Politics

Intel Watchdog Who Vetted Whistleblower Complaint Tied to Top Lawyer in Democrat Impeachment Effort

The U.S. intelligence communitys inspector general (ICIG), who reviewed the anonymous whistleblower complaint that triggered the House Democratic-led impeachment effort, previously served under then-acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord, who herself worked as the top outside counsel supporting the impeachment effort.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, highlighted the connection in an interview with Fox News Maria Bartiromo on Jan. 11.

“This ICIG actually has connections—was a lawyer for—some of the very people that were involved in the FISA abuse scam,” Nunes told Bartiromo, referring to the recently confirmed FBI and Justice Department failures in applications to spy on a former Trump campaign associate under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Prior to his confirmation as ICIG, Michael Atkinson served as the senior counsel to McCord, who was then the assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice, according to a questionnaire (pdf) that Atkinson submitted to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

McCord, who left her post in May 2017, now serves as the legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and is a visiting law professor at Georgetown University. In addition to these positions, she has been listed as the top outside attorney for House Democrats in key legal fights tied to impeachment, according to Politico.

Her transition from working in the Trump administration to pushing to upend it comes as no surprise, given her public statements. McCord told a panel at the Brookings Institution in 2018 that she left the administration because she felt she couldnt “actively undermine” Trump administration policies. She added that “others have chosen a different course.”

McCord didnt respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Shortly after the whistleblowers complaint became public, McCord publicly endorsed the substance of the document, based solely on her high regard for Atkinson.

“As soon as I saw that he had recommended it be sent to Congress, thats all I needed to know it was legit,” McCord told CNN.

Although theres no public evidence that McCord interacted with Atkinson regarding the whistleblower complaint, the link between the two is significant because the whistleblower contacted the office of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) prior to submitting a formal complaint to Atkinson.

While contact between whistleblowers and oversight committees is routine, the impeachment whistleblower failed to disclose his or her prior contact with Schiffs office on the complaint form. Schiff himself went on to mislead the public by stating that his office hadnt been in contact with the whistleblower, before later admitting the opposite to be true.

Nunes made the comment about Atkinsons connections shortly after criticizing the ICIG for not providing sufficient aRead More – Source

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