April 7, 2020

Even though the Wuhan virus pandemic continues to suck up virtually all the news coverage, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) got distracted long enough to slam President Trump for something different: the firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson.

If you’ve followed ICIG Atkinson’s story in my newsletter and have read the linked-to reports from Sean Davis, John Solomon, Sara Carter and Margot Cleveland, among others, you know Atkinson richly deserved the boot. Of course, Democrats described his unceremonious canning as Trump’s payback for Atkinson passing along the bogus report of “whistleblower” ERIC CIARAMELLA to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s office and kicking off the impeachment. What they don’t mention is all the reasons his actions were flagrantly wrong and termination-worthy.

Margot Cleveland has another great piece in THE FEDERALIST that will refresh your memory on the details, which I’m sure have been fresh in President Trump’s mind for a long time. Recall that when Atkinson received the complaint from CIA official CIARAMELLA concerning a phone conversation Trump had had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he accepted the nine unsubstantiated pages as worthy of forwarding to the then-acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, maintaining to the DNI that this complaint fell within the statutory provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.

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Under the act, the complaint was supposed to be forwarded within seven days to the House and Senate Intel committees and the complainant was supposed to have whistleblower protection. But this complaint doesn't fall under the act, and that’s why I refuse to pretend it does and will specify the name ERIC CIARAMELLA any time I want, typically using capital letters just to make the point. CIARAMELLA was “outed” long ago; everyone knows his identity and I won’t play the we-don’t-know-who-the-whistleblower-is game.

When Maguire received the complaint from Atkinson, he didn’t think it fit the whistleblower statute and consulted the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. They issued a detailed opinion stating that the complaint indeed did not fit the statute. To fit, the complaint needed to accuse the President of misconduct relating “to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity,” and that’s not what this was at all. Also, the Director of National Intelligence does not have “responsibility and authority” over Trump. The DOJ lawyers ruled that the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Act did not apply.

They also said that Atkinson should refer his complaint to the Department of Justice, not give it to the intelligence committees. Atkinson ignored this, went around Maguire and the DOJ and sent a letter to Adam Schiff telling him about the complaint. Schiff responded by going to Maguire and demanding he provide the House Intel Committee with the complaint, though doing so would violate executive privilege because it involved presidential communications. Maguire said he couldn’t do that.

Schiff had a big schiff-fit about that and implied that the President was behind Maguire’s refusal to turn over the complaint. Trump responded by declassifying not only the complaint but the transcript of the phone call that prompted it, showing the complaint to be a huge pack of lies.

But they impeached him, anyway.

Oh, there’s much more. To cite just one more example, recall that it was discovered there had been some “stealth editing” of the whistleblower complaint form by someone in Atkinson’s office to delete the stated requirement that for a complaint to be considered “credible,” the whistleblower must possess “first-hand information.” CIARAMELLA had not one speck of first-hand information, as he was not even on the phone call he was complaining about. But the altered complaint form paved the way for him to submit his complaint anyhow. Atkinson knew the rules; unless he were in on the scheme, how could he not determine that a hearsay complaint such as this one would not be considered credible?

Perhaps we could find out more about what Atkinson was doing to coordinate with Schiff’s office and otherwise set up Trump for a phony impeachment, but according to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton he was “evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive” in front of the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. And in the House, Schiff continues to block release of the transcript for “Witness 18,” who is Atkinson. That’s right, even after all this time and the release of all 17 of the other transcripts, this one is still being held back. (And, of course, CIARAMELLA, with his bogus “whistleblower” protection, never had to come forward and testify at all.)

It seems that President Trump could declassify Atkinson’s testimony and call for it to be released. Perhaps he will, but that will probably come later. I understand he’s got a lot on his plate right now.

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Comments 1-15 of 15

  • Clara Herrin

    04/09/2020 02:47 AM

    Mike, usually I'm on the same page with you, however, you made a statement in your report herein. You said that the Dems impeached President Trump. It would have been more accurate if you had said that the Dems TRIED to impeach our wonderful president. He was exonerated... deemed not guilty...that no crime had been committed. That means he's innocent and that's why the left is still out of their minds.

