Non-profit

Whistleblower Aid

Website:

whistlebloweraid.org

Tax ID:

26-4716045

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $22,398
Expenses: $642,115
Assets: $133,106

Formal Name:

Values United

Formation:

2017

Whistleblower Aid (officially a doing-business-as name of Values United) is a left-aligned support organization for government and private sector whistleblowers that rose to prominence for representing an anonymous whistleblower who reported the controversial phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Intelligence Community Inspector General; the controversy over the call’s contents led the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to impeach President Trump in December 2019.[1]

Although the organization asserts it is nonpartisan, it was created after President Donald Trump was elected and openly professed that it “opened its doors” in response to perceived threats from the Trump administration.[2]

Background

Whistleblower Aid was founded in 2017 by former State Department whistleblower John Tye and left-leaning national security issues attorney Mark Zaid to provide legal assistance to government and private-sector whistleblowers. [3]

The organization also provides free public relations help to publicize whistleblower complaints and provides networking if a client is forced out of his or her job. In some cases, the group will provide free psychological counseling.[4]

The organization professes it “is never ideological or partisan.” [5] However, most of its personnel, including two lawyers key to the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, have publicly expressed left-leaning sentiments. The organization further professes, “We opened our doors in September 2017 directly in response to the threat to the rule of law and accountability posed by the current administration,” namely that of President Trump.[6] Tye told the Washington Post shortly after the organization opened: “We want to advise people what to do, whether it’s going to Congress, or an inspector general or Robert Mueller.” [7]

Leadership

CEO John Tye previously worked for the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as the climate change activist group Avaaz. Tye also made the maximum general election donation to Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential run, giving $2,700.[8]

As a State Department employee in 2014, he became a whistleblower alleging improper spying by the National Security Agency. Tye says Whistleblower Aid is different from Wikileaks because it respects a legitimate scope of secrecy for the government. [9]

Tye added that if a whistleblower comes to the group with classified information, the group will steer the whistleblower to investigators with security clearances and the power to do something about it. [10]

Mark S. Zaid, a left-leaning national security lawyer, is the other co-founder. [11] After Zaid became a lawyer for an anonymous whistleblower against President Trump, Tweets he posted in 2017 gained more attention. One said, “#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately.” [12] He made subsequent tweets calling for Trump’s removal from office.

Andrew Bakaj, a former CIA officer, was one of the organization’s first clients, then went to work as a lawyer for Whistleblower Aid. He is the other lawyer who represented the anonymous whistleblower in the Trump impeachment matter. [13]

Bakaj on August 2017 tweeted, “The 25th Amendment concerns @POTUS’ inability to discharge the powers and duties of office. Says nothing about mental health. We’re there.” [14]

Activity

To protect clients, the organization does not allow itself to be contacted by phone or email. The group has two encrypted sites. It’s necessary to install a special Tor browser that allows access to an encrypted, anonymous part of the Internet. [15]

Whistleblower Aid connected New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow with an MIT person who alleged the university covered up donations from Jeffrey Epstein. [16]

Democracy Fund Voice, a lobbying group in the advocacy-philanthropic network of eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, contributed $200,000 to Whistleblower Aid in 2019. [17]

Ukraine Whistleblower Controversy

After taking on the anonymous Trump-Ukraine whistleblower’s case, Whistleblower Aid made a fundraising appeal on GoFundMe. The appeal said: “A US intelligence officer who filed an urgent report of government misconduct needs your help. … We’re working with the whistleblower and launched a crowdfunding effort to support the whistleblower’s lawyers.” [18]

By November, a separate anonymous whistleblower complaint went to the intelligence community’s Office of Inspector General asserting the $6,000 in donations constitute a “gift” to an intelligence official, though no public action on the complaint was taken. [19]

