As I reported Thursday, The CIA whistleblower on President Trump’s telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is believed to be Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
Cohen-Watnick was the former national security aide to Trump — who was pushed out of the administration by incoming National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in September 2017.
Cohen-Watnick, at Trump’s insistence, was then hired by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s office in April 2018 to be the Justice Department’s national security advisor. This move is believed to be one of the reasons McMaster stepped down in the same month.
Many White House observers believed Cohen-Watnick, 33, was Trump’s fair-haired advisor having come to the administration with Lt. Gen Michael Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Cohen-Watnick earlier in his brief career trained at the CIA facility Camp Peary, known as The Farm. He also did a tour in Afghanistan before working under Flynn.
Cohen-Watnick had a good working relationship with fellow-Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the current ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee. Both men were actively pursuing separately the use of intelligence agencies spying on Trump administration officials.
While some believe the source of the tip was Michael Barry, Cohen-Watnick’s replacement as Senior Director for Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council, I believe Cohen-Watnick fits the profile. I say this especially if this turns out to be another futile attempt to sling mud on the administration.
Look at the chain of events following the the phone call.
The White House is notified by Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire that a they received a whistleblower report concerning the phone call.
The Trump legal team requests time to determine if Executive Privilege is to be used before reporting it to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.
The White House then releases both the transcript of the call and the whistleblower letter.
The transcript taken in its entirety, which did not happen in most of the news reports, shows no quid pro quo.
The whistleblower letter states that the information about the call comes from second-hand conversations with no direct knowledge.
This appears to add up to another loss on the Democrats impeachment push.
However the upside for the White House on releasing the transcript of the call is that it uncovered further information on Joe Biden’s and Hillary Clinton’s ties to Ukraine prior to the 2016 election.
That could be called 4-D Chess.