CIA and the Failure in East Germany

In East Germany, all the recruited CIA agents working there were found to be double-agents working secretly for the Ministry of State Security spy service, also known as the Stasi.

According to two East German Stasi officers, Klaus Eichner and Andreas Dobbert, operating against CIA without inside sources was difficult.

“Naturally we tried but did not succeed in placing agents in the CIA,” they stated in their 2009 book. “Nevertheless, there was not a single CIA operation on [East German] territory that we were not able to detect using [double agents] and counterespionage operations.”

Markus Wolf, the famously elusive spymaster of Communist East Germany whose feats of espionage were the stuff of cold war legend was known as “the man without a face,” because for years Western intelligence agencies did not even possess a photograph of him. The late East German spymaster also wrote in his memoir that by the late 1980s “we were in the enviable position of knowing that not a single CIA agent had worked in East Germany without having been turned into a double agent or working for us from the start.”

For 34 years, Mr. Wolf directed the foreign intelligence service of East Germany’s feared Ministry of State Security, or Stasi. He ran a network of 4,000 spies who infiltrated NATO headquarters and the West German chancellery and even brought down a chancellor, Willy Brandt.

Markus Wolf boasted in his memoirs that, “If I go down in espionage history, it may well be for perfecting the use of sex in spying.”

Among Mr. Wolf’s innovations in tradecraft was the “Romeo method,” in which he sent young agents to romance lonely secretaries in Bonn, the former West German capital, for access to the confidential files of their bosses. A few of these affairs, he later noted, blossomed into happy marriages, though the more common outcome was betrayal and broken hearts.

He lured politicians and businessmen with sex and money. He “turned” West German agents, sending them back to spy on their masters. One of his agents, Rainer Rupp, code-named Topaz, worked for 25 years at NATO headquarters in Brussels and was unmasked only in 1993.

There were any number of individuals who could be blackmailed because of their records in Hitler’s Reich or for other reasons. There was no language or cultural problem, and, under West German law, all East Germans had the same rights as West Germans.

“On our orders they were all delivering carefully selected information and disinformation to the Americans,” Wolf said.

Wolf had been able to identify a CIA officer working in West Germany who was recruiting East Germans and then dispatched double agents to the officer.

Among his few setbacks was the defection of Werner Stiller, who turned over 20,000 pages of microfilmed documents to the West Germans, as well as the first picture in decades of the “man without a face.”

Wolf, whose spies uncovered plans for U.S. missile sites in the 1970s and ‘80s, wrote in his memoirs that Germany “was a huge web of declared and undeclared connections, secret shame and covert loyalties on both the right and the left. Nothing was certain, no one could be trusted completely, appearances deceived.”

On a snowy night in January 1979, Werner Stiller stepped into his office in Berlin, pried open a safe and grabbed the transit papers that would allow him to travel safely from the city’s communist eastern half to freedom in the west. He had already sent his wife a goodbye letter stuffed with 10,000 German marks, explaining that she and the children would be safer in East Germany, but acknowledging, “I don’t understand a lot of this myself.” He had a gun inside his jacket, and inside his luggage was a stack of microfiche film four inches thick — the bulk of a secret document cache that made Mr. Stiller, a case officer with the East German police and intelligence agency known as the Stasi, one of the most notable defectors of the Cold War. A trained physicist, he worked for seven years with the Ministry for State Security’s foreign intelligence service before turning to the West. He later transformed himself from an idealistic champion of communism to a freewheeling avatar of global capitalism. Under the name Klaus-Peter Fischer, an alias devised in part by the CIA, the shaggy-haired Mr. Stiller launched a second career as a broker and investment banker, reportedly making millions of dollars for Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs before retiring in Budapest, where he died on Dec. 20.

Stiller defected to West Germany along with a packet of microfiche containing hundreds of classified Stasi documents. He later helped the waitress escape to the West with her young son and an estimated 20,000 more pages of classified documents. The West German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) eventually shared the information from Stiller’s defection with the United States Central Intelligence Agency. It led to the dramatic arrests of 17 Stasi agents and officers in Europe and the US, while at least 15 others escaped arrest at the last minute, after being urgently recalled back to East Germany. The Stasi is believed to have recalled an additional 40 operatives from several Western countries as a precaution in response to Stiller’s defection. Continue reading

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Pavel Sheremet’s Murder New Information

Ukrainian police say they have new evidence to identify the culprits in the murder of renowned investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet.

The 44-year-old was killed by a car bomb explosion while driving in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on 20 July 2016. His murder has not been solved.

Pavel Sheremet had both Belarusian and Russian citizenship, had been imprisoned by the regime of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and had received international press freedom awards.

Pavel Sheremet had been a harsh critic of the Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian authorities. The journalist had worked for Belarusian national television before leaving the country due to a conflict with the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Sheremet was known for his incisive journalism, raising issues of public concern – such as violence by volunteer battalions and investigations into corruption – that were often uncomfortable for the authorities. Since the early 1990s he had lived and worked in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, and was harassed, threatened, and detained for his work. For the past five years, he had been based in Ukraine, working for Ukrainskaya Pravda, a fiercely independent newspaper, and as a presenter at the Vesti radio station.

But Ukraine’s National Police said in January 2021 that they had received “documents and audio recordings” related to the case in December.

The suspects include Andriy Antonenko, a war veteran and musician known by the stage name “Riffmaster,” and Yulia Kuzmenko, a doctor and volunteer military medic, who are accused of planting and triggering the car bomb. Yana Duhar, a volunteer military medic, is accused of helping them plan the killing.