References

  1. Whistleblower Aid. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://whistlebloweraid.org/ ^
  2. Whistleblower Aid. The Action Network. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/whistleblower-aid ^
  3. Whistleblower Aid. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://whistlebloweraid.org/ ^
  4. Whistleblower Aid. The Action Network. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/whistleblower-aid ^
  5. Whistleblower Aid. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://whistlebloweraid.org/ ^
  6. [1] Whistleblower Aid. The Action Network. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/whistleblower-aid ^
  7. Johnson, Eric. “From Jeffrey Epstein to Trump’s Ukraine Phone Call, Whistleblowers Have Never Been This Important, Says Lawyer Who Represented MIT Media Lab Whistleblower.” September 19, 2020. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/9/25/20882577/john-napier-tye-whistleblower-aid-ukraine-trump-snowden-manning-kara-swisher-recode-decode-podcast ^
  8. [1] Schoffstall, Joe. “Ukraine Whistleblower’s Lead Attorney Donated to Biden.” Washington Free Beacon. September 25, 2019. Accessed September 19, 2020.  https:// freebeacon.com/politics/ukraine-whistleblowers-lead-attorney-donated-to-biden/. ^
  9. [1] Johnson, Eric. “From Jeffrey Epstein to Trump’s Ukraine Phone Call, Whistleblowers Have Never Been This Important, Says Lawyer Who Represented MIT Media Lab Whistleblower.” September 19, 2020. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/9/25/20882577/john-napier-tye-whistleblower-aid-ukraine-trump-snowden-manning-kara-swisher-recode-decode-podcast ^
  10. Morello, Carol. “Former Whistleblower Starts Legal Aid Group to Guide Would-Be Tipsters.” The Washington Post. September 18, 2017. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-whistleblower-starts-company-to-give-advice-to-would-be-tipsters/2017/09/17/711049e4-e55d-40c5-b71a-50032851a7f4_story.html ^
  11. Morello, Carol. “Former Whistleblower Starts Legal Aid Group to Guide Would-Be Tipsters.” The Washington Post. September 18, 2017. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-whistleblower-starts-company-to-give-advice-to-would-be-tipsters/2017/09/17/711049e4-e55d-40c5-b71a-50032851a7f4_story.html

    ^

  12. [1] Mark Zaid. Twitter. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://twitter.com/MarkSZaidEsq/status/826262311560216578 ^
  13. Johnson, Eric. “From Jeffrey Epstein to Trump’s Ukraine Phone Call, Whistleblowers Have Never Been This Important, Says Lawyer Who Represented MIT Media Lab Whistleblower.” September 19, 2020. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/9/25/20882577/john-napier-tye-whistleblower-aid-ukraine-trump-snowden-manning-kara-swisher-recode-decode-podcast ^
  14. [1] Andrew Bakaj. Twitter. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://twitter.com/AndrewBakaj/status/898346713093595136 ^
  15. Morello, Carol. “Former Whistleblower Starts Legal Aid Group to Guide Would-Be Tipsters.” The Washington Post. September 18, 2017. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-whistleblower-starts-company-to-give-advice-to-would-be-tipsters/2017/09/17/711049e4-e55d-40c5-b71a-50032851a7f4_story.html ^
  16. Johnson, Eric. “From Jeffrey Epstein to Trump’s Ukraine Phone Call, Whistleblowers Have Never Been This Important, Says Lawyer Who Represented MIT Media Lab Whistleblower.” September 19, 2020. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/9/25/20882577/john-napier-tye-whistleblower-aid-ukraine-trump-snowden-manning-kara-swisher-recode-decode-podcast ^
  17. [1] Whistleblower Aid. Democracy Fund Voice. March 27, 2019. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://democracyfundvoice.org/whistleblower-aid/ ^
  18. Re, Greg. “ICIG Complaint Alleges Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower May Be Soliciting Illegal Donations.” Fox News. November 12, 2019. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/icig-complaint-ukraine-whistleblower ^
  19. Re, Greg. “ICIG Complaint Alleges Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower May Be Soliciting Illegal Donations.” Fox News. November 12, 2019. Accessed September 19, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/icig-complaint-ukraine-whistleblower ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. John Tye
    Co-Founder, CEO
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2017

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $22,398 $642,115 $133,106 $752,823 N $22,398 $0 $0 $173,671 PDF