The Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community on Monday rejected an attempt by President Donald Trump and his allies to discredit the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s July call with the Ukrainian president.
Ever since a whistleblower exposed Trump’s attempt to pressure the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, the President and his Republican allies have tried to discredit the whistleblower’s complaint by claiming it was based on “second hand information” and that Inspector General Michael Atkinson’s office had sneakily changed its requirement on whistleblower complaints right before the complaint in question was submitted on August 12.
Without directly responding to Trump, the inspector general’s office released a statement refuting Trump’s talking points. In the statement, the IG’s office said that the whistleblower did, in fact, include first-hand information in the complaint.
“The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information,” the statement said.
Additionally, the IG’s office pointed out that even if the whistleblower only had second-hand information, the IG still would’ve accepted the complaint because the office’s statute does not require first-hand knowledge of the situation.
The statement also addresses conservatives’ conspiracy theory that the IG had changed its requirement right before the whistleblower submitted the complaint. The inspector general’s office explained that the whistleblower had used the same form the IG’s office has made available since May 24, 2018, and that the office had changed its forms (but not requirement itself) to clarify that whistleblowers did not need first-hand information.