- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sen. Ron Johnson on Thursday said the whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry against President Trump should not expect to remain anonymous, given the enormity of actions.

The Wisconsin Republican said that he fully supports protecting whistleblowers from retaliation but that is not the issue at hand.

“What we really have here is an anonymous informant and for an informant to come forward with an allegation against the president of the United States and expect that he or she will remain anonymous is not a particularly reasonable expectation,” Mr. Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox News.

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“Not all whistleblowers are not created equal. I learned that in my nine years here in the Senate,” he said. “Some whistleblowers have an ax to grind. Some people have a political ax to grind.”

The name of a CIA analyst suspected of being the whistleblower has been known in Washington for weeks. A handful of news outlets have published the name.

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

The whistleblower is believed to be a registered Democrat in his 30s who previously worked with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

The impeachment probe was set off by the whistleblower’s allegation that Mr. Trump attempted to force Kiyv to investigate corruption involving Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who got a high-paying job at a Ukraine natural gas company while his father spearheaded Obama White House policy in that country.

Democrats have mounted an aggressive campaign to beat back Republicans calls to identify the whistleblower and have him testify in the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Johnson said the whistleblower motives and the genesis of the Democrats’ impeachment probe are relevant facts when attempting to remove the president from office.

“My position is the whistleblower has already been identified and it was pretty unreasonable for the whistleblower to expect to remain anonymous,” Mr. Johnson said.

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Thursday that congressional Democrats “seem to think he [the whistleblower] is irrelevant.”

“The Democrats seem to say they’re way past the whistleblower,” she told reporters, noting that lawmakers haven’t taken testimony from the anonymous government employee.

She criticized the Democrats for initially relying on the whistleblower’s complaint about Mr. Trump’s July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The whistleblower wasn’t on the call, [he] read the transcript when the whole rest of the world read the transcript,” Mrs. Conway said. “As far as I can tell, the only firsthand interaction the whistleblower had with anyone of note was with Chairman Schiff’s staff, colluding with the intel staff.”

The whistleblower had contact with staff the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, before filing his complaint.

Mrs. Conway also said it’s “relevant” for the public to consider the motives of whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid, in light of newly revealed tweets he posted in January 2017 saying that a “coup has started” and that “impeachment will follow ultimately.”

In July 2017, Mr. Zaid also tweeted, “I predict @CNN will play a key role in @realDonaldTrump not finishing out his full term as president.” The lawyer also said, “We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters.”

Said Mrs. Conway, “I think that is relevant. I think any claim of bias or any hint of bias does have some relevance. The president’s just trying to bring some attention to that.”

Dave Boyer contributed to this story.

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