Eric Ciaramella has recently become the most sought after name ever since a piece of leaked information from the White House led to President Trump’s impeachment proceedings. He is a former National Security Council staffer and a CIA analyst. He was the intelligence officer for both the President Donald Trump and Obama administrations. Multiple sources have taken his name concerning the whistleblower from the White House, who complained over Trump’s allegedly illegal phone call with the Ukrainian president. No responses have been recorded from Ciaramella on the issue. Neither has the whistleblower’s lawyers denied or confirmed if their client is Ciaramella.
Earlier in October last year, Ciaramella was called out on social networking sites. After several weeks of investigation, Real Clear Investigations also named him as the whistleblower. As per this agency, the identity of Ciaramella as the whistleblower is an open secret in DC. Several right-wing websites and pundits also mentioned his name. Senator Rand Paul even called for the whistleblower to give testimony under oath, in a tweet that included a story by RCI on Ciaramella. The same story has been shared by Congressman Matt Gaetz.
President Trump has also tweeted links that mention Eric Ciaramella as the possible whistleblower.
During the impeachment investigations by members of the congress, Ciaramella has been the topic of discussion several times. On 6th November, Steve Castor asked Bill Taylor about Ciaramella, to which Taylor replied in the negative.
On 6th November, Donald Trump jr posted an article from Breitbart that talks about Ciaramella’s business ties with Dossier Hoaxer, an Anti-Trumper. Donald Trump jr said, “The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn’t been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID’d him.”
Multiple news media sources tried to get in touch with Ciaramella but to no avail. The lawyers representing the whistleblower said that they do not deny or confirm the validity of the suspicions surrounding Ciaramella. On the other hand, Ciaramella’s father stated that he is just a regular guy working in the White House, who does not have access to high information.
As per The Washington Post, the person who leaked the information still works for the CIA. The paper said in an article, “The CIA analyst who triggered the impeachment inquiry continues to work on issues relating to Russia and Ukraine, but when threats against him spike — often seemingly spurred by presidential tweets — he is driven to and from work by armed security officers.”
The Republican Party and their allies have consistently said that the whistleblower needs to be publicly identified to see if he has any political motives or bias. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party and the whistleblower’s lawyers have been fighting the Republican’s demands. The news about Trump’s alleged illegal phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky first emerged in September.
Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing radio jockey, called Ciaramella out on his show after the RCI reports came in.
Fox News, on the other hand, has ordered all its employees from using Ciaramella’s name on air. Even then, on 7th November, Lars Larson mentioned his name while on a show with Harris Faulkner. Faulkner, however, did not acknowledge Larson mentioning Ciaramella.
While Ciaramella was being named by multiple sources, Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s lawyers, said in a statement, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”
In response to Trump jr’s Twitter post, the two attorneys said, “We will note, however, that publication or promotion of a name shows the desperation to deflect from the substance of the whistleblower complaint. It will not relieve the president of the need to address the substantive allegations, all of which have been substantially proven to be true.”
As per the Washington Examiner, Ciaramella has been moved to the National Intelligence Committee by the CIA. He has been assigned the role of Eurasia and Russia’s deputy national intelligence officer. Ciaramella likely worked under Joseph Maguire, the current Director of National Intelligence. He is also said to be working with Alexander Vindman, the NSC Ukraine director, and a significant witness in the impeachment investigations.
A staff member from the Trump administration reportedly told the news media that they are almost certain that the whistleblower and Vindman know each other. He also said that the whistleblower is providing analytical information to NSC with regards to Ukraine and Russia. Another staff member confirmed that Ciaramella and Vindman have spent plenty of time in the Ukraine U.S Embassy.
In the Congressional proceedings, Vindman testified that he was not the whistleblower, and neither was he aware of the whistleblower’s identity. He further said that he was not comfortable speculating in the whistleblower’s identity.