And even some of Sheremet’s own friends and colleagues doubt the official suspects’ involvement and the evidence upon which authorities have built their case. “Personally, I’m not confident that they [have the right people],” Sevgil Musayeva, the Ukrainska Pravda editor-in-chief and one of Sheremet’s closest friends, told CPJ. Like many, she said she found it difficult to believe that three individuals involved in defending Ukraine from Russian aggression could be involved.

KGB recording

The leaked KGB tape was allegedly recorded on April 11, 2012, with a secret wiretapping device in the Minsk office of Vadym Zaitsev, who was then head of the KGB. Zaitsev was briefing officers from the KGB’s Alfa Group, an elite counter-terrorism unit.

“We should take care of Sheremet, who is a massive pain in the ass,” Zaitsev said, according to the 2012 recording. “We’ll plant (a bomb) and so on and this fucking rat will be taken down in fucking pieces – legs in one direction, arms in the other direction. If everything (looks like) natural causes, it won’t get into people’s minds the same way.”

EUobserver and the Belarusian People’s Tribunal also published what they say is a Belarusian KGB surveillance report on Sheremet.

In the recording, people alleged to be Zaitsev and other KGB officials also discuss murdering other opponents of Lukashenko – Oleg Alkayev, Vladimir Borodai and Vyacheslav Dudkin – in Germany. They consider using poison and explosives for killing Lukashenko’s critics.

“It’s clear how we could drown or shoot someone. It’s clear. But how to initiate a chance explosion, how to start arson and not leave traces, murder, and stuff like that – this is unclear,” Zaitsev said.

Zaitsev said Lukashenko had authorized the planned assassinations and allocated $1.5 million to carry them out.

“The president [Lukashenko] is waiting for these operations,” he said. “…We must create a precedent to make the president see the results.”

The quality of the audio is too poor to do biometric “speaker recognition analysis,” Catalin Grigoras, the director of the National Centre for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, told EUobserver. But the forensics expert “didn’t find” any obvious “trace of audio-manipulation” on the file.

Conflict with Lukashenko

Sheremet has had a long-running conflict with Lukashenko.

In 1997 Sheremet and his cameraman and friend Dmitry Zavadsky were jailed for several months by the Belarusian government for crossing the Belarusian-Lithuanian border after they produced a television report on smuggling between the two countries. This incident caused a major conflict between Belarus and Russia, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin explicitly demanding the journalists’ release.

Sheremet also co-wrote a book highly critical of Lukashenko – “An accidental president” – published in 2003. In the book, the journalist wrote that Lukashenko said before his arrest in 1997 that law enforcers should “put an end to” Sheremet.

Sheremet also said on March 6, 2000, on Russia’s ORT channel that he was prepared for death in the context of his conflict with Lukashenko.

In 2000-2002, Sheremet produced two documentaries on political assassinations in Belarus.

Lukashenko’s two main political opponents, Viktor Gonchar and Yury Zakharenko, disappeared in 1999 and are believed to be dead. Dmitry Pavlichenko, a police unit chief and a loyalist of Lukashenko, was arrested by investigators in the case into the murders but was later released on the president’s orders.

In 2019, Yury Garavsky, who fled Belarus, claimed to be a member of Lukashenko’s death squads in an interview with Deutsche Welle and admitted to participating in the murders of Zakharenko and Honchar.

Korotkikh version

There is another link to Belarus in the events preceding Sheremet’s killing.

On the night before Sheremet’s murder, Sergei Korotkikh, a Belarusian national and member of the Azov volunteer battalion, and other Azov fighters visited Sheremet’s house. The violent and controversial background of Korotkikh, a neo-Nazi, has attracted attention to him since then.

Korotkikh has denied having anything to do with Sheremet’s murder and has called him a friend of his.

Korotkikh is a friend and cousin of former Belarusian police officer Valery Ignatovych, who has been convicted for kidnapping in 2000 Sheremet’s cameraman and friend Zavadsky, who disappeared and is believed to be dead.

Oleh Odnorozhenko, a former leader of Azov, has claimed that Sheremet had a conflict with Korotkikh and other Azov members on the eve of the murder.

Korotkikh’s background is full of various links to Belarusian intelligence agencies, which prompted speculation that he could have acted in their interests. He denies this.

He served in Belarus’ military intelligence in 1992 to 1994 and enrolled at the Belarusian KGB school in 1994.

Korotkikh was also accused of beating up a group of Belarusian opposition activists in 1999 and assaulting Belarusian anti-fascists in 2013.

However, the Ukrainian police has so far failed to investigate the Belarusian version of Sheremet’s murder.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, whose police force is investigating the case, has explicit links to Azov, which is part of his ministry. Several Azov leaders, including Korotkikh, have also worked as top police officials, and Korotkikh is a personal friend of Avakov’s son Oleksandr.

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Iran Head Nuclear Scientist Assassinated

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday blamed Israel for killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist,

Debris litters a street on which a black car riddled with bullet holes sits. Law enforcement officials mill around in green and tan uniforms.

The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed near Tehran on Friday, authorities said, just weeks after an international monitoring agency confirmed that the country had taken new steps in its nuclear development, moving even further past limits on nuclear research imposed by a now discarded 2015 nuclear deal.

Prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in an undated photo

According to Iran’s Defense Ministry, Fakhrizadeh was ambushed by gunmen while traveling to a town about 40 miles away from Tehran, and died after being taken to a hospital. Gunmen waited along the road and attacked Mr. Fakhrizadeh as his car was driving through the countryside town of Absard, in the Damavand region.

Map showing Absard and location of killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

A 2011 IAEA report described him as the AMAD Plan’s “Executive Officer”, a central figure in suspected Iranian work to develop technology and skills needed for atomic bombs, and suggested he may still have a role in such activity.

