GOP Senator Lindsey Graham is joining calls to identify the whistleblower, claiming the statute used to protect them is “being abused.”
While speaking on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Graham said the law protecting whistleblowers is meant to shield a person from being fired and does not necessarily give them anonymity. He called House Democrat’s impeachment process illegitimate and suggested if they impeach the president based on the phone call with Ukraine’s president, it will go nowhere in the Senate.
“Nobody should be prosecuted based on an anonymous accusation,” stated Graham. “Impeachment is the political death penalty.”
The senator pointed out that Democrats would not have their inquiry without the unverified whistleblower’s complaint.
“Without the whistleblower complaint, none of this would be going on,” said Graham. “I want to know who the person is, but the people who should do this are the Intel Committee in the Senate — they’re the ones that were assigned this case.”
He also said he will not be reading the recently released impeachment inquiry transcripts.
The whistleblower’s legal team has said it won’t hesitate to take legal action against media outlets that identify him. Speaking to the Daily Caller, the whistleblower’s attorneys said any organization that reports the name will be personally liable if that person is physically harmed.
However, they noted that there’s no law banning media outlets from identifying whistleblowers. They instead said the decision comes down to “ethics and professionalism.”
Let’s look at this for a moment. If rumors about the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower are true, it’s easy to see why Republicans have been pushing witnesses to name him — because it goes a long way to making Democrats’ impeachment case look like a rerun of the “collusion” delusion.
As Paul Sperry reports at RealClearPolitics, GOP members of the House committees tasked with the inquiry have been pressing witnesses about a specific former National Security Council aide who fits the known facts about the whistleblower.
But it’s other parts of his background that stand out: He’s a registered Democrat who worked not only with then-Veep Joe Biden but also with frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Trumper John Brennan, who as CIA chief was key to launching the “collusion” investigation back in 2016.
During the campaign, this NSC staffer also reportedly met at the White House with the Democratic National Committee opposition researcher leading an effort to link the Trump campaign to the Putin regime. And he left the NSC early in the Trump era under suspicion of being one of those feeding negative leaks to anti-Trump media.