Vindman told Congress that he was present during the particular phone call under investigation. He said, “I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”
As the impeachment proceedings were ongoing, Louie Gohmert, a representative from the Republican Party, named Ciaramella and several others, who he said were involved in a conspiracy by the Democratic Party against President Trump.
Here are some important points on Eric Ciaramella:
1. Ciaramella Is a Ukraine Expert for the CIA Whose Background Matches Details About the Whistleblower Previously Reported by The New York Times
It is being reported that the whistleblower was Joe Biden’s point man on Ukraine. It is imperative the whistleblower is subpoenaed and asked under oath about Hunter Biden and corruption. https://t.co/qsOwZ4H2IN
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 31, 2019
Eric Ciaramella is 33 years old and is an expert in Ukrainian matters. Moreover, his biography matches perfectly with the details given by The New York Times with that of the whistleblower. As per the newspaper, the man who leaked the information is a CIA official who was assigned a place in the White House. The newspaper outlet further reported, “His complaint suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law.”
The accusation by the whistleblower states that the president illegally asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden, former Veep and current Democratic presidential nominee, and Hunter Biden, the former Veep’s son. The accusation further stated that Trump forced the Ukrainian government to give in to his demands in return for aid to the country.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, launched an official impeachment proceeding against Trump in September. Following that, the accusation of the whistleblower was released to the public. Another detail that was revealed is that the whistleblower was not present during the phone call but learned about it later from reliable sources.
New statement from the whistleblower’s attorneys: “We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower. Our client is legally entitled to anonymity.” Adds that revealing identity is the “pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.” pic.twitter.com/wy1iIJ8T3T
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 31, 2019
The whistleblower’s complaint said that he grew concerned after this information was revealed to him. He also mentioned that the White House attorneys had already begun thinking about how to look at the phone call since it seemed like they witnessed Trump abusing his power for personal motives.
As per multiple media sources, several government officials have been questioned and several testified in private. The Real Clear Investigations found out through inside sources that, during the testimonies, Ciaramella has been named as the whistleblower.
Ciaramella had been assigned a position in the White House during the Obama administration and has been working as an official in the Central Intelligence Agency for many years. As an expert in Ukrainian policies, he has also worked with Joe Biden. Ciaramella has close associations with Sean Misko as well. Misko used to work for the NSC and currently is an employee at Adam Schiff’s office. As per The New York Times, the person who leaked the information first consulted CIA attorneys before formally lodging his complaint. As per reports, the whistleblower also consulted an official from Schiff’s office.
Patrick Boland, a representative from Schiff’s office, stated that the whistleblower followed the proper formula to complain about the wrongdoing. He added that irrespective of which party is in the White House, the complaints are all filed under the jurisdiction of the intelligence agency.
The whistleblower has several ties to the Democratic Party. Some of them include Adam Schiff, John Brennan – former CIA Director, James Clapper – former Director of Intelligences, and Susan Rice – former National Security Advisor. The close links have been criticized by many Republicans, who say that the whistleblower is just another way of discrediting the Republican president Trump.
Louie Gohmert, a representative from the Republican Party, said that folks in DC know who the whistleblower is and know that he is a loyal Democrat. He also added that the whistleblower is a former official who dealt with Ukrainian matters.
Ciaramella has also been accused by some Republicans of trying to undermine Trump back in 2017.
We would appreciate any and all support US citizens can give. https://t.co/mqoJ8cTvJR
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) September 26, 2019
Meanwhile, the public has donated over $220,000 through a GoFundMe account to the whistleblower. The money will be used by Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s lawyers, as their legal fees.
The GoFundMe Page has been set up to assist and financially support all the whistleblowers who have come forward to report an injustice they witnessed. The page further says that whistleblowers are the defenders of the constitution and fight for the rights of the people, regardless of their political affiliations. The GoFundMe Page also states that the need of the hour was to support the whistleblowers in their courageous journey.
