Last Wednesday, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, published the unredacted name of a man alleged to be the so-called whistleblower who helped launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
During HPSCI testimony, William Taylor, the charge d’affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, was asked by a staff lawyer on the committee whether the name Eric Ciaramella was familiar to him.
“Does a person by the name of Eric Ciaramella ring a bell for you?” asked Steve Castor, a committee staff counsel asked Taylor during a deposition on October 22.
“It doesn’t,” Taylor responded.
“So, to your knowledge, you never had any communications with somebody by that name?”
“Correct,” Taylor said.
The transcript of that exchange, which was not redacted, was published and publicly released by Schiff’s committee last Wednesday.
On October 30, Real Clear Investigations published a lengthy article alleging that Ciaramella was the official who filed a formal complaint against Trump on August 12.
“Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media,” Real Clear Investigations reported in October. “He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”
In September, The New York Times all but outed the alleged whistleblower, identifying him as a CIA employee and Ukraine expert who had been detailed to the White House by former Obama CIA director John Brennan.
When news of the whistleblower’s complaint first broke, Schiff demanded repeatedly that the anti-Trump bureaucrat should come forward and testify to his committee.
“We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week,” Schiff tweeted at the time.
We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so.
We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 24, 2019
Schiff and two other Democratic committee chairmen even issued a joint press release explaining why the anti-Trump complainant needed to testify to Congress.
“We need to speak with the whistleblower,” the top Democratic lawmakers wrote.
But when it was revealed that Schiff and his staff had secretly coordinated with the whistleblower and urged him to file a formal complaint against Trump, Schiff and his media allies immediately changed course, declaring it would be dangerous and unprecedented for the complainant to testify publicly. Schiff then flip-flopped and insisted that the anti-Trump complainant be hidden from scrutiny.
Prior to the revelation that Schiff and his staff had secretly worked with the anti-Trump complainant before he even filed a complaint against Trump, Schiff repeatedly denied any contact with the complainant. To date, he has not explained why he lied about his secret interactions with the complainant, nor has he detailed the full extent of his coordination with him.
Congressional Republicans have vowed to call the complainant as a witness in impeachment proceedings, but it is unclear whether he will be required to testify, as House Democrats passed rules requiring Schiff to approve all subpoenas and even questions asked of witnesses.