“The highly unusual arrangement for the whistleblower’s testimony underscores the toxicity between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, which was once considered among the most bipartisan but is now spearheading the divisive impeachment investigation,” the Post notes. “One individual familiar with the discussions said this is the first time the panel has had to take such extraordinary measures to protect a witness — including from their GOP colleagues.”
As Trump and other Republicans are calling for the whistleblower’s identity to be revealed, more information has come to light. Along with The New York Times revealing last week that the whistleblower is a CIA agent who was assigned to the White House, The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported Tuesday that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson wrote in an Aug. 26 letter that the whistleblower had “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate.”
Citing three different sources familiar with Atkinson’s testimony to congressional investigators on Friday, York reports that rather than the whistleblower’s “political bias” simply being that he or she is a registered Democrat, as many on the left have suggested, the whistleblower reportedly had “a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.”
“The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates,” said one person with knowledge of what was said.
“The IG said the whistleblower had a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates,” said another person with knowledge of what was said.
“What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate,” said a third person with knowledge of what was said.
The Democrats’ “extraordinary steps” to hide the whistleblower’s identity from Republicans has inspired widespread criticism online. In response to various outlets’ coverage of the story posted on Twitter, critics have slammed the Democrats’ for conducting themselves like a “#BananaRepublic” and presiding over a “#KangarooCourt.” Among the critics is House Republican Whip Steve Scalise.
“This entire process has been a scam,” Rep. Scalise tweeted Monday. “Dems now plan to only allow themselves and their staff to know the whistleblower’s identity, while concealing it from Republican committee members. This is unprecedented. What are they trying to hide??”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also slammed the Democrats for the secretive move.
“Everyone in America — including President @realDonaldTrump — has the right to confront their accuser,” tweeted Graham. “If impeachment is designed to ‘Uphold the Constitution’ you are in the process of destroying it by preventing the President and his team from confronting the witnesses against them. This is an unsustainable position.”
Trump also picked up on the “kangaroo court” theme, tweeting Tuesday after the State Department told U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to appear at a scheduled interview with Democrat-led congressional committees, “I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see.”
Others who have blasted the Democrats’ secretive measures include Brit Hume and Jonah Goldberg:
Related: Whistleblower ‘Had A Significant’ Tie To Democrat Challenging Trump In 2020 Election, Report Says