Donald Trump whistleblower

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question during a joint news conference with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto in East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Trump Directly Confronts the Whistleblower: You ‘Must Come Forward’ After Being ‘Sooo Wrong’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Sunday called on the whistleblower whose complaint prompted an impeachment inquiry to “come forward.”

Trump appealed directly to the intelligence community employee in a stark departure from norms of conduct in such cases.

“The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward. The Fake News Media knows who he is but, being an arm of the Democrat Party, don’t want to reveal him because there would be hell to pay. Reveal the Whistleblower and end the Impeachment Hoax!” Trump said in a Twitter post.

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Trump and his allies have repeatedly questioned the motives of the whistleblower, who is reportedly a CIA officer detailed to the White House. They have suggested the whistleblower is part of a partisan campaign to oust Trump from office.

 

Some Republican lawmakers have called for the whistleblower to be outed, saying the public has a right to know the person’s identity.

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina told reporters this week that the whistleblower doesn’t deserve anonymity.

“The reason why you have a whistleblower statute is so that they can come forward and not be retaliated against,” he said.

A number of conservative publications have named a person they speculate is the whistleblower, with some criticizing major press outlets for allegedly failing to pursue the matter.

Democrats have responded by raising concerns about the person’s safety.

“I would hope that more of my GOP colleagues throughout the Congress on both sides of the Capitol would express their support for whistleblowers who have the courage to come forward and expose wrongdoing,” Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading the impeachment inquiry, said. “They have the right to remain anonymous.”

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According to reports, the whistleblower’s lawyers have received death threats, which have led to at least one law-enforcement investigation.

“Our client is legally entitled to anonymity,” the lawyers said in a statement this week. “Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger.”

Donald Trump and the whistleblower

The Aug. 12. intelligence community whistleblower complaint raised concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump has referred to the call as “perfect” and denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with Ukraine.

The House, which is controlled by Democrats, in September opened an impeachment inquiry into the Republican president’s attempts to press for Kyiv to investigate his political rivals.

In a party-line vote Thursday, House lawmaker approved rules for the next, more public, stage in the impeachment inquiry.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker; Pluralist contributed to this report)

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