*SEQUENCE OF EVENTS*
1. Whistleblower goes to CIA's top lawyer.
2. CIA's top lawyer inappropriately goes to White House.
3. CIA's top lawyer inappropriately goes to DOJ.
4. Seeing the CIA has asked the two subjects of the complaint what to do, the whistleblower goes to Congress.
*GOP PLAYBOOK IN THIS SITUATION*
The GOP will try to do to the whistleblower what it tried to do to Steele—it will seek to convince America that a whistleblower who responds to a *mishandled* complaint by seeking another appropriate party to confer with is a political operative.
1. Experts say HPSCI is explicitly an entity a whistleblower can go to—so even once you understand the order of events, be aware this is considered acceptable procedure.
2. This holds even if a whistleblower only knows the CIA is delaying—not who it conferred with first.
Read the DNI guidelines on whistleblowers and you'll realize this NYT story is a *non-story*. The whistleblower acted appropriately, and so did Schiff in not leaking the vague info he had—*and* in pushing to make the information public. Don't let this news distract you.
*TRUMP KNOWS THIS IS A NONSTORY*
NYT: "The aide—following committee procedures—suggested the officer find a lawyer and meet with an IG. The aide DIDN'T SHARE THE WHISTLEBLOWER'S IDENTITY with Schiff."
TRUMP (desperate): "Schiff helped [the whistleblower] write [the complaint]."
Just as it's silly—and *corrupt*—to blame Steele for speaking to a member of the media given that the FBI *lied* to the media about what Steele told the FBI, it's silly and *corrupt* to attack whistleblowers for being *correctly* concerned if/when a complaint is mishandled.
You can follow @SethAbramson.
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