Lawyers for the U.S. official whose whistleblower complaint started the impeachment inquiry against President Trump have said last week that their client will communicate directly with Republicans on the intelligence committee that are leading the inquiry.
The statement was made in response to President Trump and other Republicans’ repeated requests to know the identity of the whistleblower, who we only know is a member of the U.S. intelligence community.
“The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward,” Trump said in a Sunday morning post on social media.
While the Intelligence Committee’s policy is typically to protect a whistleblower’s anonymity, Trump has called for his identity to be made available to the public because the statements made by him are said to be untrue by the president.
“They have the right to remain anonymous,” Schiff said after Vindman’s deposition last week.
In response to Schiff’s statement, Trump said Schiff cannot be trusted to release accurate transcripts of testimony by witnesses in the inquiry and posted on his social media account that Schiff was “a proven liar, leaker & freak, who is really the one who should be impeached!”
The president also said that he thought Republican lawmakers should “give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda.”
Lawyers for the whistleblower previously indicated that their client would be willing to answer questions in writing from both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Attorney Mark Zaid said on Monday that his client still is only willing to answer Congressional questions in writing, with the main difference being that Congressional Republicans can now send the whistleblower written questions directly instead of having to do so through majority Democrats who control House committees.
Zaid further indicated that the new offer, which was made on Saturday to intelligence panel leader Republican Devin Nunes, was given to show their client’s desire to have the complaint handled in a nonpartisan way.
“Let me be absolutely clear: Our willingness to cooperate has not changed. What we object to and find offensive, however, is the effort to uncover the identity of the whistleblower,” said Andrew Bakaj. another attorney on the whistleblower’s team of lawyers.
It is no secret that Republicans have complained that the impeachment inquiry by the Democrats in the House of Representatives has been unfair to them and the president, as they have not only been restricted in their questioning of witnesses, but they still do not even know the identity of the accuser.
Meanwhile, the Democrat-led House of Representatives continues ahead with its investigation of whether Trump sought help from Ukraine and withheld aid awaiting support. Democratic leaders expect to begin public hearings within the next few weeks.
Even though the impeachment inquiry of President Trump has been ongoing for the past five weeks, the whistleblower’s testimony is based on second-hand information provided by other U.S. officials and does not seem likely it will warrant enough evidence to be the reason for the impeachment of our president.