The GoFundMe page states, “A U.S. intelligence officer who filed an urgent report of government misconduct needs your help. This brave individual took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. We’re working with the whistleblower and launched a crowdfunding effort to support the whistleblower’s lawyers. These whistleblowers took great personal risks, not for politics or personal gain, but to defend our democracy. We need to have their backs.”
The page further adds that all the money raised will be used to aid the current whistleblower and any future whistleblowers who will bravely stand up in the face of injustice.
2. Eric Ciaramella Grew Up in Connecticut, Studied at Yale & Harvard & Worked at the World Bank
Eric Ciaramella is a resident of Prospect, Connecticut. He has two siblings. Ciaramella studied at Woodland Regional High School in the same state. He later graduated in 2004 from Chase Collegiate School. The last information comes from the school’s magazine. Further, in 2008, Ciaramella graduated from Yale University. He majored in East European and Russian studies. And in 2007, he received a grant from Yale Macmillan Center for European Union Studies. His research was on how the rural Italian people perceived the European Union.
As per the Yale Daily News, Ciaramella, During his days at Yale, protested against an Arabic professor’s departure from the university. The university newspaper wrote that students gathered early in the morning wearing white clothes. The white garments symbolized the future union of the Middle East and America through the language Arabic. The newspaper mentions one Eric Ciaramella, who led the protesting body of students.
Ciaramella can speak in Ukrainian, Arabic, and Russian.
Ciaramella was also a student at Harvard University, where his focus of the study was Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. As per the University website, in 2009, Ciaramella received a research grant. His topic of research was the public language used in three post-soviet cities of Tbilisi, Yerevan, and Baku. Additionally, Ciaramella was also an author for the Department of Linguistics at Harvard. In 2015, he published a paper discussing the “Structural ambiguity in the Georgian verbal noun.”
As per 2011 reports by the International Financial Institution, after finishing college, Ciaramella started working at the World Bank. In 2011, the World Bank published a report with the title, “Russia: Reshaping Economic Geography,” where Ciaramella has been thanked for making significant contributions to the paper.
Previously, Ciaramella had a LinkedIn profile where he described himself as a consultant, economic management, and poverty reductionist at the World Bank. Ciaramella also had a Facebook page. Both the accounts have been deleted since, and he doesn’t have any social media accounts at the moment.
As per the Connecticut public records, Ciaramella was registered as a Democrat in the city. As per CNN, concerns regarding the whistleblower’s political affiliation have been dismissed by the intelligence committee inspector general.
“Further although the ICIG’s preliminary reviewed identified some indicia of bias of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate, such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern ‘appears credible’ particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review,” said Michael Atkinson, Inspector General.
The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, commented on the issue saying that they won’t address the identity of their client. He further added that, even if the whistleblower is biased, it’s not a big issue as almost everyone is biased.
Andrew Bakaj, another lawyer, said that their client has worked with both the Obama administration and the Trump administration, but has never worked for them during their political campaigns.
3. Ciaramella Was Detailed to the National Security Council at the White House in 2015 After Joining the CIA as an Analyst Focusing on Ukraine & Russia
Eric Ciaramella got a position in the CIA during the second term of former President Obama. As per reports by The New York Times and The Washington Post, in 2015, Ciaranella was assigned a leading role as an expert in Ukrainian matters in the White House by the NSC. At the time, he was working under Susan Rice, the National Security Adviser.
The National Security Council recruits several intelligence experts from various agencies to work as analysts in the White House. These officials work there for some time and eventually return to their agencies.
It has been reported that Ciaramella worked with the former Veep Biden during Obama’s second term. In 2016, a luncheon was organized for the Italian prime minister, where Biden and Ciaramella were among the few guests.
In late 2015, a religious leader from Ukraine visited the White House asking for financial aid. The meeting was attended by Ciaramella along with Charles Kupchan. Ciaramella was the Ukrainian Director from NSC at that time. The position is currently under Alexander Vindman, who is a crucial witness for the Trump impeachment proceedings. He has testified that he was present during the alleged illegal phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
Media sources have also uncovered close ties between Ciaramella and Alexandra Chalupa. Chalupa is a Ukrainian-American and a former operative of the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa has been accused by many right-wingers of trying to conspire against Trump and making up a story about the Russian collusion.
