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Letter from Peters to Kerner Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine (Kelly Smith, comp.) 1 (9/27/2019)

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                                                 WASHINGTON. DC 20510 6250

                                           September 27, 2019


       The Honorable Henry J. Kerner
       Special Counsel
       1730 M Street. N.W.
       Washington. D.C., 20036-4505

       Dear Mr. Kerner:

       Thank you for your diligent leadership at the helm of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). I am
       writing to urge you to continue your efforts to protect the rights of federal employees across the
       government, particularly those who have taken the courageous step to blow the whistle on
       wrongdoingi

       As you know, OSC is charged with protecting whistleblowers in federal service - brave men and
       women who come forward to report waste, fraud, and abuse, often at great professional risk.
       Under your leadership. OSC has been an effective investigator of retaliation claims and a strong
       advocate for whistleblower rights. I am concerned that recent events pertaining to an Intelligence
       Community whistleblower complaint could have a chilling effect on whistleblowers across
       federal government.

       Earlier this month, reports emerged that a member of the Intelligence Community came forward
       to report an urgent concern to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG). The IG
       evaluated the report, determined it was credible, and submitted it to the Director of National
       Intelligence (DNI) for transmission to Congress, as outlined in law. Despite a clear statutory
       mandate, the DNI relftsed to transmit the report to the appropriate congressional committees for
       several weeks, instead arguing - based on guidance from the Department of Justice - that the
       whislebiower's report does not meet the definition of an urgent concern. The IG has raised
       concerns that this could undermine statutory protections against retaliation.'

       I am deeply concerned that the Administration's approach to this whistleblower's report could
       discourage whistleblowers across the federal government from coming forward. Even though
       this particular whistleblower disclosure has now been released to the appropriate congressional
       committees and publicly, federal employees have now seen that, even if they follow the
       established legal process, their concerns may not be heard. They have seen the President of the




       'Letter from Michael K Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, to Chairman Adam Schiffand
       Ranking Member Devin Nunes, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Sept. 17, 2019).

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