White House

Whistleblower Tipped Off Schiff before Filing Official Complaint: Report

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) speaks during a news conference about impeachment proceedings on Capitol Hill, September 25, 2019. (Al Drago/Reuters)

The whistleblower who raised concerns about President Trump’s July call with Ukrainian president Voldymyr Zelensky informed House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff of the call’s contents before he filed a formal complaint, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The anonymous whistleblower told a House Intelligence Committee aide that he was concerned about Trump’s behavior on the call, and the aide passed that information to Schiff but did not reveal the whistleblower’s identity. The early accusations were reportedly vague, but the whistleblower made clear to the aide that he was determined to make them known.

“Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,” said a spokesman for Schiff.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi last week announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump amid accusations that he withheld military aid from Ukraine in an effort to prompt a Ukrainian investigation of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.

Trump responded Tuesday to the news that Schiff had an early heads up about the whistleblower’s accusations, saying it shows the chairman is a “fraud.”

“I think that it’s a scandal and I’ll go a step further, I think he helped write it,” Trump said.

Trump previously said on Twitter that he wants Schiff “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” adding that the California Democrat “made up what I actually said by lying to Congress.”

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