‘Those who are complicit in this vindictive campaign against my client…shall also be responsible…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A lawyer for the anonymous Ukraine whistleblower has sent a cease-and-desist order to the White House, claiming President Trump’s attacks have threatened the safety of the whistleblower.
“I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior,” Andrew Bakaj wrote to White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
Bakaj accused Trump of “engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger,” and warned that if the attacks don’t stop, the whistleblower will pursue legal action against the White House.
“Should anyone be physically harmed, my co-counsel, Mark Zaid, and I will not hesitate to take any and all appropriate action against your client,” Bakaj wrote, according to CNN. “Those who are complicit in this vindictive campaign against my client, whether through action or inaction, shall also be responsible, be that legally or morally.”
Bakaj also accused the president of not fully understanding the legal complexity of the law that protects the whistleblower’s identity.
“These are not words of an individual with a firm grasp of the significance of the office which he occupies, nor a fundamental understanding of the significance of each word he articulates by virtue of occupying that office,” he said.
Trump, along with several congressional Republicans, have argued that the president should be given the right to confront his accuser.
One Republican, Sen. Rand Paul, said that the only person who misunderstands whistleblower protections is Bakaj.
“They are meant to protect someone’s job against revenge,” Paul said of the legal protections, in an op-ed for The Hill. “They help someone go outside of their chain of command … This isn’t what happened here, and this wasn’t some bureaucrat. The information revealed by the ‘whistleblower’ was of a political nature and was known to dozens of people who came to a different conclusion than the ‘whistleblower.’”