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Whistleblower offers to answer Republicans’ questions under oath, but only in writing

Whistleblower offers to answer Republicans’ questions under oath, but only in writing

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Listen…off in the distance. Do you hear that lonesome whistle blow?

If you do, you’re probably not a Republican.

It’s not for a lack of trying to find the whistleblower, as the pugnacious and legally ignorant members of the GOP have been doing their best to leak out the name of the person who first raised the enormous impropriety of Donald Trump’s quid pro quo phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky and put the person who put the president in grave peril of impeachment in his own, more physical type of danger.

These zealous Republican submariners of Trump’s colonic interior have done their best to ignore the provisions of the laws designed to protect whistleblowers from retaliation in order to please their boss who is apparently unaware that — now that the details of the whistleblower’s complaint have been confirmed by actual participants in the call — the person who alerted the authorities to the president’s lawless actions is fairly irrelevant.

Nevertheless, with no other reasonable defense of his actions outside of repeatedly and falsely claiming that the call was “perfect,” Trump has tried to focus attention on the loyalties and motivations of the still publicly unidentified whistleblower as a distraction from the substance of his illegal attempt at again colluding with a foreign government to influence a U.S. election.

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Now the attorney representing the whistleblower, Mark Zaid, has offered an olive branch to congressional Republicans who have been upset that the whistleblower hasn’t had to face their hostile questioning in a public forum. The offer comes on the same day that Trump called on news organizations to publish the ethically assertive federal employee’s name while falsely claiming that the whistleblower, as well as every other person who corroborated their account of the president’s call, misinterpreted his “perfect” call.

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Zaid offered to have his client be directly questioned by Republican representatives under oath — as long as the questions don’t reveal the individual’s identity — as long as all the questions and his client’s answers are in written format.

While congressional Republicans have acknowledged receiving the offer, they have yet to respond to Zaid. Judging from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) comments of CBS‘s Face the Nation this morning, however, it seems unlikely that the GOP will accept the offer of submitting questions in writing for the whistleblower to answer under penalty of perjury.

“When you’re talking about the removal of the president of the United States, undoing democracy, undoing what the American public had voted for, I think that individual should come before the committee,”McCarthy said. “He needs to answer the questions.”

McCarthy’s hyperbolic language — which fails to note that impeachment, rather than undoing democracy, is an integral part of it as established by the Constitution and that the American public actually gave far more votes to his opponent Hillary Clinton than to Trump — again ignores the fact that the whistleblower’s political affiliation, their motivations, and their identity matters not when the substance of their claims of the president’s corrupt and criminal behavior has been repeatedly confirmed through subsequent testimony by perfectly identifiable members of the Trump administration brave enough to defy the administration’s obstructive prohibition on sharing information with Congress.

Zaid posted the details of his offer to the GOP on his Twitter feed which you can read below.

Hopefully, the Republicans clamoring to attack the whistleblower in order to improve their standing in the president’s bleary eyes will be mollified by Zaid’s offer, particularly if they bother reading the rationale provided for protecting their client’s identity included in their Washington Post op-ed.

If they don’t it’s simply just further confirmation that the attacks on the whistleblower are the real partisan warfare being engaged in by congressional Trump defenders who care less about the truth than in maintaining whatever hold on power that they still have.

That whistle needn’t be so lonesome anymore. If the legal protections for the blowers are maintained, hopefully, no one else will be too intimidated by the chances of retaliation to report the sort of massive wrongdoing that has been the hallmark of the Trump administration. Let a thousand whistles blow.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Bobby Allyn at NPR.

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