Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson told House lawmakers he could not explain what accounted for the 18-day window between the July 25th phone call with Pres. Trump and the Aug. 12th filing of the whistleblower complaint.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, in testimony to House lawmakers about the whistleblower complaint on President Trump's controversial phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, could not explain what accounted for the 18-day window between the July 25 call and the Aug. 12 complaint filing — or when exactly the whistleblower contacted a key Democrat's staff, sources familiar with the testimony told Fox News.
The whistleblower's contact with Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff's staff before filing the complaint in mid-August has prompted renewed scrutiny of Schiff.
The top Democrat previously said “we have not spoken directly to the whistleblower,” but his office later revised the claim, saying that Schiff himself "does not know the identity of the whistleblower, and has not met with or spoken with the whistleblower or their counsel" for any reason.
Sources familiar with Atkinson's closed-door, transcribed interview Friday with members of the House Intelligence Committee also noted that Atkinson said the whistleblower did not disclose the contact – during that 18-day window – with Schiff's office, as Fox News first reported Friday. Sources said Atkinson testified that the whistleblower, in filing the complaint, left "blank" a section in which he or she could have disclosed that congressional contact.