When President Donald Trump fired Intelligence Community (IC) Inspector General (IG) Michael Atkinson in April, Atkinson claimed the president fired him for duly passing on the report of the Ukraine “whistleblower” to Congress — the report that led to Trump’s impeachment — and urged whistleblowers to speak out. According to Pedro Orta, a former CIA agent and whistleblower who allegedly faced multiple rounds of retaliation for attempting to expose abuse of power at a CIA base in 2015, Trump was right to fire Atkinson and the former IC IG’s posturing on whistleblowers conflicts with his record of suppressing claims of retaliation.
Orta called the source that led to Trump’s impeachment the “so-called Ukraine whistleblower” because he was not a whistleblower as defined by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) and because his report did not concern “intelligence activities,” so it did not fall under Atkinson’s authority.
“What IG Atkinson basically did was to weaponize the ICWPA law and the authorities of the IC IG to willfully target President Trump with baseless charges to seek his removal,” Orta told PJ Media. “That alone was more than enough to fire IG Atkinson.”
Orta also argued that the so-called whistleblower’s coordination with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also raises concerns. “First, the process was literally illegally ‘weaponized’ to go after the president. Schiff gave protection, status, and time to take in allegations that suited his political agenda using the ICWPA for politics and the IC IG as a political puppet to impeach President Trump,” the former CIA agent explained. “The so-called Ukraine whistleblower received immediate attention and protection while real IC whistleblowers are shunned and ignored by Congress allowing the IC to run over the real IC whistleblowers as roadkill.”
Worse, Orta explained that “typically, the IC will threaten to revoke the clearance and take serious administrative actions against any IC employee who has direct contact with Congress. When my attorney sought to send [documents] to Congress in June/July 2017 a rep from the CIA [Office of Congressional Affairs] reminded me of administrative penalties and sanctions I would suffer if I had direct communication with Congress.” CIA policies prohibit direct employee contact with Congress.