Following last week’s publishing by RealClearInvestigations of the identity of the suspected whistleblower at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, the battle over whether the identity of the whistleblower rages. On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the as of yet unconfirmed name, which comes on the heels of Sen. Rand Paul’s call on Tuesday for the media to publish the identity of the whistleblower — whose testimony launched the current effort to bring articles of impeachment in the house over an alleged mutually-beneficial agreement between Trump and the Ukraine. The question of the legality of identifying the individual is being bitterly contested by both sides.
House and Senate Democrats have almost uniformly denounced the calls to identify the whistleblower. Saying that it would endanger this whistleblower and discourage others from coming forward in the future. Senator Diane Feinstein released a statement where she stated her concern:
“Attempts by the president and congressional Republicans to publicly identify the whistleblower are inexcusable and must stop.”
Federal law specifically protects government employees who report official misconduct. Attempts to release any whistleblower’s identity discourages future complaints, which are vital to Congress’ ability to conduct oversight and uncover waste, fraud and abuse.”
VanityFair outlines the questions faced by the major news outlets over this question.
Republicans are seeking to identify the whistleblower so as to cast doubt on his or her credibility as rumors circulate about the political affiliations and motives of the Whistleblower who may have worked for Joe Biden among other prominent Obama era democrats. Sen. Paul blocked a resolution yesterday to reinforce whistleblower protections which brought this fight to the floor of the Senate, insisting rather that a bill he put forward to clarify the whistleblower statute and ensure that the president can face his accuser, as promised by the constitution, be passed into law. He also proposed in his bill that the whistleblower protections be extended to Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who outed the illegal mass surveillance of US citizens in 2013.
“The bill I will introduce today will expand the whistleblower act [and] would be made retroactive so Edward Snowden can come home to live in his own country. All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution,” Sen. Rand Paul
The Hill and Fox news have been covering the unfolding debate.