Responding to questions from top Republican lawmakers, the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community said Monday that the whistle-blower’s complaint was handled properly and that the law does not require first-hand knowledge for such complaints.
The whistle-blower report that sparked an impeachment inquiry bases some allegations against Trump on information allegedly provided by other administration officials. Statements about a July phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president have since been corroborated by a partial transcript of the call.
“The ICIG reviewed the information provided as well as other information gathered and determined that the complaint was both urgent and that it appeared credible,” Inspector General Michael Atkinson said in a statement. He said the whistle-blower followed correct procedures in submitting forms to lodge his or her complaint.
The comments come after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy signed a letter to Atkinson asking about recent changes to forms used to facilitate whistle-blower complaints. A similar letter was sent by Republican senators. Trump’s defenders have tried to dismiss the whistle-blower’s report as “hearsay.”
Atkinson said references to first-hand knowledge on previous versions of the whistle-blower forms were removed because they “could be read – incorrectly – as suggesting that whistle-blowers must possess first-hand information in order to file an urgent concern complaint with the congressional intelligence committees.”
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