This is a major, major development in the Trump-Ukraine saga and it points exactly at what a lot of people suspected.
The Federalist’s Sean Davis has discovered that the intel community secretly changed the rules governing whistle-blowers, including amending the required form, in order to allow 2nd hand information to suffice. This happened just days before the Trump-Ukraine whistle-blower filed his complaint.
BREAKING: The intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblower complaints contain only direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing allegations.
A new version of the complaint form allowing hearsay was secretly revised last month. https://t.co/ZvCpCMBx8h
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 27, 2019
BREAKING: Federal records show that the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing.https://t.co/R3BXndeYgc
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 27, 2019
The brand new version of the whistleblower complaint form, which was not made public until after the transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the complaint addressed to Congress were made public, eliminates the first-hand knowledge requirement and allows employees to file whistleblower complaints even if they have zero direct knowledge of underlying evidence and only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”
The internal properties of the newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m., just days before the anti-Trump complaint was declassified and released to the public. The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed…
…A previous version of the whistleblower complaint document, which the ICIG and DNI until recently provided to potential whistleblowers, declared that any complaint must contain only first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoing and that complaints that provide only hearsay, rumor, or gossip would be rejected.
“The [Intelligence Community Inspector General] cannot transmit information via the ICPWA based on an employee’s second-hand knowledge of wrongdoing,” the previous form stated under the bolded heading “FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED.” “This includes information received from another person, such as when an employee informs you that he/she witnessed some type of wrongdoing.”
“If you think that wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions, [the Intelligence Community Inspector General] will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA,” the form concluded.
Many have been baffled by the ability of the whistle-blower to file a complaint and force the release of a classified transcript based on nothing but 2nd and 3rd hand, illegal leaks. Now we know how that was possible. The Intel Community changed the rules at the same time the complaint was being written.