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Whistleblower's Lawyer: Report of Ties to Biden Misleading

Whistleblower's legal team pushes back
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2019 7:00 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall on Thursday in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – On Wednesday, President Trump made another accusation against the Ukraine-call whistleblower—and the whistleblower's legal team is pushing back. The president's assertion: that "the Whistleblower has ties to one of my DEMOCRAT OPPONENTS," leading to a "conflict of interest." The Washington Examiner notes Trump's comments appear to have been spurred by an Examiner report that Michael Atkinson, the intel community's inspector general, told Congress the whistleblower had a "professional relationship" or "prior working relationship" with a 2020 Democratic candidate. Sources later told the Examiner that candidate is Joe Biden. There was also supposed proof of bias due to the whistleblower reportedly being a registered Democrat.

ABC News reports the whistleblower showed "some indicia of an arguable political bias," per the IG. But it also notes the IG found the whistleblower's complaint "credible," and that Trump's complaints of a "highly partisan" whistleblower "aren't supported by the facts known so far." "First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party," attorney Mark Zaid tweeted. "Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch" and "come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials—not as candidates." An ex-CIA officer agrees, telling the Examiner the whistleblower "would have worked with Biden not in some partisan political sense but as a member of the government. It is scurrilous to suppose there was a political motivation." (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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