- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 7, 2019

House Republicans are eyeing the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry for public testimony, despite strong pushback from fellow Democrats against any attempt to out the individual.

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday they plan on including the still-unnamed whistleblower on their list of witnesses.

However, all of the Republicans’ witness requests must be approved by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, who has accused the minority party of trying to find out the identity of the whistleblower from witnesses.

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In a letter sent to Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes, House Democrats requested Republicans send their list of witnesses by Saturday morning.

According to the rules, House Republicans have to justify in writing why each witness is relevant to the hearings.

Democrats highlighted that the scope of the public hearings will focus on three questions directly related to actions taken or directed by President Trump: Did he or his agents request a foreign leader to investigate a political rival? Did he or his agents attempt to pressure or leverage foreign leaders? Did he or his agents attempt a cover-up?

The unknown individual and Mr. Schiff’s connection to the whistleblower have become key elements of the GOP defense against the impeachment inquiry.

They argue the whistleblower is a biased political operative, citing the early interactions between the individual and Mr. Schiff’s staff and purported connections to Democratic operatives. House Republicans contend that the American people and President Trump deserve to weigh the whistleblower’s credibility.

An alleged name of the individual has been floating around D.C. and published by both Breitbart News and Real Clear Investigations.

The Washington Times has not independently verified the whistleblower’s identity and is withholding the name.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has repeatedly said that he might reveal the name of the whistleblower on his own.

The whistleblower’s lawyers have strongly opposed any attempt to out their client and said they will not confirm or deny any reports claiming to identify the person.

“Identifying any suspected name for the whistleblower will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm,” they said in a statement.

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