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ICIG complaint alleges Trump-Ukraine whistleblower could solicit illicit donations

EXCLUSIVE: A recent complaint filed with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) alleges that the whistleblower whose allegations were brought as a result of the Democrats' indictment investigation of the House allegedly violated federal law by indirectly seeking more than a quarter of a million dollars from mostly anonymous sources via a GoFundMe page.

The complaint, filed last week and obtained by Fox News, alleged that donations of about 6,000 people "clearly constituted" gifts to an intelligence officer in office who may be subject to because of the official position of the employee under 5 CFR 2635.203 and other laws. To date, GoFundMe has raised more than $ 227,000.

READ COMPLAINT

The complaint also raises the possibility that some of the donations come from prohibited sources and asks the ICIG to check whether a "foreign citizen or an agent of a foreign government" has contributed.

Tully Rinckey PLLC, the law firm representing the person reporting the allegations, closely monitors his client's identity, although Fox News has learned that this person holds a very secret ICS security clearance and served in government.

"I have not seen anything of this scale," Anthony Gallo, managing partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC, told Fox News about the fundraiser. "This is not a policy for my client, it is a whistleblower and the only interest of (my client) is to see the government's ethical rules comply with the law." whole of government. "

"THE COUP HAS STARTED", ANNOUNCER OF THE PROSECUTOR OF THE ANNOUNCER IN ANNOUNCEMENT IN 2017

In September, Fox News announced that the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid had worked with the whistleblower's lawyers at the Compass Rose Legal Group to launch the GoFundMe program.

The Launcher's Attorneys called the GoFundMe is a way "to help support the whistleblower of the intelligence community (for) fundraising," and the GoFundMe page itself says that a "US intelligence officer … has need your help "in the form of a" crowdfunding effort to support the whistleblower ". lawyers. "

The fundraising page states that "donations will only be accepted by US citizens". But the majority of GoFundMe donors to the campaign's boosters have not been named, and legal experts told Fox News that ICIG would probably need to assign the website to get more information about their origins.

It's a whistleblower.

– Anthony Gallo, Managing Partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC

Fox News has sought the advice of the whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, who is reviewing the complaint. The ICIG office declined to comment when it was contacted by Fox News.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) warned federal government employees earlier this year that "they could not accept any gifts because of the official position of the employee", which means that the gift would not have been offered if the employee had not obtained the status, authority or tasks associated with the employee's federal position. "

The OGE also warned that gifts may not be accepted from "prohibited sources", including those who "conduct activities regulated by the agency of the employee" or who "have interests who may be affected by the performance or non-performance of the official duties of the employee. "

ICIG 's new complaint alleged that the donations through the GoFundMe page were a "gift" to a federal employee and that they had been made because of "status, status," or "status". authority or duties "of the whistleblower. In addition, the whistleblower and his legal team seemed to exploit their access to classified information.

"(M) your client believes … that the federal employee you protect and his lawyers seem to have strategically armed their alleged whistleblowing activities into a very lucrative business generating money by using a charity incorporated under a name other than its trading name use for fundraising purposes, which would appear to my client as a manifest abuse of the authority of the federal employee and the access to confidential information, "wrote Gallo in his letter to ICIG Michael Atkinson, the same government watchdog that had received the complaint against Ukraine's whistleblower.

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This paragraph referred to Whistleblower Aid, also known as Values ​​United, co-founded by Zaid. (Values ​​United's tax records indicate that it paid $ 258,085 for advertising and advisory services to the West End Strategy Team, whose founder, Matt Dorf, was quoted on the group's website, affirming that "it influences progressive politics, skillfully orienting the conversation to achieve the goals of West End customers". ")

"We ask you to investigate whether a federal employee whom you protect has violated (criminal laws or regulations) while he would have asked for an investigation into a case of which he had no direct personal knowledge, and for which he was able to obtain important gifts from strangers because of their official duties, "concluded Mr. Gallo.

Mark Zaid is one of the whistleblower's lawyers.

Mark Zaid is one of the whistleblower's lawyers.

The Ukrainian Launcher's complaint – concerning President Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce politically advantageous investigations – has sparked an impeachment investigation that will move to a public phase this week with the launch of the House hearings. Trump's GOP allies, however, sought to learn more about the motivations of the whistleblowers and Trump himself criticized Zaid – after Fox News reported last week that the lawyer had tweeted the beginning of a "coup d'etat" against the president in 2017.

Zaid then defended the tweets as reflecting "the feelings of millions of people" at the time. The law firm also asked the White House to stop attacking the whistleblower, warning that Trump's rhetoric and activities put the person at risk.

In the meantime, the latest complaint filed by ICIG indicated that the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service had been informed.

GoFundMe's campaigns have been gaining popularity in recent months, with former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and former FBI agent Peter Strzok having each set up campaigns that allowed to raise tens of thousands of dollars.

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But these campaigns began after McCabe and Strzok left the government department, making GoFundMe's whistleblower a unique fundraising effort. Fox News is told that ICIG generally responds quickly to complaints.

"I hope the measures will be taken quickly," Gallo told Fox News. "The time has come to solve these problems."

Ronn Blitzer of Fox News contributed to this report.

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