“The identity of the anonymous whistleblower” who triggered impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump ” is an open secret inside the Beltway,” reported Real Clear Investigation reporter Paul Sperry.
Two months after the anonymous man denounced President Trump for misbehavior in a phone call he made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, “all that’s known publicly about him is that he is a CIA analyst who at one point was detailed to the White House and is now back working at the CIA,” Sperry wrote.
“But the name of a government official fitting that description—Eric Ciaramella—has been raised privately in impeachment depositions, according to officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings, as well as in at least one open hearing held by a House committee not involved in the impeachment inquiry,” the investigator said.
Two weeks ago, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who leads the impeachment inquiry, generated controversy by saying that since President Trump declassified the transcript of the call to the Ukrainian leader, he would prefer to keep the whistleblower anonymous.
“It may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that. And we’re going to make sure we protect that whistleblower,” he said in a CBS “Face the Nation” appearance.
“Fearing their anonymous witness could be exposed, Democrats this week blocked Republicans from asking more questions about him and intend to redact his name from all deposition transcripts,” Sperry continued in his Wednesday report.
“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the complainant’s lawyers replied to the Washington Examiner when asked if their client was Ciaramella.
He worked with Joe Biden and John Brennan
“Federal documents reveal that 33-year-old Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” Sperry added.
He also noted that Ciaramella left his seat on the White House West Wing National Security Council in mid-2017 amid concerns about media leaks. “He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” confirmed—according to Sperry—a former National Security Council official who preferred to remain anonymous.
“A CIA officer specializing in Russia and Ukraine, Ciaramella was detailed over to the National Security Council from the agency in the summer of 2015, working under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser,” adding that he also “worked closely with Joe Biden,” Sperry said.
“Former White House officials said Ciaramella worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016, when the vice president was President Obama’s “point man” for Ukraine. A Yale graduate, Ciaramella is said to speak Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Arabic. He had been assigned to the NSC by Brennan,” Sperry added.
For some, these facts would explain why Inspector General of Intelligence Michael Horowitz, stated in his original report, after receiving the anonymous complaint, that the whistleblower had “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate.”
“Federal records show that Biden’s office invited Ciaramella to an October 2016 state luncheon the vice president hosted for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Other invited guests included Brennan, as well as then-FBI Director James Comey and then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper,” Sperry continued.
“Several U.S. officials told RealClearInvestigations that the invitation that was extended to Ciaramella, a relatively low-level GS-13 federal employee, was unusual and signaled he was politically connected inside the Obama White House,” he said.