Five questions for Atkinson

Yesterday Senator Cotton sent a letter to Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson seeking answers to questions Atkinson evaded in his September 26 closed-door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to Senator Cotton, despite being in a closed session, Atkinson repeatedly refused to answer questions about the political bias of the “whistleblower.” (He adds that Atkinson later revealed it to the House Intelligence Committee.) The letter outlines Senator Cotton’s five outstanding questions to Atkinson and asks him to reply no later than the close of business tomorrow. The full text of the letter is posted here as follows:

Dear Inspector General Atkinson,

Your disappointing testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 26 was evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive. Despite repeated questions, you refused to explain what you meant in your written report by “indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” This information is, of course, unclassified and we were meeting in a closed setting. Yet you moralized about how you were duty bound not to share even a hint of this political bias with us.

But now I see media reports that you revealed to the House Intelligence Committee not only that the complainant is a registered Democrat, but also that he has a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential campaign. I’m dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with your refusal to answer my questions, while more fully briefing the three-ring circus that the House Intelligence Committee has become.

So, I will ask again and give you one more chance to answer: what are these “indicia of arguable political bias”? More specifically:

1. Does the complainant have (or did he once have) a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential candidate or campaign?

2. If so, which candidate or campaign and what is the nature of that relationship?

3. What other “indicia of arguable political bias” of the complainant did you find?

4. Did you or anyone subject to your control or influence share with CNN that the “arguable political bias” was merely that the complainant is a registered Democrat?

5. Why did you refuse to answer my questions at the September 26 hearing?

This information is urgently relevant for the American people and their elected representatives to evaluate the complainant’s credibility and to determine whether the House’s so-called impeachment inquiry has been, in reality, a well-coordinated partisan attack from the beginning.

This information is also simple, unclassified, and personally known to you. Therefore, please reply in writing no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11. I look forward to your answers, even two weeks late.

/s/Tom Cotton
United States Senator

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