summary completely disproved his fantasy. The President and several House Republicans have subsequently called for Schiff’s resignation for breaking House rules.
What we suspect: The complaint was delivered to Schiff (and Senator Burr’s Senate Intelligence Committee) on 12 August. As reported by several commentators, the complaint is very likely a composite written with outside help (likely lawyers). For example, there is this from Fred Fleitz, formerly deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council:
From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff.
Read the rest here.
Schiff has had the complaint for over a month, and he and his staff have had plenty of time to seed and spin the complaint – which was solely based on second- and third-hand information – falsely throughout the news media. And that is exactly what has happened. A simple web search results in a whole host of legacy media stories that are “going with the spin,” i.e., that POTUS is “guilty” of a whole host of criminal activities. The story has evolved as previous breathless claims have been proven false, too. Here are a few headline examples:
- As the Whistle-Blower Story Gets Worse for Trump, His Corruption Keeps Spreading (WaPo – 19 Sep)
- Trump responds to Ukraine whistleblower scandal with contradictions and transparent falsehoods (Vox – 20 Sep)
- The Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint Makes Impeachment More Likely (WaPo – 23 Sep)
- Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call (NY Times – 25 Sep)
- Whistleblower report reveals how far Trump’s dubious ethics have spread (The Guardian – 26 Sep)
- White House Lawyers Worked to Obscure Memo of Trump’s Ukraine Call, Whistleblower Claims (National Law Journal – 26 Sep)
- Not Just Ukraine: Whistleblower Says the White House Is Hiding Other Damaging Documents (Mother Jones – 26 Sep)
- Pelosi says Trump engaged in ‘cover-up’ to hide Ukraine call records (Politico – 26 Sep)
Notice how the headlines shift to “cover-up” and other process-oriented allegations and peripheral matters after the basic complaint was determined to be based on hearsay and contained false allegations there were exposed by the release of the phone transcript summary. The media piling on and running with rumors and allegations subsequently disproved and then shifting to other process-related allegations is EXACTLY the modus operandi of the Russia hoax that we’ve seen unfold over the past two years.
3. What we know: Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, authorized the changing of the whistleblower disclosure form to allow the use of hearsay information in late September:
Previously, only first-hand information was allowed on the form, and indeed a complaint could not be registered at all unless it contained information personally witnessed by the complainant, as noted in this report from The Federalist.
The internal properties of the newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed.
Read the rest here.
What we suspect: The IC IG was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD). As such, he provided legal advice to disgraced former Obama officials John Carlin and Mary McCord, who were heavily involved in the “get Trump” operation in 2016 (those two subsequently resigned because they were implicated in lying to FISC Judge Collyer about the Russia dossier and the Carter Page FISA application). That makes Atkinson part of the Deep State swamp. It cannot be a coincidence that he authorized the change of the whistleblower disclosure form and then magically and nearly concurrently forwarded the complaint to congressional committees. He needs to explain this on the record with some very pointed questions asked!
4. What we know: interestingly, there is a Ukraine-US treaty signed by Bill Clinton in 1998 that provides important background on the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call that of course the legacy media ignore. The treaty is entitled, “Treaty with Ukraine on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.” The treaty binds the two countries together and obligates them to collaborate in exchanging information on criminal activities in either country. I like this quote from the letter of transmittal:
Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restrain confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state.
What we suspect: Gee, what did POTUS discuss with Zelenskiy again? Why, soliciting Ukraine’s help in getting to the bottom of potential Ukrainian-based interference in the 2016 election, in particular Crowdstrike. And it was Zelenskiy who brought up Biden’s name during the conversation. The Burisma-Biden corruption would be entirely covered under this mutual assistance treaty, too, meaning that President Trump was fulfilling his obligations as head of state under the treaty during that phone call. The accusations by the complainant are thus further proven to be false.
5. What we know: in response to my speculative article here on RedState Thursday conveying who I thought the complainant was based on a single anonymous State Department source and supporting analysis, Drew Harrell from the WaPo contacted me for a statement, parts of which he used in a story published in the WaPo here on Saturday. The main theme of the story is to examine “far-right amateur sleuths” who are trying to expose the complainant. Here are the excerpts about me:
The guessing game took another twist after the New York Times reported the complaint was made by a CIA officer detailed to the White House. A conservative writer, Stu Cvrk, tweeted out his guess a few hours later.
“Is This Guy The Ukraine Phone Call Whistleblower?” Cvrk tweeted, linking to a post he wrote on RedState, a conservative news and commentary site.
“A source known to me at the State Department, who will remain anonymous, tells me that everyone is pointing to Edward ‘Ned’ Price as the whistleblower who came forward with the accusation that President Trump ‘abused his office’ during a phone conversation with the Ukrainian president,” wrote Cvrk. Price is a former CIA officer who retired in 2017 and is now a political analyst for NBC News.
Price, who was more amused than upset at the claim, said it made him concerned about the development of “discourse that is just divorced from the facts.”
