Several mainstream media outlets are in full attack-mode against President Trump for Tweets he made over the weekend that name CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal. There are stories galore about the flurry of Tweets the President made, noting how many of the accounts he Tweeted were “questionable.” Twitter even suspended several of them shortly after the President retweeted them.
When the media universally condemns something like this, they usually received a mass memo from Democratic handlers. There’s a lot to unpack, here. Let’s start with “outing” Eric Ciaramella. Is it wrong for news outlets to name him as fitting all of the known facts about the whistleblower, many of which were initially reported by the NY Times? No. His name has been widely publicized as being the whistleblower based on a ton of circumstantial evidence, including a document naming him as relevant to the impeachment hearing released by Adam Schiff’s own office. The next obvious question is whether or not it’s legal for the President or anyone else in DC to name him. Again, the answer is no for everyone other than the inspector general or IG office staff. Even left-leaning FactCheck.org had to resort to obscure “expert” blog posts to cast any doubt on the issue before finally admitting it is not against the law unless there’s retribution.
The IC whistleblower statute “defines formal processes for submitting complaints that ensure the protection of any classified information,” the CRS report says, and the Inspector General Act specifically bars the inspectors general and their staffs from disclosing the identity of a whistleblower.
“The federal obstruction of justice law, which applies to ALL PEOPLE, government employees or not, protects whistleblowers from retaliation by making it a crime to retaliate,” Kohn said in his email to us. “Furthermore, ‘outing’ a CIA agent or intelligence community employee’s identity would have severe employment-related consequences and would unquestionably constitute a serious felony under federal law.”
That may be, but the act of obstructing a congressional investigation or illegally retaliating against a whistleblower is separate from the act of identifying the whistleblower, which is prohibited only for the inspectors general and their staffs.
But there’s another important angle that must be considered: The motives of the whistleblower himself. Ciaramella has made it clear since at least 2016 that he opposed the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency. He famously reported a claim that President Trump fired James Comey on the direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was quickly debunked, but not before it made headlines.
As I noted before regarding the whistleblower, it’s conspicuous that Ciaramella has multiple connections to potential election interference by Ukraine during the 2016 election. He has close ties to Alexandria Chalupa, who Glenn Beck exposed as a likely coordinator in the Ukrainian interference scheme in 2016 and beyond. Ciaramella was with Vice President Joe Biden on many trips to Ukraine, and may have visited more often. He is also knee-deep in other aspects of the Ukrainian government and, as a CIA analyst specializing in the former Soviet state, likely had very deep connections to officials there.
This is where it gets sticky. Nearly everyone has assumed that if Ciaramella is the whistleblower, then his motivation for blowing the whistle was to protect Biden. President Trump asked for two favors of President Zelensky during the infamous call that prompted the whistleblower complaint. He asked Ukraine to reopen their investigation into Burisma, the energy company accused of corruption that had Biden’s son, Hunter, on the board at the time. The President also asked Ukraine to assist with uncovering information of election interference from the previous administration there, interference that was exposed by… you guessed it… Glenn Beck.
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If there was election interference from Ukraine in 2016 and both Ciaramella and Chalupa were involved, we may all be working on the wrong assumptions. What if it’s not Biden that the whistleblower was trying to protect? What if he was protecting himself all along? If Ukraine’s current administration digs into election interference activities by the previous administration, there’s a good chance they would uncover some or all of the players from our side of the Atlantic. That could mean exposing Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC. It could mean exposing participants in the Deep State. It could mean exposing Eric Ciaramella himself.
Mainstream media has done a superb job of keeping us focused on quid pro quo, the Bidens, Schiff’s and Jerry Nadler’s two impeachment charges, and anything they can think of that paints President Trump in a negative light. Meanwhile, nobody is asking questions about the OTHER favor President Trump asked President Zelensky about. Are we all looking in the wrong direction? Is the real scandal sitting there on the other side of the transcript, the part that has nothing to do with the Bidens or Burisma? Did Ciaramella, with the help of Schiff, Nadler, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi play us all for fools?
Did we happily oblige?
All of that is fodder for those with higher investigative budgets. Here’s what I know for sure. The President Tweeting an article naming Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower is not illegal. Twitter banned several accounts the President retweeted. Since nobody is reporting why that happened, I posted a reply to CNN’s Brian Stelter for clarification.
Here's how it works, @brianstelter. Anyone who gets retweeted by the President gets their feed combed by ringleaders in large anti-Trump groups. They find something questionable in the feed, then coordinate a mass-reporting effort to get them suspended.
They troll to troll. Sad. https://t.co/PKMiKfXwgz
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) December 28, 2019
A few comments in Twitter questioned the validity of my claim, but I’ve seen it first hand. It’s real. They’re called “A/R” groups – Antagonize and Report. They troll pro-Trump accounts with comments on Tweets in hopes of getting someone to make a threat. Then, they post the threatening Tweet in their rooms for everyone to report at the same time. This triggers Twitter’s algorithm to flag the Tweet for manual review. If the threat or other form of response that falls within Twitter’s Terms of Service violations is sufficiently egregious, the account is suspended. They do this with any account, but they have extreme fervor when it’s an account the President retweets.
Why is all of this important? Because the multiple avenues through which the left is protecting Eric Ciaramella tell us there’s even more to the story than we’ve heard. Mainstream media is so adamant about keeping focus away from him that they’re making up excuses to give him the Voldemort treatment – “He Who Must Not Be Named.”
Social media companies are doing their part as well. Facebook will suspend any pages or accounts that mention the name. As we can see above, Twitter is quick to enforce any TOS violation on Tweets that mention him even though they do not have a ban on using the name. Yet. Democrats in Congress have jumped through erroneous legal hoops to keep him and his name out of the impeachment inquiry; Schiff even lied about knowing the whistleblower’s identity, let alone coordinating with him before the complaint was filed.
What if everyone is looking at Eric Ciaramella’s motives all wrong? It would explain why leftists on high are adamant about removing him from the impeachment picture altogether. I smell another Glenn Beck investigation in the making.
Update: It’s happening…
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) December 30, 2019