A complaint filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) alleges the original Trump-Ukraine “whistleblower” is soliciting illicit donations through a GoFundMe account.
Per DailyCaller, federal law prevents government employees from soliciting donations “given because of the employee’s official position” or donations from “prohibited sources,” meaning individuals who may have been substantially affected by the employee’s performance or agency. The complaint argues that the GoFundMe donations were clearly made due to the whistleblower’s “status, authority or duties,” and that the 6,000 donors couldn’t possibly have been screened to make sure they aren’t prohibited sources.
The GoFundMe notably states “A U.S. intelligence officer… needs your help,” citing the cost of lawyers for the anonymous whistleblower, according to the complaint.
On September 25th, Whistleblower lawyer Andrew Bakaj tweeted:
“Please help support the Intelligence Community Whistleblower raise funds via @wbaidlaw – this is a tax-deductible contribution. My sincerest thank you for your support.”
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) September 26, 2019
The tweet links to a gofundme “Help the Intel Community Whistleblowers.”
So far over $227k has been raised of a $300k goal.
FoxNews reports a newly filed complaint to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) alleges that the whistleblower whose allegations touched off House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry may have violated federal law by indirectly soliciting more than a quarter-million dollars from mostly anonymous sources via a GoFundMe page.
The complaint, which was filed last week and obtained by Fox News, alleged the donations from roughly 6,000 individuals “clearly constitute” gifts to a current intelligence official that may be restricted because of the employee’s official position pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.203 and other statutes. To date, the GoFundMe has raised over $227,000.
The complaint also raised the possibility that some of the donations may have come from prohibited sources, and asked the ICIG to look into whether any “foreign citizen or agent of a foreign government” contributed.
Tully Rinckey PLLC, the law firm representing the individual reporting the allegations, is closely guarding the identity of their client, though Fox News is told the individual is the holder of a top-secret SCI security clearance and has served in government.
“I have not seen anything on this scale,” Anthony Gallo, the managing partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC, told Fox News, referring to the fundraising. “It’s not about politics for my client — it’s whistleblower-on-whistleblower, and [my client’s] only interest is to see the government ethics rules are being complied with government-wide.”
Fox News reported in September that the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid worked with the whistleblower’s attorneys at the Compass Rose Legal Group to start the GoFundMe.
The whistleblower’s attorneys have called the GoFundMe a way to “help support the Intelligence Community Whistleblower [to] raise funds,” and the GoFundMe page itself states that “A U.S. intelligence officer… needs your help” in the form of a “crowdfunding effort to support the whistleblower’s lawyers.”
The fundraising page claims that “donations will only be accepted from U.S. citizens.” But, the majority of the GoFundMe donors to the whistleblower’s campaign were not named, and legal experts have told Fox News that the ICIG likely would need to subpoena the website to obtain more information on their origins.
Asked about the complaint, whistleblower attorney Andrew Bakaj maintained that the fundraising has complied with the law.
“Any fundraising efforts for the Intelligence Community Whistleblower have complied with federal laws, including ethics requirements. Should any governmental agency properly inquire we would, of course, cooperate,” he said in a statement to Fox News.
Read more here.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com