Top GOP representative: Time to identify the whistleblower – Washington Examiner
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said Tuesday the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump’s behavior on a phone call with the president of Ukraine should be identified.
“The question I keep coming back to is why we don’t know who this individual is,” Jordan said as he walked into another day of closed-door testimony from another Trump administration witness in an impeachment investigation led by Democrats.
Jordan said the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act affords protections to the whistleblower but not anonymity.
“He has a right to protection, that is what the whistleblower statute says,” Jordan told reporters. “It does not say anonymity.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California and fellow Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry after the whistleblower came forward with a secondhand account of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The whistleblower said the call was alarming, using words such as “frightening” and “crazy,” and that Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Democrats and Joe Biden, reportedly in exchange for hundreds of millions in security aid.
The person, Jordan said, waited 18 days to file a complaint but first reported the information to Schiff’s staff.
“Why don’t we know who this individual is, and to determine the credibility he or she has, I think is a fundamental question,” Jordan said.
Schiff said Sunday the whistleblower testimony may not be needed, prompting Republicans to question whether Schiff wants to avoid more questions about the whistleblower’s prior contact with Democrats before reporting his complaint to Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.
Jordan challenged reporters who suggested the whistleblower needed to maintain anonymity and said the person should be identified because his complaint is the basis for the impeachment inquiry Democrats are conducting in an effort to unseat the president.
“You don’t think the American people have a right to know the individual who started this process, to try to remove the president of the United States, 13 months before an election?” Jordan asked reporters. “Don’t you think we need to know how all of this started?”