News & Politics

Exposing the 'Whistleblower': Judicial Watch Sues CIA, DOJ for Eric Ciaramella Docs

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Judicial Watch has filed two lawsuits after the CIA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the communications of Eric Ciaramella, a CIA employee who reportedly worked on Ukraine issues with both the Obama and Trump White Houses. Many outlets have named him as the “whistleblower” who coordinated with staffers for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) before filing a report on Trump’s Ukraine call, sparking the investigation that led to the president’s impeachment.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted an article claiming — once again — that Ciaramella was the impeachment “whistleblower.”

Previous reports have shown Ciaramella worked with former Vice President Joe Biden (and attended a State Department banquet at his invitation), the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate whose son is mentioned in the Ukraine call. Ciaramella was also cited in the Mueller report. When DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed horrific FBI abuses in the FISA warrants obtained to spy on members of the Trump campaign in 2016, his report drew attention to the Obama administration’s targeting of political opponents in that election — potentially involving Ciaramella.

Democrats have insisted that the “whistleblower” is sacrosanct, and indeed it is important that the government not retaliate against civil servants reporting true corruption. However, this “whistleblower” report seems extremely politically motivated — and after the House impeachment vote, it has become important to understand the true origins of the impeachment push, even just for purposes of history. Furthermore, the same Democrats who sermonize about this whistleblower did not condemn the Obama administration’s constant attacks on whistleblowers.

“There is significant public interest, thanks to the Obama Spygate scandal and the related abusive impeachment of President Trump, in what Eric Ciaramella was up to,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement on the lawsuits. “CIA operative Ciaramella is documented to be involved in the Russia collusion investigation, and was a key CIA operative on Ukraine in the both the Obama and Trump White Houses. Our lawsuits are designed to break through the unprecedented cover-up of his activities.”

The DOJ lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice) followed the DOJ’s refusal to respond to November 2019 FOIA requests for communications between Ciaramella and former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and/or the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The CIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency) followed the CIA’s refusal to respond to November 2019 FOIA requests seeking all of Ciaramella’s emails from June 1, 2016, to November 12, 2019.

The Mueller report cites two emails Ciaramella sent to then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, describing a meeting between Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak. The supposed “whistleblower” had drawn attention to the fact that the meeting date was confirmed on May 5, 2017, the same day Trump dictated ideas for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Information about that phone call was later leaked to The New York Times.

Judicial Watch compiled a list of persons Ciaramella met while in the Obama White House. The list includes: Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the Soros-funded Anticorruption Action Center (AntAC) in Ukraine; Gina Lentine, formerly the Eurasia program coordinator at Soros funded Open Society Foundations; and former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who had extensive involvement with Clinton-funded Steele dossier. Judicial Watch also revealed that Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election who coordinated with Ukrainians to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, visited the Obama White House 27 times.

From the FISA abuses involving the Obama administration spying on a political rival to the impeachment inquiry’s origins at the CIA, opponents of Donald Trump have weaponized the intelligence agencies for political purposes. It is high time for the American people to learn the truth behind this whistleblower, Spygate, and more.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.