Despite the best efforts of the Democrats to keep anonymous the name of the whistleblower who filed the complaint about US President Donald Trump's reported abuses of power, the name of the has surfaced.
According to findings by Real Clear Investigations (RCI), one person matches the description from the reports saying that the whistleblower was a CIA employee who recently left the White House - CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella.
The Democrats have not confirmed if he is the man. The whistleblower's lawyers, Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, have neither confirmed nor denied the report, but have condemned attempts to reveal the whistleblower's identity, which is protected under federal law.
"Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Such behaviour is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless", the statement said.
But if Ciaramella is the whistleblower behind the anti-Trump complaint, are White House accusations of him being biased unfounded? Sputnik gathered what little is known about Ciaramella.
Democrat Who Served Both Under Obama and Trump
Federal documents obtained by the RCI indicate that Ciaramella is a "registered Democrat", who worked at the National Security Council in the White House under the administration of US President Barack Obama. Ciaramella continued to do so after Trump moved in, finally leaving in the middle of 2017.
The fact that the whistleblower might have had an "arguable possible political bias" and that it was considered when his complaint was processed was acknowledged by the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson. Atkinson, however, pointed out that it had not affected the reception of the complaint.
"Although the ICIG’s [Intelligence Community Inspector General] preliminary review identified some indication of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favour 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", Atkinson said.
Left White House Over Allegations of Leaking Information
Ciaramella's work under Trump did not last long, as he soon departed to work for the CIA, although versions about how exactly he left the White House differ. According to RCI findings, Ciaramella left the White House over accusations of leaking information negatively depicting Trump and his administration to media.
The Foreign Policy journal, however, draw a different picture, saying that Ciaramella departed due to numerous threats he received after accusations about him leaking information were spread by a conservative blogger Mike Cernovich.
Worked With Joe Biden in Ukraine
Ciaramella worked with one of the key figures involved in the Trump Ukraine scandal and one of the president's possible opponents in the 2020 election – Joe Biden. The purported whistleblower worked on Ukrainian policy issues with Biden in 2015 and 2016, when the then-vice president was actively involved in this sphere of American foreign policy, the RCI revealed.
The outlet also revealed that Ciaramella was invited by Biden's office to a luncheon hosted for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in October 2016, a move unusual for a low-level federal employee, as Ciaramella was at the time. The event was attended by a number of high-ranking US officials who have played roles in investigations into Trump's activities in the past, including CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey. According to RCI sources, an invitation could only have been received by a person politically connected to the White House.
Connections to One of Impeachment Leaders
According to The New York Times report, the whistleblower went with his allegations about Trump to an unnamed aide of Representative Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence Committee and a man on the front lines of the Trump impeachment efforts. Findings by RCI and Heavy.com show that one such aide, Sean Misko, was Ciaramella's co-worker at the time when the latter worked at the National Security Council.
The NYT said in its report that the whistleblower consulted with a Schiff aide over his future actions before finally filing a complaint against Trump. The same report also said that some of the whistleblower's findings were relayed by the aide to Schiff.