Source: Daniel John Sobieski
It’s time for the charade to end and for a GOP congressman to end it. We all know who he is and we all know House Impeachment — er — Intelligence Committee Adam “Shifty” Schiff knows who he is. He and or his staff met with him long before the ICIG received any complaint, likely colluding with him and coaching him as they tinkered together his error-filled complaint. Yet, despite courageous and ferocious cross-examination by GOP representatives of Schiff’s parade of hearsay witnesses, one name goes unspoken, with Schiff successfully intimidating the GOP based on another Schiff lie – that his individual is a true whistleblower whose identity is protected by law.
His name, as I and others have written on these pages, is Eric Ciaramella. He is the accuser that President Trump has been denied his due process right to confront. He is intimately connected with another deep state agent, DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa, a key fact witness deeply involved in the coup being hidden by Schiff. He is the CIA operative or mole detailed to the White House as a John Brennan plant who is not a genuine whistleblower and, despite what Schiff says, is not entitled to anonymity under the whistleblower law or by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) statutes. Yet the likes of ranking member Devin Nunes, R- Calif., were intimidated by Schiff into frustrated submission:
Nunes asked (Lt. Col.) Vindman during Tuesday’s hearing if he discussed the July 25 phone call “with anyone outside the White House” and added, “if so, with whom?”
Vindman confirmed that he spoke to two individuals who were not in the White House but said they were “cleared U.S. government officials, with appropriate need to know.” He named one of the individuals — Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent — but oddly refused to name the other, describing him or her as an “individual in the intelligence community.”
“What — as you know, the intelligence community has 17 different agencies. What agency was this individual from?” Nunes asked, prompting Schiff to interrupt and express his desire to “protect the whistleblower.”
“I want to make sure that there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through the use of these proceedings,” Schiff stated.
Vindman essentially acknowledged he was one of the sources for the whistleblower’s hearsay. The exchange continued with Nunes pressing Vindman to be more specific and asking why he could not name the specific intelligence agency the alleged whistleblower was at before the Intelligence Committee, whereupon Schiff laid down his version of the law:
Are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that’s conducting this impeachment hearing?” Nunes asked. “Wouldn’t the appropriate place for you to come to testify would be the Intelligence Committee about someone within the intelligence community?”
Eventually, Vindman’s lawyer jumped in to make clear that Vindman was not invoking his Fifth Amendment rights, as Nunes implied, but simply following Schiff’s ruling. This prompted Schiff to jump in again, citing a whistleblower’s legal protections.
“The whistleblower has right, the statutory right to anonymity, these proceedings will not be used to out the whistleblower,” he said.
That is another bald-faced Adam Schiff lie. The whistleblower has no statutory right to anonymity. And it is at this time Nunes should have pulled the curtain away from Schiff’s comical cover-up and tell the world we know that the whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. There is nothing Schiff could have done to Nunes.
An analysis by Jerry Dunleavy in the Washington Examiner notes that whistleblowers may be protected from retribution such as loss of job but there is no statutory requirement of anonymity as Schiff insists:
The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act establishes rules for whistleblowers to report on waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption in a lawful manner, and it, along with presidential directives, provides legal protections against reprisals and punishment. Anonymity, however, is not one of those guarantees.
“There is no language in the statute as written — or amended — that gives a whistleblower from the intelligence community the statutory right to anonymity,” Cully Stimson, a former Pentagon official and the head of the Heritage Foundation’s National Security Law Program, told the Washington Examiner. “That’s separate and distinct from whether Congress wants to make the decision to not provide the name — that’s at the discretion of the chairman.”
Naming the whistleblower’s name is not illegal. Keeping it secret is not required by law or statute. Sen. Rand Paul named Ciaramella publically a week ago, and has yet to feel the handcuffs. So what would Schiff have done — kick Nunes off the Committee? That move would last only until the GOP regained the House in a Trump reelection landslide. A true whistleblower can be protected — but not the identity:
…an article in Just Security, a left-leaning online legal journal based at New York University’s Law School, that offers a lengthy analysis of whistleblower protections.
“Many of those seeking to protect the whistleblower argue that it is unlawful to publicly identify an anonymous whistleblower. Whether that is, in fact, the case is complicated and highlights a significant flaw in how the whistleblower protection laws actually apply,” wrote national security expert Kel McClanahan, who runs the D.C.-based National Security Counselors, in the journal article. “Simply put, there is no clear, unambiguous provision in either the criminal or civil law generally prohibiting the disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity.”
Whistleblower expert Bradley Moss adds that many people are just confused by the language of these statures and the misinterpretations for their own purposes by politicians with an agenda like Schiff and notes:
“Only the IC IG’s office is prohibited from releasing the identity, but that doesn’t change whether the statute otherwise considers the name to be confidential,” said Moss. “It simply doesn’t proscribe a restriction on anyone else’s ability to disseminate the name.”
The mind harkens back to Sen. Cory Booker, who, during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, called it his Spartacus moment, pretending to risk his political career by releasing, allegedly in violation of Senate rules, an email by Judge Kavanaugh on racial profiling that had already been cleared for release, a post-9/11 email that expressed the hope that a race-neutral set of rules for vetting terrorists could be found. Racist it was not, except in the mind of Booker.
Nunes and the GOP need their own Spartacus moment, and call Schiff’s bluff,
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.