President Trump tweeted Sunday that House Republicans are investigating the origins of the “whistleblower” complaint and that the intelligence community inspector general who handled it faces “serious questions.”
Trump quoted a Fox News interview from House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA):
House Republicans investigating origins of the Ukraine Whistleblower complaint. ICIG Michael Atkinson facing serious questions. “The Democrats know the ICIG is a major problem-didn’t release his testimony. Looks so much like everything else we’ve seen, from the Russia Hoax, to the Ukraine Hoax that became the Impeachment Scam. Must get the ICIG answers by Friday because this is the guy who lit the fuse. So if he wants to clear his name, prove that his office is indeed incompetent.”
“The ICIG never wanted proof!” he added:
….the Ukraine Hoax that became the Impeachment Scam. Must get the ICIG answers by Friday because this is the guy who lit the fuse. So if he wants to clear his name, prove that his office is indeed incompetent.” @DevinNunes @MariaBartiromo @FoxNews The ICIG never wanted proof!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
In the interview, Nunes said Republicans in September asked Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson to provide documentation to show how the “whistleblower” was able to file a whistleblower complaint to him using only second-hand information.
The “whistleblower” had stated on the complaint form that he had “firsthand” information and reportedly indicated that he did not go to Congress with his concerns when he had reached out to an aide of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Nunes said Atkinson in October provided a “non-answer answer,” and House Democrats have refused to release his closed-door testimony from during their impeachment inquiry.
“He’s the only one of all the star chamber games that were played in the basement of the Capital with these secretive interviews — the only one that’s not released is the one with the IC inspector general. That’s unacceptable,” Nunes said.
He said Atkinson is claiming that his office had just made mistakes. Nunes said he wanted to see the documentation to prove there were mistakes. “It just doesn’t pass the smell test,” he added.
Nunes is demanding answers by Friday, as the Senate impeachment hearings are about to get underway.
“This is the guy who lit the fuse for the impeachment scam that’s now going to be on trial in the Senate,” he said.