Fact Check: The Inspector General Refutes the “Form-change” allegation

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Right wing and alternate media, as well as the President of the United States, are pushing the false theory that the form used by the whistleblower was changed in August 2019 to remove a requirement that only firsthand knowledge be cited, and that a whistleblower may only use firsthand knowledge in filing a complaint.

Yesterday the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, who was appointed by President Trump, issued a statement which included a categorical refutation of this claim.

The ICIG concludes:

You can read the full ICIG Statement here.

Here are some of the statements by GOP leaders and others, that are at odds with reality:

GOP HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY: “Whistleblowers were required to provide direct, first-hand knowledge of allegations…but just days before the Ukraine whistleblower came forward, the IC secretly removed the requirement from the complaint form.” — tweet Saturday.

TRUMP: “Who changed the long standing whistleblower rules just before submittal of the fake whistleblower report? Drain the swamp!” — tweet Monday.

STEPHEN MILLER, White House senior adviser: “This is a deep-state operative, pure and simple. People who haven’t been in the federal government, who haven’t worked in the White House may not appreciate this, but the situation is you have a group of unelected bureaucrats who think that they need to take down this president.” — interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

THE FACTS: There was nothing improper in the submission of the whistleblower complaint. No whistleblower law was changed and nothing under that law requires the complaints to have first-hand information. The IG’s office also said Monday that it had determined that the whistleblower did have some first-hand, “direct knowledge of certain alleged conduct.”

Foregoing is from this AP Fact Check.


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