House Democrats are considering extreme measures to protect the identity of a whistleblower whose complaint against President Donald Trump triggered their impeachment inquiry.
Democrats led by Chairman House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff are discussing a handful of possibilities from having the whistleblower testify from a remote location and masking the individual’s appearance and voice, to conducting a staff-only session that would prevent lawmakers from attending and asking questions, according to The Washington Post.
Democrats and the lawyers representing the whistleblower are concerned with President Trump and congressional Republicans’ attempt to expose the individual.
Last month, the president said he wants to know the identity of the whistleblower and warned of “Big Consequences,” adding, “In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower.'”
The whistleblower, a CIA officer, accused President Trump for pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a phone call on July, 25 to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and his son Hunter.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also pushed for the disclosure of the whistleblower’s identity, saying that he “will make sure” the whistleblower faces public questioning if the House impeaches the president.
Other GOP members of the committee blasted Schiff for misleading the investigation, lying about the whistleblower’s complaint and making “cherry-picked” disclosures. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee condemned Democrats for conducting impeachment in secret, calling it “faux impeachment.”
Graham, in response to the news, restated his staunch stance on the issue of exposing the whistleblower’s identity, saying, “Everyone in America—including President @realDonaldTrump—has the right to confront their accuser.”
“If impeachment is designed to ‘Uphold the Constitution’ you are in the process of destroying it by preventing the President and his team from confronting the witnesses against them.” he added. “This is an unsustainable position.”
If impeachment is designed to ‘Uphold the Constitution’ you are in the process of destroying it by preventing the President and his team from confronting the witnesses against them.
This is an unsustainable position.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019