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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a statement Tuesday defending a so-called “whistleblower complaint” after the transcript of a phone call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine invalidated the anonymous bureaucrat’s characterization of the conversation.
Last week, the House Intelligence Committee released the complaint — comprised of secondhand information and several inaccuracies — claiming that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the beleaguered son of former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden. The former vice president forced out former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin amid a probe into Burisma Holdings, which was paying Biden a $50,000 monthly as a board member. Biden even bragged last year that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless the prosecutor was terminated.
Person - Protection - Laws - Whistleblowers - Requests
“This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality,” Grassley said in a statement.
He appeared to dismiss concerns that this particular complaint was filed months — or even weeks — after the intelligence community quietly eliminated requirements for whistleblowers to have direct — not secondhand — knowledge of wrongdoing. “Complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get all the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility,” Grassley continued. He did not address the fact that direct evidence — namely, the call transcript — has already been revealed and undermined the bureaucrat’s credibility.
Iowa - Republican - Senate - Finance - Committee
The Iowa Republican, who chairs the influential Senate Finance Committee, warned lawmakers and members of the media from engaging in “[u]ninformed speculation,” calling it “counterproductive” to the country’s interests.
Grassley’s statement demonstrates a clear break with President Trump and congressional Republicans, who have dismissed the complaint as nothing...
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