I am troubled by the complaint and wonder how an intelligence officer could file it over something a president said to a foreign leader. How could this be an intelligence matter?
It appears likely to me that this so-called whistleblower was pursuing a political agenda.
I am very familiar with transcripts of presidential phone calls since I edited and processed dozens of them when I worked for the NSC. I also know a lot about intelligence whistleblowers from my time with the CIA.
My suspicions grew this morning when I saw the declassified whistleblowing complaint. It appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified.
From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff.
Moreover, it looks like more than a coincidence that this complaint surfaced and was directed to the House Intelligence Committee just after Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an outspoken opponent of President Trump, expressed numerous complaints in August 2019 accusing President Trump of abusing aid to Ukraine to hurt Joe Biden. This includes an August 28 tweet that closely resembled the whistleblowing complaint.
House Republicans need to ask the whistleblower under oath whether he spoke to the press or Congress about his complaint.
Also very concerning to me is how the complaint indicates intelligence officers and possibly other federal employees are violating the rules governing presidential phone calls with foreign leaders.
The content and transcripts of these calls are highly restricted. The whistleblower makes clear in his complaint that he did not listen to a call in question, nor did he read the transcript — he was told about the call by others. If true, intelligence officers have grossly violated the rules as well as the trust placed on them to protect this sensitive information.