On Sunday, the legal group representing the whistleblower who filed a report that led to US President Donald Trump’s impeachment debunked a report that their client is under federal protection. Earlier on Sunday, CBS’s 60 Minutes reported the suggestion, citing a letter sent by the Compass Rose Legal Group to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire saying they have concerns regarding the whistleblower’s safety.
In the letter, the Compass Rose Legal Group quotes Trump’s comments as grounds for their concerns.
“I want to know who’s the person that gave the Whistleblower, who’s the person that gave the Whistleblower the information, because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now,” Trump said on 26 September.
The legal group’s letter also notes that “certain individuals” have offered a $50,000 bounty for “any information” regarding the whistleblower’s identity.
But the suggestion of federal protection was debunked by Mark S. Zaid, an attorney for the whistleblower.
"60 Minutes completely misinterpreted the contents of our letter. Nor have we […] reached any agreement with the Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing,” he tweeted.
NEWS ALERT: 60 Minutes completely misinterpreted contents of our letter, which is now published online at https://t.co/HjmBrEQLEi. Nor have we, as we stated earlier today, reached any agreement with Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing. https://t.co/3XSwmtuRrn— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) September 30, 2019
On Sunday, Representative Adam Schiff reported that the anonymous whistleblower had agreed to testify before Congress, although formalities must be addressed to grant the whistleblower the appropriate security clearance. No exact date for the testimony has yet been determined, Zaid said.
NEWS ALERT: Re: whistleblower contact w/Congress— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) September 29, 2019
We continue to work w/both parties in House & Senate & we understand all agree protecting whistleblower's identity is paramount. Discussions continue to occur to coordinate & finalize logistics but no date/time has yet been set.
The whistleblower reported that Trump used his presidential powers to request that Ukrainian President Zelensky investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, for their business interests in Ukraine. Both Zelensky and Trump deny that any form of coercion took place. In order to alleviate the rumours, the White House released an unredacted script of call. Democrats state that the transcript supports their allegations.