Back in 2015, Chalupa worked in the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee. Records show that she attended the meeting with the religious leader from Ukraine as well.
Many Republicans have publicly accused Chalupa of conspiring against Trump and making up a false narrative about Russian collusion. Meanwhile, several representatives of the Democratic Party have come forward in support of Chalupa and said that she was one of the first people that brought light to Paul Manafort and Trump’s unethical conduct during the presidential campaign. They are also of the opinion that, because of this reason, she has become a target of the Republican party’s smear campaign.
4. Ciaramella Remained at the NSC During the Earlier Months of the Trump Administration & an Email Ciaramella Sent While He Was Still Assigned to NSC Was Cited in the Mueller Report
Even after the Trump administration replaced the Obama administration, Eric Ciaramella was not replaced by his position in the NSC and the White House. Although employees from the NSC were very few after Lt. General Michael Flynn resigned, Ciaramella still retained his position, overseeing issues from the Eastern European countries. Along with him, Fiona Hill also worked in the office.
After the resignation of Michael Flynn from the position of National Security Advisor, another Lt. General, H. R. McMaster, was hired to fill the position. After this new development, Ciaramella worked under McMaster as his aide. In 2017, Eric Ciaramella went back to his parent agency, the CIA. He still holds a position in the agency.
Several new details came to light after Robert Mueller released his reports. One tiny detail that mentions Ciaramella is a footnote in Mueller’s report that highlights an email sent by Ciaramella to Kelly. The redacted version, available to the public, however, does not reveal the contents of the email.
Several co-workers of Ciaramella have come forward in support of him. In statements given to the Foreign Policy, one official said that Ciaramella is highly professional and is known to take a bipartisan stand. Another source told the media that Ciaramella is one amongst the best the CIA has to offer. Charles Kupchan, Ciaramella’s former boss, told Foreign Policy that Ciaramella is a hard worker, who wants to serve his country, and deeply cares about his work.
Kupchan further revealed that Ciaramella was supposed to work only on the Ukrainian issues but since his work was excellent, Kupchan asked Ciaramella to assist him in other issues as well.
Officials from the Trump administration have also revealed that Ciaramella did an impressive job. They further said that even the H.R admired him for his professionalism.
5. Ciaramella Was the Target of Trump Supporters in 2017 When He Was Accused of Leaking to the Media Because of His Ties to Susan Rice & the Obama Administration
This is not the first time that Ciaramella has become a target of Republicans. Back in 2017, some right-wingers called him a participating member of the “deep state.” Since he worked under the Obama administration and Susan Rice – former National Security Adviser, he has been accused of leaking crucial information several times. Susan Rice has also been a target of Republicans, who say that she has been trying to frame Trump.
Before Ciaramella was accused of being the whistleblower, Republicans have also accused him of leaking details from Michael Flynn and Sergei Kislyak’s conversations. As this time, there was no hard evidence for the accusation then too, apart from his professional connection to Susan Rice and the Obama administration.
During Ciaramella’s time under McMaster, both he and McMaster were constantly criticized by the Republicans. Many right-wing websites claimed that McMaster was endangering the Trump administration by employing a lot of Obama handouts. Sean Misko and Abigail Grace were also working under McMaster then. Currently, Misko and Grace work for Rep. Schiff as his aides. Staff members from McMaster’s office were often accused of leaking embarrassing information about President Trump. However, none of the accusations made have been proven.
In 2019, Politico reported that several right-wing media and websites accused several foreign service officers and civil officers of the NSC of being a member of the “deep state” and of being Obama loyalists. Some of the officials had been working in the White House since before Obama was elected. The newspaper further reported that Eric Ciaramella had to leave the National Security Council after he received several death threats.
