One of the attorneys that assisted the anonymous “whistleblowers” accusing President Donald Trump of conspiring with foreign leaders to interfere in the next U.S. presidential election used to report directly to former director of national intelligence James Clapper.
Charles McCullough, an attorney who assisted Andrew Bakaj, a former staffer for Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, at the beginning of the process was previously the inspector general of the intelligence community (ICIG) at the height of the Clinton email scandal.
McCullough told The Federalist however, that he is no longer involved in the whistleblower’s representation.
“I am not part of the whistleblower legal team,” McCullough wrote to The Federalist in an email. “I assisted with process issues Andrew at the very beginning, and then withdrew.”
Now a partner at the Compass Rose Legal Group with Bakaj, McCullough’s professional biography on the law firm’s website notes that he reported directly to Clapper as ICIG and “oversaw intelligence officers responsible for audits, inspections, investigations.”
Clapper, who joined CNN as a national security analyst after leaving government in 2017, was a central figure in perpetuating the Russia hoax against Trump and lied to Congress about mass surveillance on Americans. When asked under oath in March 2013 by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., whether the federal government was collecting “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” Clapper responded “no sir… not wittingly.”
While director of the Department of National Intelligence, Clapper was instrumental in crafting whistleblower protections mandating that no employee of the intelligence committee be made subject to reprisals for reports made in compliance with department guidelines.
Last December, McCullough praised Clapper in an interview with Fox 5. “I enjoyed a very good relationship with Jim Clapper, we got along fabulously.”
This article has been updated to reflect that McCullough only assisted in the whistleblower’s representation in the beginning of the process.