    I've been wondering...and maybe you can clarify this for me...what will the Democratic Party be after November's election? I foresee such a tsunami in favor of President Trump that any Democratic nominee will be voted out of office...there just won't be a Democratic party left...their politicians are so out of step with most of this country as to be invisible. And until those people stop the hatred they exercise daily, they won't ever be in office again. I wonder what they will call their new party. Right now they have a donkey as their mascot...maybe they should face reality and call themselves snakes...that would be more representative of their behavior.

  • Jack Bluestein

    04/08/2020 07:43 PM

    Thanks, Governor, for the full explanation of Atkinson's dismissal. Much of the media's approach has been to present half truths on this and other important issues. MediaBuzz addresses some of this, but it would be interesting to see a weekly recap of half stories presented side by side with the full scoop. Any appetite for a monthly contest for the most misleading story (full raspberry for the author)?

  • James Evart

    04/07/2020 09:08 PM

    It's actually all very simple. Manufacture the hell out of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (Z Pac), regulate initial distribution to first responders, medical staff of all kinds, the military, the aged and the otherwise vunerable and then to the remaining population. HCQ will protect those who are well while healing those who have the virus and keep them well, excluding further future vulnerabality serving as a prophylaxis until a vacination is formulated and tested, hopefully within the next year or two.

    Quit the political harassment and get back to work. This pandemic locally seems to have been exaserbated by political animosity of the part of the left who are trying to play down this very effective drug (HCQ) to keep our economy suppressed for their own political ends.

    Get on with it!

  • Amelia Little

    04/07/2020 02:24 PM

    Personally, I thought the President should have removed all obama people on administrative posts, ambassadors to everywhere, etc etc etc. When he DID finally remove one here or there, there was screaming from the left who seemed to have forgotten that obama had--you guessed--replaced all the GWB people with his own--on day one!!! Anyway, I'm sure they all praised obama for getting rid of GWB holdovers, put his own selections in--but are so blinded by rage and disappointment and disbelief they can't even see how hypocritical they are.

    In the real world (I was in the hospital industry) when a new CEO came to town, you learned what he and the board decided was the direction the organization would take. People are advised of this--and, especially the higher in the organization you are, you are on board with the mission/agenda set forth, or you are gone.

  • Cecil Johnson

    04/07/2020 02:08 PM

    Atkinson is lucky he is not in prison.

  • Charlotte Rush

    04/07/2020 01:53 PM

    I have this to God. We will be okay. He has never let me down.

  • Dot Whitley

    04/07/2020 01:23 PM

    I hope Trump does declassify Atkinson's testimony, and calls for it to be released.
    Get the thing finished, and dealt with, so we can finally rest in peace.

    Dot Whitley


    04/07/2020 01:12 PM

    i don't feel sorry for him he got what he deserved hes lucky he didn't get jail time. i would have fired him sooner

  • Paul Kern

    04/07/2020 12:51 PM

    If not now it will come out at the Great White Throne Judgement

  • jean stanfield

    04/07/2020 12:40 PM

    Have you wondered there are no reports of people dying of heart, attacks, cancer or any other normal death? Well maybe this will explain the fact. So much of these deaths are just hype to keep the sheeple in fear. Here is a very interesting video.(may have to copy and paste).

  • HCorey

    04/07/2020 12:31 PM

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all fight the real enemy who is trying to take over the world C___a instead of each other.


    04/07/2020 12:31 PM

    Why weren't Beijing and Shanghai hit with the virus? Did China already have a cure or vaccine? The longer this goes on, the more it seems like a biological weapon unleashed on the world. China is trying to kill the $$$, in favorof their own currency. Their factories are still running and the pandemic seemed to be slower to start and last less time despite not closing down their economy. It just seems suspicious.

  • Floyd A Unger

    04/07/2020 12:27 PM

    One day we’re going to get over at this and come November we shall have Trump leading a fully Republican Congress.

  • Diane Rowlands

    04/07/2020 12:25 PM

    Some Democrat nut wants to find Trump criminally negligent in regards to his response to Coronavirus . it is an international court. What in heavens name do these Democrats want. Vote them out of office please.

  • Theresa Stone

    04/07/2020 11:57 AM

    Great summary of the events and why status didn't apply to him. Thanks for your great commentary and helping break it down for us.