The NCRI said in the report that Fakhrizadeh was born in 1958 in the Shia Muslim holy city of Qom, was a deputy defence minister and a Revolutionary Guard brigadier-general, held a nuclear engineering doctorate and taught at Iran’s University of Imam Hussein.

It was only long after Iran’s nuclear weapons program was formally abandoned that Western organizations publicly identified him as a key figure in the effort. “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a presentation on Iran’s covert program in 2018.

Some analysts compared the importance of Fakhrizadeh’s death within Iran to that of the more well-known Qasem Soleimani, the notorious — and for many iconic — leader of Iran’s clandestine operations abroad, who was assassinated in a U.S. airstrike while visiting Baghdad in January.

“They were parallel in terms of seniority and prestige within Iran, though they were doing two totally different things,” said Simon Henderson, an expert on the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The killing of Mr. Fakhrizadeh comes just two weeks after intelligence officials confirmed that Al Qaeda’s second-highest leader was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by Israeli assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, at the behest of the United States.

The former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, said the killing of the scientist was a “criminal” and “highly reckless” act that risks inflaming conflict in the region.

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Belarus – Ukrainian View For Lukashenko

Social media is awash with photos of protests and a stolen election by President Lukashenko. Many feel Svetlana Tikhanovskaya won the election easily. After the election, her whereabouts were not known even to her staff.  She Emerged safe in Lithuania. Her blogger husband is in jail still. She was forced to prisoner statements in order to go out of the country. 



“What’s happening now is not worth a single lost life » Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. In her coerced video address, Svetlana said ‘I wish no one the choice I faced. Kids are the most important thing in life’

tikhanovskaya aug 17 2020 101

It would seem that another Maiden will happen in Belarus like Ukraine. Most rulers do not leave voluntarily. Hussian, Assad, Khadaffi stayed despite the protests and violence and war.

alexander taraikovsky aug 17 2020 100

A Belarusian man, Alexander Taraikovsky, was shot at close range by police. He later died. Several protesters have been beaten as shown by Nexta.


Gerry Kasparov – Belarusians are risking their lives to protest a corrupt autocracy, as Ukrainians did in 2014. They should have the support of the entire free world, as their dictator has the support of other dictatorships.

Exactly 40 years ago, workers went on strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, marking the beginning of the Solidarność movement. Today, 40 years later we see workers of various enterprises going on strike across Belarus. 


Tens of thousands in Grodno. This rally is equal to the one in Minsk. And we are talking about a regional city, not the capital. Processes in the regions are extremely important. It’s easy to disperse a protest in Minsk, but hard in the whole country


Today, Lukashenko met with workers. They start chanting Uhodi (Go away).

I interviewed several Ukrainians who are watching the news with great interest. The dissenting voice that is for Lukashenko is there but not published. Here are the comments.

He has been holding Belarus since 1994

In Belarus, the only ones who have farms, factories

And there is always order

All who will become the new president of Belarus

They will begin to rob and sell Belarus

He holds the power and pays people well

The Belarusian people do not go abroad to work, as Ukraine does

But our Ukraine, against Belarus in a big ass

I would very much like Lukashenka to be our president

Then our officials would become poor immediately

Our deputies have a salary in dollars

We do not have a job in Ukraine

People all from Ukraine go abroad for a better life

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Russian Bounties on USA Soldiers

United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter.

US intelligence agencies were tipped off to the Russian program by the discovery by US special forces of a large amount of American cash at a Taliban outpost.

Last year, 23 U.S. troops died in Afghanistan, but whether any were targeted by Taliban fighters paid by Russian operatives isn’t known, the military official said.

The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said

At issue is a secretive unit of the GRU that, according to Western officials, has conducted sometimes clandestine lethal operations against Moscow’s adversaries. The same unit, they said, was responsible for the poisoning in the U.K. of Sergei Skripal, a former GRU officer who defected to Britain, and his daughter. Russia has denied involvement.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied that the insurgents have “any such relations with any intelligence agency” and called the report an attempt to defame them. “We strongly reject this allegation. The nineteen-year Jihad of the Islamic Emirate is not indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country and neither is the Islamic Emirate in need of anyone in specifying objectives,”

The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

Intelligence officials believe that militants did collect some of the bounty money after completing successful operations against coalition forces, but it’s not yet clear if any of the deaths of the 20 American servicemembers who were killed in combat in Afghanistan last year are linked to the Russian operation.


Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in his own statement late Saturday that he had “confirmed that neither the President nor the Vice President were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, on Friday denounced the Times report as “baseless allegations” that have led to death threats against Russian diplomats in Washington and London.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the story “illustrates the low intellectual abilities of propagandists from American intelligence, who instead of inventing something more reliable have to come up with such nonsense. . . . However, what else can be expected from intelligence, which miserably failed the twenty-year war in Afghanistan.”

While Moscow’s motives for allegedly offering bounties were not immediately clear, officials said they might include retaliation for the U.S. military’s 2018 killing of Russian mercenary troops working for Yevgeniy Prigozhin, an oligarch with links to Putin, in Syria, or simply, as one official put it, an attempt to “muddy the negotiations on Afghanistan by throwing a stick in that.”

In Syria on Feb. 7 2018, U.S. troops and their Syrian allies near the town of Deir al-Zour were attacked by hundreds of fighters loyal to the Syrian regime. The Americans responded with a devastating counterattack that the United States said left about 100 dead.

Soon, the situation was complicated further by reports that Russian mercenaries had taken part in the attack and were among the dead — making it the deadliest U.S.-Russia clash since the Cold War.


The mercenary firm is named Wagner, and it has been linked to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch who was recently indicted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for an alleged role in “information warfare” ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989, the U.S. government provided weaponry and funds to Afghan mujahideen rebels fighting against Soviet forces.



