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A second whistleblower has come forward with 'first-hand knowledge' of allegations made in the original complaint
If you thought the chaos descending on Washington was anywhere close to clearing up, I have bad news for you: A second whistleblower has come forward.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday night that the original whistleblower — who alleged that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election — is "going to the bench and another 'Whistleblower' is coming in from the Deep State, also with second hand info."
That's not quite the case.
First reported by ABC News, Mark Zaid — the attorney representing the original whistleblower, — said that the second whistleblower is being represented by his firm, and "has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint." According to ABC, the second intelligence official has already been interviewed by Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.
The second whistleblower has not yet communicated with congressional committees spearheading the Investigation, ABC reports. The New York Times reported on Friday that a second official who had direct knowledge of the first whistleblower's complaint was considering filing their own complaint, though Zaid told ABC he wasn't sure if the person cited in the NYT was the second official he now represents.
Since the first whistleblower complaint was first reported, Trump's Twitter feed has been little else but railing against the whistleblower, congress, and the media — often honing in specifically on the fact that the whistleblower did not hear his phone call with Zelensky themselves. A number of Republican lawmakers have also taken this route, calling into question the credibility of the complaint because of the whistleblower's second-hand knowledge of the conversation.
Zaid clarified in another tweet on Sunday morning that it's not required for a whistleblower to have first-hand information.
"Although 2nd #whistleblower does possess 1st hand knowledge of certain info, there is NO legal requirement for any #WBer to have such knowledge," Zaid tweeted. "Law only requires a 'reasonable belief.'"
The Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community released a lengthy statement on Sept. 30th also attempting to put to rest the idea that the whistleblower had to have first-hand information in order to file a complaint. According to the statement, the ICIG "has not rejected the filing of an alleged urgent concern due to a whistleblower's lack of first-hand knowledge of the allegations" since Atkinson became the Inspector General in May 2018.
"Although the form requests information about whether the Complainant possesses first-hand knowledge about the matter about which he or she is lodging the complaint," the statement reads. "There is no such requirement set forth in the statute."
Trump has taken a number of different roads in trying to deal with the drama now engulfing his administration, calling the account outlined in the complaint "way off" and the whistleblower "highly partisan;" accusing the official who spoke to the whistleblower about his phone call of "SPYING" on him, and threatening "Big Consequences;" and as Axios first reported, now pinning the phone call with Zelensky on Energy Secretary Rick Perry, telling House Republicans he didn't want to make the call in the first place.
In his Saturday night tweet speaking about a second whistleblower coming forward, Trump said to "keep them coming" — though he may have spoken too soon: Zaid's colleague, Andrew Bakaj, tweeted on Sunday morning that their legal team represents "multiple whistleblowers" in connection to the original complaint.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
What's cooler than a single missile? How about a missile with a high-powered machine gun attached?
That's exactly what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on, according to budget documents — and it wants $13 million to make it a reality.
Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.
‘That cavalier misdirection cannot stand’ — Washingtonians ask judge to reduce ‘extremely noisy’ Navy Growler flights
The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.
COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.
According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.
"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.