Editor’s note: The CIA has the authority to refer criminal prosecutions when Americans holding security clearances, such as Donald Trump, engage in illegal activities.
After review by the CIA, Trump was officially referred for criminal prosecution, which should also end his security clearance, disallowing him from making calls, reading documents, tweeting bullshit….
WASHINGTON — Weeks before the whistleblower’s complaint became public, the CIA’s top lawyer made what she considered to be a criminal referral to the Justice Department about the whistleblower’s allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office in pressuring the Ukrainian president, U.S. officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News.
The move by the CIA’s general counsel, Trump appointee Courtney Simmons Elwood, meant she and other senior officials had concluded a potential crime had been committed, raising more questions about why the Justice Department later declined to open an investigation.
But a timeline provided by U.S. officials familiar with the matter shows that multiple senior government officials appointed by Trump found the whistleblower’s complaints credible, troubling and worthy of further inquiry starting soon after the president’s July phone call.
While that timeline and the CIA general counsel’s contact with the Justice Department has been previously disclosed, it has not been reported that the CIA’s top lawyer intended her call to be a criminal referral about the president’s conduct, acting under rules set forth in a memo governing how intelligence agencies should report allegations of federal crimes.
The fact that she and other top Trump administration political appointees saw potential misconduct in the whistleblower’s early account of alleged presidential abuses puts a new spotlight on the Justice Department’s later decision to decline to open a criminal investigation — a decision that the Justice Department said publicly was based purely on an analysis of whether the president committed a campaign finance law violation.