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Time for a Nuclear Accident?

  • Fukushima Daiichi. Fukushima, Japan, March 2011. …
  • Chernobyl. Chernobyl, Ukraine (former Soviet Union), April 26, 1986. …
  • Three Mile Island. Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA, March 28, 1978. …
  • Enrico Fermi Unit 1. Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan, USA, October 5, 1966. …
  • SL-1.January 3, 1961
  • Sodium Reactor Experiment. July 1959
  • Windscale. October 10, 1957

Major Nuclear accidents are rare.

When I was in the nuclear plants in the 1980s, there was no thought of how long they can last. Now we are 40 years in the nuclear operation.

Can the issue of fatigue of metal, concrete, graphite, and nuclear fuel last before an unexpected failure occurs.

How much of the equipment is 40 years old?

Perhaps it is time for an independent assessment of the sustainability of the reactors.

Not from the industry. Those knowledgeable of a worst safety scenario in system safety.


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Bolivia Chaos

Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced his resignation, seeking to calm the country after weeks of unrest over a disputed election that he had claimed to win.

Morales said he was stepping down “for the good of the country,” which has been roiled by protests in the days following the October 20 election. Three people have died in the protests and hundreds have been injured.

Demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition had accused electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favor of Morales, the country’s longtime socialist leader. Morales denied the allegations but declared himself the winner.

Morales was one of the longest-serving heads of state in Latin America. He had served nearly 14 years and was Bolivia’s first indigenous president.

Morales called earlier in the day for urgent, open-ended dialogue with opposition parties holding seats in the National Assembly, but he pointedly excluded the powerful regional civic committees opposing him.

An opposition leader, former president Carlos Mesa, immediately rejected Morales’s gesture, saying, “We have nothing to negotiate with Evo Morales and his government.”

A police rebellion erupted Friday among an elite tactical operations unit called UTOP in the central city of Cochabamba. It then spread to units in Sucre, the constitutional capital, and Santa Cruz, a bastion of opposition strength in the east.

In a damning report, the Organization of American States (OAS) said on Sunday that Morales’ election victory should be annulled due to irregularities and a new ballot held.

The OAS announcement sparked off a dramatic day as key allies – including minister, regional governors and government legislators – stepped down. The military also called on Morales to resign for the good of the country.

Morales – a 60-year-old former union leader who remains popular with many Bolivians, particularly in poorer rural areas – had earlier agreed to the new vote, but for many around the country that was not enough.

Amid clashes in the streets between supporters of Morales and opposition protesters, some said they could see no easy resolution to the worst crisis in decades in the nation of 11 million people.

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CIA Ukraine Whistleblower complaint



August 12, 2019

The Honorable Richard Burr
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
The Honorable Adam Schiff
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives
Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff:

I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment.

In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.

Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business. It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.
I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” consistent with the definition of an “urgent concern” in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G). I am therefore fulfilling my duty to report this information, through proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities.

I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.

The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Page 1
1 In the complaint, the whistle-blower said he had heard from other officials that Mr. Trump, in his July 25 call, urged the Ukrainian president to work with Attorney General William P. Barr in investigating the Bidens.
The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Page 1
See Original Document

To the best of my knowledge, the entirety of this statement is unclassified when separated from the classified enclosure. I have endeavored to apply the classification standards outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13526 and to separate out information that I know or have reason to believe is classified for national security purposes.

If a classification marking is applied retroactively, I believe it is incumbent upon the classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied, and to which specific information it pertains.
I. The 25 July Presidential phone call
Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I do not know which side initiated the call. This was the first publicly acknowledged call between the two leaders since a brief congratulatory call after Mr. Zelenskyy won the presidency on 21 April.

Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:

initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.
Apart from the information in the Enclosure, it is my belief that none of the information contained herein meets the definition of “classified information” outlined in EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.1. There is ample open-source information about the efforts I describe below, including statements by the President and Mr. Giuliani. In addition, based on my personal observations, there is discretion with respect to the classification of private comments by or instructions from the President, including his communications with foreign leaders; information that is not related to U.S. foreign policy or national security—such as the information contained in this document, when separated from the Enclosure—is generally treated as unclassified. I also believe that applying a classification marking to this information would violate EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.7, which states: “In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; [or] (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”

It is unclear whether such a Ukrainian investigation exists. See Footnote #7 for additional information.

I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine. (See, for example, his comments to Fox News on 20 July: “And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn’t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC?”)


Page 2
Page 2
See Original Document

The President also praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position. (Note: Starting in March 2019, Mr. Lutsenko made a series of public allegations—many of which he later walked back—about the Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials’ purported involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, and the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. See Part IV for additional context.)

The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.

The Ukrainian side was the first to publicly acknowledge the phone call. On the evening of 25 July, a readout was posted on the website of the Ukrainian President that contained the following line (translation from original Russian-language readout):

“Donald Trump expressed his conviction that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”
Aside from the above-mentioned “cases” purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016 U.S. election, I was told by White House officials that no other “cases” were discussed.

Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call — a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary. The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.

In addition to White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
I was not the only non-White House official to receive a readout of the call. Based on my understanding, multiple State Department and Intelligence Community officials were also briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.
II. Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call
In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.

White House officials told me that they were “directed” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.

Page 3
2 In a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, Mr. Trump brought up American aid to that country — without explicitly mentioning that he had just frozen a military aid package of hundreds of millions of dollars — and then pressed the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden. White House officials believed they had witnessed Trump abuse his power for personal political gain.
3 The whistle-blower writes that White House lawyers “directed” White House officials to remove records of the July 25 call from the system where such documents are normally stored and place it instead in a system for storing highly classified information, like files related to covert actions, even though it did not meet the criteria, in order to limit the number of officials who could see it.
Page 3
See Original Document

Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call, such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.

