- The whistleblower and US intelligence official at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s is offering to answer written questions from House Republicans.
- Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s lawyer, said a request was made to Representative Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, on Saturday night.
- On Twitter, Zaid wrote that the GOP’s messaging led by Trump has been to pressure the whistleblower to reveal their identity, a move Zaid says would jeopardize the safety of the official and their family.
- “Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective,” Zaid wrote. “That is not our role.”
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The whistleblower whose complaint unleashed the full force of the impeachment inquiry onto President Donald Trump is now offering to answer written questions from House Republicans under oath.
Mark Zaid, the lawyer for both whistleblowers who sounded the alarm on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, said a request was sent Saturday night to Representative Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
On Twitter, Zaid wrote that it was an opportunity for the GOP to ask the whistleblower direct questions without risking the leak of their identity, which Zaid said would jeopardize their safety and that of their family. If the House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee decide to take this route, it would allow them to sidestep the committee’s chairman, Representative Adam Schiff.
Zaid noted that GOP messaging concerning the whistleblower, and that led by Trump, has focused around questioning their identity and urging them to disclose who they are. Zaid wrote that it has been a long-standing policy of the House Intelligence Committee to protect the identities of whistleblowers, including anonymity requests.
He also said during his efforts to work with the GOP on the Benghazi probe, the request for anonymity was honored, and that “countless” complaints to the Office of the Inspector General are filed anonymously and based on hearsay. Zaid says that the irrelevance of the whistleblower’s anonymity has been addressed, including any issue of bias.
“Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective,” Zaid wrote. “That is not our role.”
Zaid says both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees have been offered to ask the whistleblower questions in writing under oath and penalty of perjury, and that any questions that seek identifying information will not be answered. He says answers will be given in a timely manner if questions are asked.
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Meanwhile, hours after Zaid tweeted his announcement, Trump told a reporter who asked if he was considering tweeting out the name of the whistleblower that “there have been certain stories written about a certain individual, a male, and they say he’s the whistleblower.”
- Read more:
- House Democrats just gave Republicans everything they wanted in the impeachment inquiry
- A second Trump-Ukraine whistleblower is now being represented by the first whistleblower’s lawyer
- Trump says he wants to have a ‘fireside chat’ on live TV and read out the summary of his call with Ukraine’s president
- Democrats accused Republicans of trying to trick an impeachment witness into naming the whistleblower