‘I fear that safety risks may intensify in the event that the whistleblower’s identity is disclosed…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, warned the intelligence community that President Donald Trump could expose the anonymous Ukraine whistleblower and urged them to prepare for the fallout if that occurs.
“In light of the President’s ill-advised statements, his lack of respect for the rule of law and his well-documented habit of condoning violence by his supporters, I am concerned that he may disclose the whistleblower’s identity or cause it to be disclosed by others in the Administration,” Schumer wrote in a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.
Schumer fretted that Trump could be serious about his expressed desire to meet the accuser, a CIA staffer who worked in the White House and whose complaint provided the basis for congressional Democrats’ latest impeachment efforts.
The so-called whistleblower was found to have communicated and coordinated with the office of House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff prior to filing his complaint, despite early denials from Schiff that garnered him a four-Pinocchio fact-check from The Washington Post.
Schiff is now overseeing the secretive, closed-door hearings in the House of Representatives.
The whistleblower also is believed to have worked closely with former Vice President Joe Biden, whose unethical, quid-pro-quo dealings were at the center of a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Trump has acknowledged that he encouraged Zelenskiy to revisit earlier investigations into the Burisma energy company, which paid hefty monthly fees to Biden’s son Hunter for “consulting” services.
However, the president has maintained that he did nothing wrong in the phone call, even publicly releasing a rough transcript of the conversation (which took place through translators).
“I think they want to impeach me because it’s the only way they’re going to win,” Trump said last week. “… They’ve got nothing. All they have is a phone call that is perfect. All they have is a whistleblower who’s disappeared. Where is he?”
Trump has denounced the whistleblower as a “fraud,” “spy,” and political “operative” out to get him.
The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up. It is mostly about the call to the Ukrainian President which, in the name of transparency, I immediately released to Congress & the public. The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
In light of these comments, Schumer said the intelligence community should be doing all it can to protect the whistleblower’s identity.
“I understand that some security measures may already have been put in place, but I fear that safety risks may intensify in the event that the whistleblower’s identity is disclosed,” Schumer wrote.
“I also note reports that one or more additional whistleblowers may come forward, creating added security concern,” he added.
Schumer then asked to be brought up to date with what security measures the intelligence community and already taken.
The letter marked a dramatic shift in tone for the powerful senator, who once mocked Trump for his criticisms and efforts to take on members of the “deep-state” intelligence community.
“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community—they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer warned the president-elect in January 2017 during an appearance on MSNBC.
“He’s being really dumb to do this.” -Senator Schumer on Trump taunting US intelligence agencies https://t.co/QbGSmx9Xvp
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 4, 2017
Some of the top intelligence figures of the Obama era are now being investigated by the Justice Department for their role in framing Trump with false claims of Russian collusion and other salacious, since-debunked innuendo.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.