The Politico report also mentioned one Foreign Service officer who is originally from Iran. This Iranian official joined the White House staff when George W. Bush was the president, and he deals with issues related to Israel. Politico mentioned that the far-right campaigners have named him as a pro-Obama official and a member of the “deep state.”
In 2017, Mike Cernovich, a right-wing personality, accused Ciaramella of trying to sabotage Trump without any evidence. He further said that Ciaramella’s entire resume indicates that his loyalties are not with America. He further said that Ciaramella will leak crucial information to media sources whenever he can.
The report published by Mike Cernovich accused Eric Ciaramella of being anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine. The article also linked Ciaramella to several important political leaks from the White House.
After this piece was released to the public, Ciaramella received several death threats, due to which he had to quit his position earlier than was planned.
The NSC European Affairs Senior Director and former boss of Ciaramella, Charles Kupchan, said that these attacks on foreign and civil officials from the right-wingers are unprecedented. He stated that this sort of hostility against an imagined “deep state” is dangerous and misplaced.
Even as several republican leaders and right-wingers are sure that Eric Ciaramella is the one who complained against Trump’s alleged illegal phone call, many party officials have called for the whistleblower’s identity to be revealed to the public.
“Well, as far as that particular person, regardless of whether or not he’s a whistleblower, he apparently worked for [former CIA Director John] Brennan. He worked for H.R. McMaster. He worked for Biden. He was tasked to the National Security Council on Ukraine. And, gee, sounds like he’s got bigger problems than being a whistleblower, regardless of whether he is or not,” said Louie Gohmert, a Republican Representative from Texas.
On 22nd Oct, Gohmert named Ciaramella in an unrelated open House hearing.
While a House Natural Resources Committee hearing was ongoing, Gohmert asked Natalie Jaresko if she was aware of a meeting that Eric Ciaramella was a part of in 2016.
Natalie Jaresko served as the finance minister in Ukraine previously. The meeting was allegedly trying to influence the 2016 US elections in America.
Gohmert revealed that Petro Poroshenko, the former Ukrainian president, had dispatched Olga Bielkova and other Ukrainian officials to the United States to manipulate the elections. He further revealed that the Ukrainian representative, Olga Bielkova, has a meeting on 12th April with Eric Ciaramella and Liz Zentos.
Mark Meadows, Representative from North Carolina, said that he can’t reveal what goes on during the depositions but that Adam Schiff knows the identity of the whistleblower. He further added that the media sources should ask Schiff if the speculations surrounding Ciaramella are true.
Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul stated that the whistleblower has close ties with Joe Biden from when he was the Veep. He added that whoever the leaker is, he should be questioned under oath to reveal details regarding corruption and Hunter Biden.
A former official from the NSC and a former analyst from the CIA, Fred Fleitz, said that everyone knows who the whistleblower is, but the Democrats are hiding his identity because of his political leaning. He further accused several news media of knowing who the whistleblower is. The news media sources include The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. He further said that Congress, the White House, and the president himself know who the whistleblower is.
Several Democrats have criticized attempts to reveal the whistleblower’s identity. David Cicilline, Democratic Representative from Rhode Island said that anyone who tries to reveal the whistleblower’s identity needs to re-evaluate his/her life.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, said that revealing the whistleblower’s identity will be “unpatriotic.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Outing the whistleblower is an unpatriotic action. They shouldn’t even go near that." pic.twitter.com/FBLviHcj04
— The Hill (@thehill) October 30, 2019
A CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, said that such speculations, without any evidence, was highly problematic. He said that the Trump supporters are spreading Ciaramella’s name without any evidence. Some believe he is the whistleblower and is asking to prosecute him. He added that, in the process, a civil servant’s life was getting ruined. He also warned people that Ciaramella might not be the actual whistleblower. Besides, it has not been proven that the whistleblower is guilty of any wrongdoing.
Renato Mariotti further called the Trump supporters calling for the whistleblower’s prosecution irresponsible and desperate.