Appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine’s president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.
Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.
“Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats’ resignation followed by Sue Gordon,” Mendez explained. “The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said ‘Sue, you’ve got to resign’ and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn’t reached its zenith.”
“This was clearing the decks in the intelligence community, taking the top man out and his deputy out, giving Trump an opportunity to select and choose another acting head of a huge organization,” she added. “Now there’s an acting director in charge of that who of course has taken charge of this whistleblower information and refused to release it to the Congress.”
As for what the whistleblower can expect now that the Justice Department has interceded with legal advice telling the inspector general to not turn over the report, Mendez said that longer it is held back, the worse it may be for that person.
“We know that Andrew McCabe was punished by Donald Trump, a former deputy FBI director fired in such a way that he would lose his pension,” host Reid recalled. “We know that Donald Trump drove out his first attorney general for having the nerve to recuse himself according to the law in every norm. So we know that retribution is possible. Very quickly, could this person potentially come forward?”
“My reading of the rules right now would tell me that that whistleblower should be very worried about being exposed as a whistleblower,” Mendez replied. “There can be enough blowback to him that he would regret what he had done and he would stifle every other whistleblower that might have similar stories in the future or even tomorrow, they’re going to think twice before they try and bring them forward.”