It might not matter much now who the so-called “whistleblower” is; we know this person didn’t even hear the phone call that prompted his or her complaint. A more important question would be, who passed along such misinformation about the call, and why?
In my Wednesday commentary, I mentioned that the whistleblower’s attorney, Andrew Bakaj, had worked for Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and had gone on to work for the CIA. We’ve got more detail today.
According to Tristan Justice at THE FEDERALIST, he has worked for both the CIA and the Pentagon and now specializes in whistleblower and security clearances in his legal practice. The managing partner at Compass Rose Legal Group, PLLC, Bakaj enjoys retweeting John Brennan and has bragged on Twitter about “running ops” to torpedo Trump nominees. For example, on September 25 of this year, he tweeted: “Thus far I’ve had a role in having a CIA IG removed and forced another one to withdraw his nomination for the position. We’ve had Congressional Intel Committee involvement – no small feat. I’m very patient and effective...This is another tactical and major salvo.”
So, who were the two IGs torpedoed by Bakaj? Well, back on May 30, he tweeted: “A big day. I’m suing DHS to release their findings about my allegations concerning David Buckley and Chris Sharpley, former CIA IG and President Trump’s nominee to be CIA IG.” Maybe these were the officials he later bragged about taking down.
It gets worse. According to Steven Nelson at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, the whistleblower –- or more accurately, the official who claimed whistleblower status –- is also represented by veteran national security defense attorney Mark Zaid, co-founder of the organization Whistleblower Aid, which pledges free legal representation, rent (!), media coaching (!), and doctor bills and counseling to whistleblowers. Founded eight months after Trump’s inauguration (which should tell you a lot), it was launched with “an advertising blitz that included mobile billboards being driven close to the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, and all around the headquarters of the CIA and National Security Agency.” Bakaj is also a lawyer for Whistleblower Aid.
So, in effect, if you leak from Trump’s administration, they take care of you all the way. Some aspects of this, such as mortgage assistance and the like, are generally considered unethical in the legal profession, and the American Bar Association prohibits such financial support, “because,” the rules state, “to do so would encourage clients to pursue lawsuits that might not otherwise be brought and because such assistance gives lawyers too great a financial stake in the litigation.” But co-founder John Tye has said he believes what they are doing is “100 percent compliant with applicable ethics rules.”
Tye also claims Whistleblower Aid is non-partisan, but you will fall down laughing when you read what he said in 2017: “This is not a partisan effort. At the same time, the rule of law starts with the office of the President. Like many other people, we are definitely concerned about the things that are happening in the administration. The decision to fire [FBI Director] James Comey. The lack of transparency. A lot of people have questions about whether this administration respects the rule of law.”
I’ll bet a lot of people have questions about whether Whistleblower Aid is non-partisan, not to mention ethical, and how this so-called whistleblower came to be furnished with some outrageous gossip about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. For the moment, we can only speculate. Did he or she get it from an administration insider who heard the call but who “oversold” it in an attempt to damage Trump? Or was this like the old game of “telephone” in which the recipient of the rumor doesn’t hear it quite right? Or was the information deliberately planted with this person to find out if he or she was a source of leaks?
It’s also unclear what sort of financial arrangement the whistleblower has with Zaid and Bakaj. Of course, as of yet we don’t even know who this person is. First things first.
But we do know for sure that this person filed a complaint based only on hearsay, not firsthand information, accusing President Trump of calling for a “quid pro quo” during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky in mid-July. (Zelensky, in a Wednesday press conference with President Trump, said he had not felt pressured.) For some reason, Intelligence IG Michael Atkinson decided this complaint, even with its total lack of evidence, was “urgent” and “credible” enough to brief congressional committees behind closed doors earlier this week, but cooler heads prevailed at the Department of National Intelligence and they did not immediately release the transcript to Congress, who responded with much gnashing of teeth and scenery-clawing.
Of course, you know the rest: The Democrats decided the content of the transcript didn’t even matter, and Nancy Pelosi, without taking a vote, announced an impeachment “inquiry” that Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee was already conducting anyway. Her announcement really didn’t mean ANYTHING, but it was done to create drama and make people think they were getting closer to actual impeachment, and also to feed the 24-hour news beast.
And they did this the day before they knew Trump would be releasing the transcript. That gave them 24 more full hours of drama.
I told you on Tuesday that this might play out like the old “Br’er Rabbit” story in which Br’er Rabbit begs and pleads with Br’er Fox to do anything he wanted with him but please, PLEASE not to throw him in the briar patch! The pain and suffering would be too great to bear! So then, Br’er Fox, being mean and stupid, throws Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch, which is just what Br’er Rabbit wants him to do because he easily slides through the briars and gets away.
Sure enough, that’s what happened. Democrats in Congress, being mean and, let’s face it, pretty dumb (think AOC), did what they thought Trump DIDN’T want them to do: they insisted on getting hold of that transcript. But when they got it, the call turned out to be not nearly as bad as it was supposed to be, and Trump slipped through their fingers again. If that weren’t enough, there were also references in the transcript to things Democrats don’t want to be talking about AT ALL.
I’m referring to the DNC “Russian” hack and also, of course, Joe Biden. On Thursday, John Solomon will be breaking huge news concerning mountains of new evidence of Biden’s unethical business dealings involving foreign governments and his son Hunter. In more news, the whistleblower complaint has just been declassified. And acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will testify before the House Intel Committee on Thursday as well. So we’ll put it all together bright and early on Friday.