From wildlife to the White House, whistleblowing in the week’s news

A news round-up.

A recent review of wildlife whistleblower reward programs demonstrates “that the current wildlife whistleblower laws are insufficient and are not fully functional,” according to a new report from the National Whistleblower Center. The report, based on a review of public documents and a 2018 report from the Government Accountability Office, found “deficiencies in current laws that undermine the potential contributions whistleblowers bring to wildlife law enforcement.”

The report concluded that the “Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Treasury – were neglecting their wildlife whistleblower rewards authorities. We were able to ascertain only two rewards granted by NOAA (within the Commerce Department). In contrast, the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) demonstrated that it operated a modest whistleblower program through the study period (2003-2016)” In that period, the FWS collected nearly $3 million fines and $1.5 in restitution. Problems in the programs could be addressed by the passage of the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (H.R.864), according to the report.

A huge story this week.The Washington Post broke it. From their podcast, entitled Intel official blows a whistle on Trump’s interaction with world leader

A whistleblower report filed with the inspector general for the intelligence community has jolted Congress. It concerns a “promise” made by President Trump to a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter…Post reporters on Thursday broke news of the content of the report, which raises new concerns about the president’s handling of sensitive information and could further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies.

The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A potentially explosive complaint by a whistle-blower in the intelligence community said to involve President Trump emerged on Thursday as the latest front in a continuing oversight dispute between administration officials and House Democrats. The Times added an editorial Friday. 

NPR Up First Podcast

Stephen M. Kohn, chair of the National Whistleblower Center: ”In my view, the Inspectors General is required to tell Congress what has happened in this case, and if the Inspector General does not, he is violation of law.”


A deficiency in the law: How Trump accidentally exposed a whistleblower loophole. What happens when the administration won’t tell Congress about a whistleblower complaint regarding the president? The answer to the once hard-to-fathom question is complicated.

Fox News

Conservative commentators accused the media of trying to distract from news about the economy and jumping to conclusions about the case.

More here on media coverage. 

Double Exposure, a project of the investigative news organization 100Reporters, celebrates the finest new films inspired by the investigative instinct. It combines film screenings for the public with a professional symposium for journalists and visual storytellers.Check out the film line-up.

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