III. Ongoing concerns
On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy and a variety of Ukrainian political figures. Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and Sondland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to “navigate” the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.

I also learned from multiple U.S. officials that, on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President Zelenskyy’s advisers, Andriy Yermak. The U.S. officials characterized this meeting, which was not reported publicly at the time, as a “direct follow-up” to the President’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy about the “cases” they had discussed.

Separately, multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.
I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr. Giuliani, but I was told separately by multiple U.S. officials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel to Washington in mid-August.
On 9 August, the President told reporters: “I think [President Zelenskyy] is going to make a deal with President Putin, and he will be invited to the White House. And we look forward to seeing him. He’s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come. And I think he will. He’s a very reasonable guy. He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

IV. Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call
Beginning in late March 2019, a series of articles appeared in an online publication called The Hill. In these articles, several Ukrainian officials — most notably, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — made a series of allegations against other Ukrainian officials and current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Lutsenko and his colleagues alleged, inter alia:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019, and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelenskyy adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.


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that they possessed evidence that Ukrainian officials — namely, Head of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Member of Parliament Serhiy Leshchenko — had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, allegedly in collaboration with the DNC and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv;
that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv — specifically, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s organization for its poor record on fighting corruption — had allegedly obstructed Ukrainian law enforcement agencies’ pursuit of corruption cases, including by providing a “do not prosecute” list, and had blocked Ukrainian prosecutors from traveling to the United States expressly to prevent them from delivering their “evidence” about the 2016 U.S. election; and
that former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to fire then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board the former Vice President’s son, Hunter, sat.
In several public comments, Mr. Lutsenko also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.

The allegations by Mr. Lutsenko came on the eve of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on 31 March. By that time, Mr. Lutsenko’s political patron, President Poroshenko, was trailing Mr. Zelenskyy in the polls and appeared likely to be defeated. Mr. Zelenskyy had made known his desire to replace Mr. Lutsenko as Prosecutor General. On 21 April, Mr. Poroshenko lost the runoff to Mr. Zelenskyy by a landslide. See Enclosure for additional information.

Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko are two of Mr. Lutsenko’s main domestic rivals. Mr. Lutsenko has no legal training and has been widely criticized in Ukraine for politicizing criminal probes and using his tenure as Prosecutor General to protect corrupt Ukrainian officials. He has publicly feuded with Mr. Sytnyk, who heads Ukraine’s only competent anticorruption body, and with Mr. Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist who has repeatedly criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s record. In December 2018, a Ukrainian court upheld a complaint by a Member of Parliament, Mr. Boryslav Rozenblat, who alleged that Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. election by publicizing a document detailing corrupt payments made by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych before his ouster in 2014. Mr. Rozenblat had originally filed the motion in late 2017 after attempting to flee Ukraine amid an investigation into his taking of a large bribe. On 16 July 2019, Mr. Leshchenko publicly stated that a Ukrainian court had overturned the lower court’s decision.

Mr. Lutsenko later told Ukrainian news outlet The Babel on 17 April that Ambassador Yovanovitch had never provided such a list, and that he was, in fact, the one who requested such a list.

Mr. Lutsenko later told Bloomberg on 16 May that former Vice President Biden and his son were not subject to any current Ukrainian investigations, and that he had no evidence against them. Other senior Ukrainian officials also contested his original allegations; one former senior Ukrainian prosecutor told Bloomberg on 7 May that Mr. Shokin in fact was not investigating Burisma at the time of his removal in 2016.

See, for example, Mr. Lutsenko’s comments to The Hill on 1 and 7 April and his interview with The Babel on 17 April, in which he stated that he had spoken with Mr. Giuliani about arranging contact with Attorney General Barr.

In May, Attorney General Barr announced that he was initiating a probe into the “origins” of the Russia investigation. According to the above-referenced OCCRP report (22 July), two associates of Mr. Giuliani claimed to be working with Ukrainian officials to uncover information that would become part of this inquiry. In an interview with Fox News on 8 August, Mr. Giuliani claimed that Mr. John Durham, whom Attorney General Barr designated to lead this probe, was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.” I do not know the extent to which, if at all, Mr. Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney General Barr or Mr. Durham.


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4 A widely criticized Ukrainian prosecutor piqued Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Giuliani’s interest by floating allegations to The Hill — but then backtracked. In the July 25 phone call, Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Mr. Lutsenko when he told the Ukrainian president that, “I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.”
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It was also publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had met on at least two occasions with Mr. Lutsenko: once in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February. In addition, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.
On 25 April in an interview with Fox News, the President called Mr. Lutsenko’s claims “big” and “incredible” and stated that the Attorney General “would want to see this.”
On or about 29 April, I learned from U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation that Ambassador Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington by senior State Department officials for “consultations” and would most likely be removed from her position.

Around the same time, I also learned from a U.S. official that “associates” of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.
On 6 May, the State Department announced that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be ending her assignment in Kyiv “as planned.”
However, several U.S. officials told me that, in fact, her tour was curtailed because of pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations. Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador Yovanovitch was “removed…because she was part of the efforts against the President.”
On 9 May, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to press the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations that would help the President in his 2020 reelection bid.

In his multitude of public statements leading up to and in the wake of the publication of this article, Mr. Giuliani confirmed that he was focused on encouraging Ukrainian authorities to pursue investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family.
On the afternoon of 10 May, the President stated in an interview with Politico that he planned to speak with Mr. Giuliani about the trip.
A few hours later, Mr. Giuliani publicly canceled his trip, claiming that Mr. Zelenskyy was “surrounded by enemies of the [U.S.] President…and of the United States.”
On 11 May, Mr. Lutsenko met for two hours with President-elect Zelenskyy, according to a public account given several days later by Mr. Lutsenko. Mr. Lutsenko publicly stated that he had told Mr. Zelenskyy that he wished to remain as Prosecutor General.

