House Democrats are taking “extraordinary steps” to both secure the testimony of the whistleblower who originally filed a complaint against Donald Trump and ensure GOP lawmakers aligned with Trump don’t learn that person’s identity, according to the Washington Post.
Trump has worked feverishly to discredit the whistleblower, calling the person a “spy” and threatening that they should be charged with treason, which is punishable by death. Trump’s obsession with this person has made Democrats fearful that his chief Republican loyalists in the House (such as the ranking member of the House Intelligence panel, Devin Nunes) are just crazy enough to leak the whistleblower’s identity. Democrats are therefore considering measures like having the person testify remotely while perhaps disguising their image and voice. One official familiar with the deliberations called protecting the whistleblower’s identity “paramount.”
In a fusillade of tweets and public statements over the past couple weeks, Trump has demanded to meet the whistleblower, labeled the person a “partisan hack job,” and said they could face “Big Consequences!” Many experts fear Trump’s attacks could exact both professional and personal reprisals of Trump’s accuser if their identity were to become public.
Democrats apparently took note of the fact that House Republicans repeatedly leaked and publicized an unprecedented amount of sensitive information while they held the majority under Trump, and they clearly aren’t willing to gamble with the whistleblower’s identity too.