Right now, American politics is dominated by an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The thing that caused this inquiry was a whistleblower's report about a phone call Trump made with the leader of Ukraine.

Who did the whistleblower give his report to? And, how did it become public information?

  • 4
    Worth mentioning, as an aside, that everything the whistleblower said about the call has since been confirmed, not only by other witnesses, but by the readout of the call released by the White House.
    – BradC
    Nov 5, 2019 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


The whistleblower made his report to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community on August 12, 2019. 14 days later (August 26), the Inspector General determined that it was a credible report of an "urgent concern" (the statutory standard for this sort of report) and forwarded it to the Director of National Intelligence to forward to the Congressional intelligence committees within 7 days as provided by law. The DNI decided that the complaint did not need to be forwarded and refused to send it to the committees. 7 days after the deadline (September 9), the IG sent a letter to the intelligence committees informing them of the complaint's existence, the IG's determination that it was credible, and the DNI's refusal to forward it. The next day, the House intelligence committee sent a letter to the DNI demanding the complaint; 3 days later (September 13), they issued a subpoena and a press release, announcing the complaint's existence.

  • 1
    Just so we are clear. Is it within the DNI's authority to decide not to forward a complaint? And if so is it within the authority of the IG to bypass the DNI if they decide the situation warrants it? I'd like this really good answer to show who if anyone acted inappropriately in this matter.
    – Jontia
    Nov 5, 2019 at 7:51
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    Good answer, but could use some names instead of just titles. E.g. the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael K. Atkinson.
    – Mara
    Nov 5, 2019 at 8:20
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    @Jontia It is not within the DNI’s authority to decide not to forward a complaint, at least with respect to the relevant law passed by Congress that establishes this process. If I recall correctly, the DNI had said that the Department of Justice had cited some Constitutional argument why he could not comply with the law. To test that argument would require a lawsuit, but proving bad faith beyond a reasonable doubt is near impossible. So even if the argument was thrown out, all that would likely result would be the courts forcing the DNI to forward the complaint—which he already has.
    – KRyan
    Nov 5, 2019 at 12:57
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    @KRyan - from IGIC letter to House Intelligence committee, Atkinson states that his understanding of DNI refusal to forward the complaint was based on the DNI's belief that the matter failed to meet the "urgent concern" criteria. (In essence, the DNI contradicted the IG's determination of "urgent concern"). One might argue that the determination of "urgent concern" was within the jurisdiction of the IG rather than the DNI.
    – BobE
    Nov 5, 2019 at 15:04
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    @BobE One might state as an objective fact that the law in question inarguably gives that jurisdiction to the IG and not to the DNI, since that’s precisely what it does.
    – KRyan
    Nov 5, 2019 at 16:00

As to your title question:

Who did the Trump-Zelinsky phone call whistleblower report to?

Page 2 of IGIC Atkinson published report (26 Aug 2019) states that:

... As part of the preliminary review, the ICIG confirmed that the Complainant is “[a]n employee of an element of the intelligence community, an employee assigned or detailed to an element of the intelligence community, or an employee of a contractor to the intelligence community.” 6

That is the extent of knowledge of who the whistleblower reports to.

  • I think you may have misread the question - its about who the whistleblower gave his/her report to, not for whom he/she works. Nov 5, 2019 at 20:30
  • 2
    The question was edited after I answered
    – BobE
    Nov 6, 2019 at 0:40

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