See, for example, the above-referenced articles in Bloomberg (16 May) and OCCRP (22 July).

I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.

See, for example, Mr. Giuliani’s appearance on Fox News on 6 April and his tweets on 23 April and 10 May. In his interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani stated that the President “basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer.” Mr. Giuliani also stated: “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do… There’s nothing illegal about it… Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy – I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”


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Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President. These officials also told me:

that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” to U.S. national security; and
that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.
During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July. I do not know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership, or when.) See Enclosure for additional information.

Shortly after President Zelenskyy’s inauguration, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani met with two other Ukrainian officials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Mr. Nazar Kholodnytskyy, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko. Both Mr. Kholodnytskyy and Mr. Telizhenko are allies of Mr. Lutsenko and made similar allegations in the above-mentioned series of articles in The Hill.

On 13 June, the President told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.

On 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: “New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery of Poroshenko. Time for leadership and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton people.”

In mid-July, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine. See Enclosure for additional information.

ENCLOSURE: Classified appendix


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5 The State Department saw Mr. Giuliani’s rogue outreach to Ukraine for Trump as a threat to national security. The whistle-blower recounts the struggles by the senior United States diplomats to deal with the confusion created by the president dispatching his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to pressure Ukrainian officials to develop dirt against the Bidens, both in the run-up to the July 25 call and its aftermath.
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August 12, 2019


(U) Supplementary classified information is provided as follows:

(U) Additional information related to Section II
(TS/■■■■■■■■■) According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President’s call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information, such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was “not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive—rather than national security sensitive—information.

(U) Additional information related to Section IV

(S/■■■■■■■■■) I would like to expand upon two issues mentioned in Section IV that might have a connection with the overall effort to pressure the Ukrainian leadership. As I do not know definitively whether the below-mentioned decisions are connected to the broader efforts I describe, I have chosen to include them in the classified annex. If they indeed represent genuine policy deliberations and decisions formulated to advance U.S. foreign policy and national security, one might be able to make a reasonable case that the facts are classified.

(S/■■■■■■■■■) I learned from U.S. officials that, on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President

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Zelenskyy’s inauguration on 20 May; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation instead. According to these officials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in office. I do not know how this guidance was communicated, or by whom. I also do not know whether this action was connected with the broader understanding, described in the unclassified letter, that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
( S/■■■■■■■■■) On 18 July, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed Departments and Agencies that the President “earlier that month” had issued instructions to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Neither OMB nor the NSC staff knew why this instruction had been issued. During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26 July, OMB officials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance had come directly from the President, but they still were unaware of a policy rationale. As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy, but I do not know how or when they learned of it.
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August 26, 2019


The Honorable Joseph Maguire
Director of National Intelligence (Acting)
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, D.C. 20511
Dear Acting Director Maguire:

(U) On Monday, August 12, 2019, the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) received information from an individual (hereinafter, the “Complainant”) concerning an alleged “urgent concern,” pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(A). The law requires that, “[n]ot later than the end of the 14-calendar-day period beginning on the date of receipt from an employee of a complaint or information under subparagraph A, the Inspector General shall determine whether the complaint or information appears credible.” For the reasons discussed below, among others, I have determined that the Complainant has reported an “urgent concern” that “appears credible.”

(U) As you know, the ICIG is authorized to, among other things, “receive and investigate … complaints or information from any person concerning the existence of an activity within the authorities and responsibilities of the Director of National Intelligence constituting a violation of laws, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety.” In connection with that authority, “[a]n employee of an element of the intelligence community, an employee assigned or detailed to an element of the intelligence community, or an employee of a contractor to the intelligence community who intends to report to Congress a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern may report such complaint or information” to the ICIG.

Classified By: ■■■■■■■■■

Derived From: ■■■■■■■■■

Declassify On: ■■■■■■■■■

(U) Id. at § 3033(k)(5)(B).

(U) Id. at § 3033(g)(3).

(U) Id. at § 3033(k)(5)(A).

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Inspector General Letter: Page 10
Inspector General Letter: Page 10
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(U) The term “urgent concern” is defined, in relevant part, as:

(U) A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.

(U//FOUO) The Complainant’s identity is known to me. As allowed by law, however, the Complainant has requested that the ICIG not disclose the Complainant’s identity at this time. For your information, the Complainant has retained an attorney, identified the attorney to the ICIG, and requested that the attorney be the Complainant’s point of contact in subsequent communications with the congressional intelligence committees on this matter.

(U//FOUO) As part of the Complainant’s report to the ICIG of information with respect to the urgent concern, the Complainant included a letter addressed to The Honorable Richard Burr, Chairman, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and The Honorable Adam Schiff, Chairman, U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (hereinafter, the “Complainant’s Letter”). The Complainant’s Letter referenced a separate, Classified Appendix containing information pertaining to the urgent concern (hereinafter, the “Classified Appendix”), which the Complainant also provided to the ICIG and which the Complainant intends to provide to Chairmen Burr and Schiff. The ICIG attaches hereto the Complainant’s Letter, addressed to Chairmen Burr and Schiff, and the Classified Appendix. The ICIG has informed the Complainant that the transmittal of information by the Director of National Intelligence related to the Complainant’s report to the congressional intelligence committees, as required by 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C), may not be limited to Chairmen Burr and Schiff.

