- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 1, 2019

President Trump said Tuesday he’s entitled to confront the anonymous whistleblower who started an impeachment inquiry against him, while a top Senate Republican warned that the whistleblower’s identity must be protected.

Asserting on Twitter that the whistleblower relied exclusively on secondhand information and that “almost everything he has said … is wrong,” the president said he and his team should be “entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all the false information to him.”

But Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who has authored many of the nation’s whistleblower laws, said the person who filed the complaint about the president “appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected.”


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“We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement. “Any further media reports on the whistleblower’s identity don’t serve the public interest — even if the conflict sells more papers or attracts clicks.”

He added, “No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts. Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”



Mr. Grassley said “the distinctions being drawn between first- and secondhand knowledge aren’t legal ones.”

“It’s just not part of whistleblower protection law or any agency policy,” the lawmaker said. “Complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

The complaint involves the president’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Mr. Trump asked for an investigation of Democratic frontrunner Joseph R. Biden and his son, Hunter. The younger Biden had received $3 million in his post with a Ukrainian gas company, and the elder Biden had pressured Ukraine while serving as vice president in 2016 to oust a prosecutor who had been investigating the company.

Mr. Biden said the prosecutor wasn’t pursuing corruption cases.

House Democrats say Mr. Trump was seeking foreign help to interfere in the 2020 election, and that he was withholding military aid to Ukraine as leverage. The president denies those accusations.

“This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better,” the president tweeted. “No pressure at all (as confirmed by Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!”

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