Sep 27, 2019

Scoop: House Intelligence Committee to hear from inspector general on Ukraine

Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes and chairman Adam Schiff at Thursday's hearing on Ukraine. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee will return from the House recess for a closed hearing Oct. 4 featuring testimony from Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who handled the whistleblower complaint over President Trump's actions on Ukraine, two committee sources told Axios. The committee later confirmed the hearing.

Why it matters: Atkinson is the inspector general who determined that the whistleblower complaint was an "urgent concern" that "appears credible." Atkinson is likely to be able to give the most detailed testimony on the issues raised by the complaint, short of the committee hearing directly from the whistleblower.

  • "More subpoenas and investigatory steps will occur next week, as the investigation accelerates," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote on Friday in a letter that confirmed the Oct. 4 hearing.
  • "This hearing is critical to establish additional details, leads and evidence," Schiff wrote.

Go deeper: Congressional Republicans take aim at whistleblower complaint

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Ukraine whistleblower never worked for political candidate, attorneys say

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hand with President Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The whistleblower whose allegations about President Trump and Ukraine have sparked an impeachment inquiry "never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party," and spent their entire government career in apolitical positions, according to a statement released by the whistleblower's lawyers Wednesday night.

Why it matters: Republicans and the White House have been ramping up their attempts to discredit the whistleblower, seizing on an Aug. 26 letter from Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson in which he disclosed the whistleblower showed "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate."

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Ukraine whistleblower previously worked with unnamed 2020 candidate

Michael Atkinson testifies to House Intelligence Committee on October 4, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week that the whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump and Ukraine has set off an impeachment inquiry previously had "some type of professional relationship" with one of the 2020 Democratic candidates, the Washington Examiner first reported and Axios' Jonathan Swan has confirmed.

The big picture: Atkinson wrote in an Aug. 26 letter that the whistleblower demonstrated "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate." CNN later reported that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat, which Trump allies have used in an effort to undermine their credibility. Much of the information laid out in the whistleblower's original complaint has since been substantiated.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Trump demands to meet whistleblower and accuses Adam Schiff of "treason"

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump continued his weekend-long tirade against Democrats and the whistleblower whose complaint about his interactions with Ukraine have prompted a formal impeachment inquiry, tweeting:

Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called "Whistleblower," represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress. His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason. In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the "Whistleblower." Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!
Go deeperArrowSep 29, 2019