The Corner

Did Westermann Lie? Sorta, Kinda, Maybe Not

Amusing passage in the Democrat’s anti-Bolton report. Intelligence analyst Christian Westermann wasn’t straight with Bolton’s staff about the fact that he had sent prejudicial language to the CIA along with the draft text from a Bolton speech. Here’s how the Dems try to massage it:

Mr. Fleitz made a serious allegation that Mr. Westermann lied to Mr. Fleitz in his e-mail to him stating that he sent his language to CIA ”intact.” Specifically, Mr. Fleitz stated that ”Mr. Westermann lied when he told us that he had sent the language that Mr. Bolton wanted declassified to the Agency intact, and only

with source citations. That was untrue.” Fleitz’ description of Westermann’s e-mail is not precisely accurate. The text of Mr. Westermann’s e-mail was as follows: ”I sent your memo intact to CIA for coordination through the IC for

cleared language. I added citations so they could reference the intel[ligence].” There is nothing false in Westermann’s e-mail to Fleitz. He had e-mailed the Fleitz memo intact, and he had included the source citations. If Westermann is guilty of anything, it is an act of omission: he did not tell Fleitz that he had also sent INR’s comments on the Bolton language. But, as discussed above, he was under no obligation to do so, because that comment was part of a process that was internal to the Intelligence Community. It also bears emphasis that there is no evidence of the precise question posed to Westermann by Fleitz that resulted in Westermann sending his e-mail. Westermann appears to have been

responding to a phone call or message from Fleitz, not an e-mail, and there is no record as to what Fleitz said in his phone call or message. Thus, it is impossible to conclude that Westermann lied in his e-mail without knowing the question that prompted it.


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