(U) The Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix delineate the Complainant’s information pertaining to the urgent concern. According to the Complainant’s Letter, the actions described in the Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix] constitute ‘a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order,’” consistent with the definition of an “urgent concern” in 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G).

(U//FOUO) Upon receiving the information reported by the Complainant, the ICIG conducted a preliminary review to determine whether the report constituted “an urgent concern” under 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5). As part of the preliminary review, the ICIG confirmed that the Complainant is “[a]n employee of an element of the intelligence community, an employee

(U) Id. at § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i).

(U) Id. at § 3033(g)(3)(A).

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Page 11
6 This passage, which comes from the letter by Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, shows he withheld the identity of the whistle-blower when transmitting the complaint to Joseph Maguire, the director of national intelligence, with the expectation that Mr. Maguire would then send it to Congress under a whistle-blower law.
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assigned or detailed to an element of the intelligence community, or an employee of a contractor to the intelligence community.” The ICIG also confirmed that the Complainant intends to report to Congress the Complainant’s information relating to the urgent concern.

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) As stated above, to constitute an “urgent concern” under 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i), the information reported by the Complainant must constitute “[a] serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information.” Here, the Complainant’s Letter alleged, among other things, that the President of the United States, in a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on July 25, 2019, “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.” U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a foreign national, directly or indirectly, from making a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. Similarly, U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a person from soliciting, accepting, or receiving such a contribution or donation from a foreign national, directly or indirectly, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. Further, in the ICIG’s judgment, alleged conduct by a senior U.S. public official to seek foreign assistance to interfere in or influence a Federal election would constitute a “serious or flagrant problem [or] abuse” under 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i), which would also potentially expose such a U.S. public official (or others acting in concert with the U.S. public official) to serious national security and counterintelligence risks with respect to foreign intelligence services aware of such alleged conduct.

(U) In addition, the Director of National Intelligence has responsibility and authority pursuant to federal law and Executive Orders to administer and operate programs and activities related to potential foreign interference in a United States election. Among other

(U) Id. at § 3033(k)(5)(A).

(U) Id.

(U) The Complainant’s Classified Appendix appears to contain classified information involving an alleged “serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence,” as required by 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i).

(U) See, e.g., 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a)(1)(A); 11 C.F.R. § 110.2006).

(U) See, e.g., 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a)(2); 11 C.F.R. § 110.20(g).

(U) See, e.g., National Security Act of 1947, as amended; Exec. Order No. 12333, as amended, United States Intelligence Activities; Exec. Order No. 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election (Sept. 12, 2018).

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responsibilities and authorities, subject to the authority, direction, and control of the President, the Director of National Intelligence “shall serve as the head of the Intelligence Community, act as the principal adviser to the President, to the [National Security Council], and to the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to national security, and shall oversee and direct the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and execution of the National Intelligence Program budget.” Further, the United States Intelligence Community, “under the leadership of the Director [of National Intelligence],” shall “collect information concerning, and conduct activities to protect against, … intelligence activities directed against the United States.”

(U) More recently, in issuing Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election (Sept. 12, 2018), President Trump stated the following regarding foreign influence in United States elections:

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the ability of persons located, in whole or in part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
(TS/■■■■■■■■■) Exec. Order No. 12333 at § 1.3. In the Complainant’s Classified Appendix, the Complainant reported that officials from the Office of Management and Budget, in the days before and on the day after the President’s call on July 25, 2019, allegedly informed the “interagency” that the President had issued instructions to suspend all security assistance to Ukraine. The Complainant further alleges in the Classified Appendix that there might be a connection between the allegations concerning the substance of the President’s telephone call with the Ukrainian President on July 25, 2019, and the alleged action to suspend (or continue the suspension of all security assistance to Ukraine. If the allegedly improper motives were substantiated as part of a future investigation, the alleged suspension (or continued suspension) of all security assistance to Ukraine might implicate the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibility and authority with regard to implementing the National Intelligence Program and/or executing the National Intelligence Program budget.

(U) Exec. Order No. 12333 at § 1.4.

(U) Among other directives, the Executive Order requires the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies, not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, to “conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election,” and the “assessment shall identify, to the maximum extent ascertainable, the nature of any foreign interference and any methods employed to execute it, the persons involved, and the foreign government or governments that authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported it.” Exec. Order No. 13848 at § 1.(a).

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(U) Most recently, on July 19, 2019, as part of the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibility and authority to administer and operate programs and activities related to potential foreign interference in a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence announced the establishment of the Intelligence Community Election Threats Executive. In the words of then-Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats, who announced the establishment of the new position within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), “Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority for the IC.”15 A few days later, in an internal announcement for the ODNI, then-Director Coats stated, “I can think of no higher priority mission than working to counter adversary efforts to undermine the very core of our democratic process.”

(U) As a result, I have determined that the Complainant’s information would constitute an urgent concern, as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i), provided that I also determine that the information “appears credible,” as required by 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(B).

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) Based on the information reported by the Complainant to the ICIG and the ICIG’s preliminary review, I have determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the complaint relating to the urgent concern “appears credible.” The ICIG’s preliminary review indicated that the Complainant has official and authorized access to the information and sources referenced in the Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix, and that the Complainant has subject matter expertise related to much of the material information provided in the Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix. The Complainant’s Letter acknowledges that the Complainant was not a direct witness to the President’s telephone call with the Ukrainian President on July 25, 2019. Other information obtained during the ICIG’s preliminary review, however, supports the Complainant’s allegation that, among other things, during the call the President “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.” Further, although the ICIG’s preliminary review identified some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate, such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern “appears credible,” particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review.

