The intelligence community inspector general forcefully pushed back today on assertions by President Trump and some Republicans about the lack of first-hand knowledge and rules regarding how whistleblower complaints are processed.
In a statement released today, the IC IG said the whistleblower had “direct knowledge of certain alleged conduct.”
The statement appears to debunk a theory that has been pushed by Trump and several of his Republican allies who have sought to raise questions about the complaint’s credibility by falsely claiming that it is based on “hearsay.”
“As part of his determination that the urgent concern appeared credible, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined that the complainant had official and authorized access to the information and sources referenced in the complainant’s letter and classified appendix, including direct knowledge of certain alleged conduct, and that the complainant has subject matter expertise related to much of the material information provided in the complainant’s letter and classified appendix,” the statement said.
“In short, the ICIG did not find that the complainant could ‘provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions,’ which would have made it much harder, and significantly less likely, for the Inspector General to determine in a 14-calendar day review period that the complaint ‘appeared credible,’ as required by statute. Therefore, although the complainant’s letter acknowledged that the complainant was not a direct witness to the President’s July 25, 2019, telephone call with the Ukrainian President, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined that other information obtained during the ICIG’s preliminary review supported the complainant’s allegations,” the statement reads.
The IC IG response makes it clear that a whistleblower is not required to have first-hand knowledge in order to submit a complaint and confirms that the IC IG obtained other information during his preliminary review that supported the allegations.