“It’s part of the political atmosphere that we live in now,” Price said. “People are looking for anything on which to hang their tinfoil hats.”
Cvrk, in a direct Twitter message to The Post, stood by his assessment. “You didn’t seriously think he would admit it, did you?” he wrote, adding that he was insulted by the inference “that I am a tinfoil hat guy.”
What we suspect: I’ll gladly accept the pejorative of being lumped with “far-right amateur sleuths” and wear that badge proudly. I and many other independents are doing the real digging and exposing the truth about both the Russia hoax and now the Ukraine political hit-job. While Harrell kindly quoted me accurately, he left out the other comments I sent to him which tell the whole story and place the above comments in complete context:
[Price is] a political hack. You didn’t seriously think he would admit to it, did you? It is no coincidence that his Twitter feed aligns with the evolution of the evolving hit piece aka “WB.” Just as Steele was the face of the dossier (hiding people who contributed to it), someone served the same function in this charade, as the “complaint” was a composite almost certainly written by multiple people including Democrat lawyers. Whether Price was the front-man or not, it’s clear he knew abt it and is serving as an agit-prop disseminator. Same modus operandi as the Russia hoax is in play. My piece was speculative. The fact that the complaint was not based on firsthand info and has demonstrably false info should lead investigative journalists (almost an oxymoron these days) to find out who and why the complaint was false, as well as who specifically wrote it, not go after those of us who are actually trying to find that out. It is absolutely clear that whoever submitted the false complaint was a political operative acting under false pretenses.
[W]ho at WaPo is looking into who actually wrote the complaint and why nobody with firsthand knowledge of the phone call didn’t submit a complaint if it was all so “egregious.” Do u seriously think the complaint was written by the person who submitted it after it was laundered thru Schiff’s office beginning in August?
Judge for yourself. It’s no surprise that the WaPo seems to disparage independent journalists and commentators, as we are not only direct competition to them, but we also expose their routine #FakeNews at every opportunity. The WaPo has been virulently anti-Trump since before he was inaugurated and has led the charge specifically on this Ukraine complainant hit-job from the very beginning.
6. Here’s a summary of what I think REALLY transpired:
- The same playbook is being used in both political-hit-jobs: orchestrate a set of false allegations; work behind the scenes using Deep State actors to implicate Trump associates in activities that appear to support the allegations; spread the false allegations everywhere through willing media, elected Democrats, non-profit organizations, and others; and clamor for hearings, recusals, and a public show trial to support impeachment of POTUS.
- Kurt Volker (McCain Institute) helped to repeat that the Russia hoax gambit just like David Kramer did with the Russian dossier. He facilitated the Giuliani contacts with the Ukrainians and then resigned (potentially to make it look bad for the President). What Volker didn’t count on was Giuliani retaining all pertinent texts and emails proving his interactions with Ukrainians were both above board and also solicited by Volker et al at the State Department.
- A complaint by an unknown individual formally dated 12 August was lodged with the IC IG accusing the President of unlawful conduct. The complaint was later determined to have been based on second- and third-hand knowledge and laundered immediately through Adam Schiff’s committee.
- The IC IG (who worked previously as chief legal counsel to two Obama DoJ people who resigned in disgrace) conveniently approved a change to the whistleblower disclosure form to allow the incorporation of second-hand information in the complaint (the new form was updated to DNI servers AFTER the Ukraine complaint was submitted).
- The media ran with all sorts of stories accusing Giuliani and the President of “seeking a quid pro quo,” strong-arming the Ukrainians, etc., and then shifted to supposed process crimes, obstruction, and peripheral matters after POTUS had the summary transcript of the phone call released, proving that there was NO quid pro quo.
- The media conveniently have ignored the US-Ukraine mutual assistance treaty signed by Clinton that authorizes exchange of records and information associated with criminal activities – exactly what was discussed during that phone call and further discrediting the complainant’s allegations.
- Finally, the real purpose of the complaint cannot have been to further the Democrats’ impeachment agenda, as the conspirators surely knew that the phone call transcript summary and other records would disprove all the false allegations. The Democrats know that AG Barr and USA Durham are investigating the origins of the Russia hoax, which leads directly to Ukraine. In addition, the Bidens’ Ukrainian-related corruption (Joe’s blatant obstruction captured on video, and Hunter’s straight corruption with Burisma) and Hillary’s 2016 election shenanigans with Crowdstrike are daggers pointed at all of their black hearts – as well as at some Uniparty Republicans who benefited, too. As much as anything, I believe this gambit was as much about getting Barr to recuse himself and slow the whole investigative process down in hopes that either Trump would be impeached or some Democrat nominee would steal the 2020 election, after which point the whole mess could be swept under the rug.
Oh, and by the way, the name of the leaker/complainant doesn’t matter all that much. What really counts is exposing the entire conspiracy. The leaker/complainant was just a pawn. Viable candidates include Mike Barry, Kurt Volker, and, yes, Ned Price (or someone who fits their anti-Trump profiles). Finding out who actually submitted the complaint is gravy.