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) As part of its preliminary review, the ICIG did not request access to records of the President’s July 25, 2019, call with the Ukrainian President. Based on the sensitivity of the alleged urgent concern, I directed ICIG personnel to conduct a preliminary review of the Complainant’s information. Based on the information obtained from the ICIG’s preliminary review, I decided that access to records of the telephone call was not necessary to make my

(U) ODNI News Release, Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats Establishes Intelligence Community Election Threats Executive (July 19, 2019).

(U) Memorandum from Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence, entitled, Designation of Intelligence Community Election Threats Executive and Assistant Deputy Director for Mission Integration (July 23, 2019).

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7 This passage, also from Mr. Atkinson’s letter, acknowledges that the whistle-blower did not have direct knowledge of the July 25 call and suggests that the whistle-blower may not support Mr. Trump politically.
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determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern “appears credible.” In addition, given the time consumed by the preliminary review, together with lengthy negotiations that I anticipated over access to and use of records of the telephone call, particularly for purposes of communicating a disclosure to the congressional intelligence committees, I concluded that it would be highly unlikely for the ICIG to obtain those records within the limited remaining time allowed by the statute. I also understood from the ICIG’s preliminary review that the National Security Council had already implemented special handling procedures to preserve all records of the telephone call.

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) Nevertheless, the ICIG understands that the records of the call will be relevant to any further investigation of this matter. For your information, the ICIG has sent concurrently with this transmittal a notice of a document access request and a document hold notice to the White House Counsel to request access to and the preservation of any and all records related to the President’s telephone call with the Ukrainian President on July 25, 2019, and alleged related efforts to solicit, obtain, or receive assistance from foreign nationals in Ukraine, directly or indirectly, in connection with a Federal election. The document access request and document hold notice were issued pursuant to the ICIG’s authority to conduct independent investigations and reviews on programs and activities within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence, which includes the authority for the ICIG to have “direct access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, or other materials that relate to the programs and activities with respect to which the Inspector General has responsibilities under this section.”

(U) Having determined that the complaint relating to the urgent concern appears credible, I am transmitting to you this notice of my determination, along with the Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix. Upon receipt of this transmittal, the Director of National Intelligence “shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.”

(U) 50 U.S.C. § 3033(g)(2)(C). The ICIG’s statutory right of access to those records is consistent with the statutory right of access to such records provided to the Director of National Intelligence. See 50 U.S.C. § 3024(b) (“Unless otherwise directed by the President, the Director of National Intelligence shall have access to all national intelligence and intelligence related to the national security which is collected by any Federal department, agency, or other entity, except as otherwise provided by law or, as appropriate, under guidelines agreed upon by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.”).

(U) See 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C). The ICIG notes that if the ICIG had determined the complaint was not an “urgent concern” or did not “appear[] credible,” the statute would require the Director of National Intelligence to transmit the same information to the same congressional intelligence committees in the same time period, and provides the Complainant with the right “to submit the complaint or information to Congress by contacting either or both of the congressional intelligence committees directly,” id. at 3033(k)(5)(D)(i), subject to direction from the Director of National Intelligence, through the ICIG, “on how to contact the congressional intelligence committees in accordance with appropriate security practices,” id. at § 3033(k)(5)(D)(ii).

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Because the ICIG has the statutory responsibility to “notify an employee who reports a complaint or information” to the ICIG concerning an urgent concern “of each action taken” with respect to the complaint or information “not later than 3 days after any such action is taken,” I respectfully request that you provide the ICIG with notice of your transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees not later than 3 days after the transmittal is made to them. In addition, as required by the statute, the ICIG is required to notify the Complainant not later than 3 days after today’s date of my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern appears credible and that the ICIG transmitted on today’s date notice of that determination to the Director of National Intelligence, along with the Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix.

(U) If you have any questions or require additional information concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely yours,


Michael K. Atkinson
Inspector General
of the Intelligence Community
(U) Enclosures (Complainant’s Letter and Classified Appendix) (Documents are TS/■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■)

This Letter is TOP SECRET / ■■■■■■■■■ when detached from the Enclosures

(U) 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(E).

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Multiple explosions hit Saudi Aramco oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil refineries in Saudi Arabia.

Drone strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities have disrupted about half of the kingdom’s oil capacity or 5% of the daily global oil supply.

In a statement on Sunday, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that 5.7 million barrels a day of crude oil and gas production have been affected. The latest OPEC figures from August 2019 put the total Saudi production at 9.8 million barrels per day.
The energy minister said the “company is currently working to recover the lost quantities” of oil and will update the public within the next two days. “These attacks are not only aimed at the vital installations of the kingdom, but also on the global oil supply and its security, and thus pose a threat to the global economy.”
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CIA reportedly removed top spy from Russia

The US reportedly had to remove a key spy from Russia over concerns that President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the most sensitive intelligence might put the person in danger.

In a stunning Monday morning report, CNN’s Jim Sciutto detailed how US intelligence officials were so worried that Trump might accidentally expose the covert asset’s identity that they launched a secret mission to extract the person from Russia in 2017.

That was not a trivial decision, as apparently this person — whose identity remains unknown but who reportedly worked inside the Russian government — was vital to understanding the inner workings of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

Those concerns continued to grow in the period after Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Kislyak and Lavrov. Weeks after the decision to extract the spy, in July 2017, Trump met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg and took the unusual step of confiscating the interpreter’s notes. Afterward, intelligence officials again expressed concern that the President may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia, according to an intelligence source with knowledge of the intelligence community’s response to the Trump-Putin meeting.

At the time, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo told other senior Trump administration officials that too much information was coming out regarding the covert source, known as an asset. An extraction, or “exfiltration” as such an operation is referred to by intelligence officials, is an extraordinary remedy when US intelligence believes an asset is in immediate danger.


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