Whistleblower in Trump call a CIA officer
Washington - The lawyer who represents the whistleblower declined to confirm the identity or occupation of his client.
The whistleblower who said US President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden is a CIA officer and at one point was assigned to work at the White House, two sources familiar with the probe into his complaint confirmed on Thursday.
The New York Times first identified the whistleblower as a CIA officer, which Reuters has independently confirmed. Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who represents the whistleblower at the centre of an impeachment inquiry into Trump, declined to confirm the identity or occupation of his client.
"Publishing details about the whistleblower will only lead to identification of someone, whether our client or the wrong person, as the whistleblower. This will place this individual in a much more dangerous situation, not only in their professional world but also their possible personal safety," Zaid said.
President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at the person who gave information to a whistleblower who has accused the president of abusing the nation's highest office for political gain, saying that individual is "close to a spy" who could have committed treason - an act punishable by death. Trump noted that the whistleblower had no first-hand knowledge of alleged abuse of office by the president.
"Who's the person that gave the whistleblower the information? Because that's close to spy," Trump said. "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."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced concern on Friday over President Donald Trump's comments that suggested retaliation against people who helped an intelligence whistleblower whose complaint about Trump's phone call with Ukraine's leader is at the center of the House impeachment probe.
Pelosi told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show, "I'm concerned about some of the president's comments about the whistleblower."
She said the House panels conducting the impeachment probe will make sure there's no retaliation against people who provided information in the case.
Pelosi declined to provide a timeline for the House impeachment investigation, saying "the facts will lead us." "They will take the time that they need, and we won't have the calendar be the arbiter," she said, but she added, "it doesn't have to drag on."
She said she expects the impeachment probe to focus on Trump's pressure on the Ukrainian president at a time when he was temporarily withholding military aid to the country.
"I think we have to stay focused, as far as the public is concerned, on the fact that the president of the United States used taxpayer dollars to shake down the leader of another country for his own political gain," she said. She said Trump's actions put national security at risk.
"This is about the national security of our country, the president of the United States being disloyal to his oath of office, jeopardizing our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections," she said.
Pelosi also had some choice words for Attorney General William Barr, who is mentioned in the rough transcript the White House released this week of the July 25 call in which Trump urges Zelenskiy to work with Barr and with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Biden.