Shortly after the so-called “whistleblower” filed a complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) about President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, a GoFundMe account was launched by the legal firms representing that individual, which, to this date, has raised more than $227,000 from roughly 6,000 mostly anonymous people.
Now, the ICIG has received a new complaint charging that the fundraising effort on behalf of the infamous “whistleblower” could be in violation of several federal laws, according to a report from Fox News.
The complaint specifically alleged that the funds raised “clearly constitute” gifts for a federal official that are prohibited by law. Separate from the allegations within the purview of the ICIG are additional charges that the fundraising effort could be in violation of criminal statutes under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code.
The IRS has reportedly been notified.
The new complaint was contained in a letter to the ICIG from an attorney named Anthony Gallo of the Tully Rickney PLLC law firm, which represents the individual who filed the complaint. Though that individual has remained anonymous, Fox News has learned that they currently hold a “top-secret SCI security clearance” and “has served in government.”
“I have not seen anything on this scale,” Gallo told Fox of the fundraising effort. “It’s not about politics for my client — it’s whistleblower-on-whistleblower, and [my client’s] only interest is to see the government ethics rules are being complied with government-wide.”
Aside from alleging that the funds raised constitute prohibited gifts, the complaint also points to the anonymous nature of the thousands of donors and raises the possibility that at some could be “prohibited sources.” The complaint specifically requests that the ICIG investigate whether any of the funds came from a “foreign citizen or agent of a foreign government.”
That last part is key, given that the fundraiser explicitly claims on the page that “donations will only be accepted from U.S. citizens” — but there is really no way to confirm that with the bulk of donors being anonymous.
“Strategically weaponized” whistleblowing
For his part, Andrew Bakaj, an attorney representing the Ukraine “whistleblower” who is involved and named in the fundraising effort, told Fox that everything was on the up-and-up and in full compliance with federal laws.
“Any fundraising efforts for the Intelligence Community Whistleblower have complied with federal laws, including ethics requirements. Should any governmental agency properly inquire we would, of course, cooperate,” he said in a statement to Fox.
Meanwhile, Gallo claims that the whistleblower and his team have “strategically weaponized” their activities into a “very lucrative money-making enterprise” that is likely in violation of federal laws.
It will be interesting to hear what the ICIG has to say about that.