President Trump on Tuesday demanded to be able to interview and “learn everything about” the anonymous government whistleblower who filed a complaint against him over his conversations with the Ukrainian president that triggered an impeachment inquiry last week.
“Why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him,” Trump tweeted.
“This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!” he added
Trump claimed the author of the complaint “has all second hand information” and that “almost everything he has said about my ‘perfect’ call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him.”
….the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him. This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
As noted by The Hill, neither of those things is true:
The whistleblower’s account of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky aligns with a rough White House transcript that shows Trump urged Zelensky to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and asked him to investigate a company with ties to the 2016 election.
In addition, the intelligence community inspector general released a statement on Monday night clarifying that the whistleblower had firsthand information and information from other sources in their complaint about Trump.
The whistleblower’s attorneys have expressed concerns that Trump is endangering their client’s safety by attempting to uncover their identity and publicly attacking them.
Andrew Bakaj, an attorney representing the anonymous whistleblower, immediately fired back at the president on Twitter and emphasized the legal protections that his client must be allowed.
“The Intel Community Whistleblower is entitled to anonymity,” Andrew Bakaj, an attorney representing the anonymous whistleblower, wrote on Twitter. “Law and policy support this and the individual is not to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law.”
The Whistleblower Protection Act makes it a violation for federal agencies to threaten retaliation against individuals who come forward to raise concerns of wrongdoing within the government.
Speaking to a private group after the United Nations summit in New York City last week, Trump railed against the whistleblower and White House staffers who reportedly provided them with information about the call, saying those officials were “close to a spy”.
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said, according to Los Angeles Times. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”