The Republican counsel for the impeachment inquiry will reportedly demand that the whistleblower offer public testimony, rather than closed-door or written testimony, pointing to the fact that he consulted with the Democrat leading the impeachment effort prior to filing the complaint that triggered the inquiry. Since the whistleblower approached House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) before he was officially protected under whistleblower status, Republicans will reportedly contend, the author of the complaint should not be afforded whistleblower protections.
The report comes from RealClearInvestigations’ Paul Sperry, who first published the alleged identity of the whistleblower. “Republican counsel for impeachment inquiry will make argument for whistleblower’s public testimony based on fact he consulted with, and provided information to, Schiff’s office BEFORE filing whistleblower complaint and BEFORE he was shielded by whistleblower protections,” Sperry tweeted Thursday.
Sperry also reported Thursday that Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) received a letter “addressed directly to him from the whistleblower.” Thus, Burr knows the identity of the whistleblower. “Not only could he officially unmask him, but subpoena him to testify,” wrote Sperry, noting that he would first have to get approval from Vice Chair Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
Schiff’s prior consultation with the whistleblower was first revealed in an Oct. 2 report by The New York Times.
“The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials,” the Times revealed in a report exposing Schiff’s misleading statements about his contact with the whistleblower.
“The early account by the future whistle-blower … explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it,” the Times noted, acknowledging that the source of the complaint was not yet an official whistleblower when he approached Schiff.
“The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer,” the report continued. “Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague. The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint.”
The Times made clear that Schiff himself was made aware of the complaint. “The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff,” the Times reported, adding that the aide “did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff,” according to one official.
“The future whistle-blower went to Mr. Schiff’s committee after he grew concerned about the first investigation he had touched off,” the Times explained. “The C.I.A. officer decided the complaint he had brought to Ms. Elwood was at risk of being swept aside, prompting him to go to the lawmakers who conduct oversight of the intelligence agencies. He followed the advice of Mr. Schiff’s aide and filed his complaint to Mr. Atkinson. And though Mr. Maguire blocked him from forwarding it to Congress, he did allow Mr. Atkinson to notify lawmakers of its existence.”