Lawyers say they may let whistleblower testify, but only in writing

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Screengrab House Intel Committee, YouTube-Washington Post

The whistleblower driving the rogue House Democratic impeachment inquiry wants to testify to Congress in writing, rather than appearing in person.

Lawyers representing the whistleblower, who is reportedly a CIA official, have asked that their client submit testimony in writing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The intelligence committees haven’t yet responded to the inquiry about potential written testimony,” the Journal reported.

This being the latest talk of concealing the identity of the intelligence official who expressed concern about President Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president, suggesting Trump threatened to withhold foreign aid to get Ukraine to dig dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Intelligence Community’s inspector general informed Congress in August the whistleblower had a “professional tie” to a Democratic candidate and showed “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate,” and on Thursday it was reported that the candidate is none other than Joe Biden.

Earlier this week, it was reported that House Democrats were considering taking “extraordinary steps” to prevent Republicans in Congress from learning the identity of the whistleblower.

The Washington Post said Schiff’s team was considering masking the whistleblower, having the CIA official testify from a remote location and obscuring the individual’s appearance and voice.

The unprecedented move would be a “highly unusual arrangement,” the paper said.

Given the highly partisan nature of the impeachment inquiry, the attention on hiding the identity of a person who could be central to removing a sitting president from the American public is noteworthy.

His attorneys are participating in the effort to keep his identity a secret.

“The whistleblower is not the story,” his legal team said earlier this week, according to Fox News. “To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, ranking member on the House Intel Committee, told the Washington Examiner last week Democrats are conducting a secret impeachment to hide a lack of evidence.

And there are multiple concerns over the nature of the complaint that is central to the Democrat’s efforts to take out a sitting president.

The CIA official conferred with the staff of House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff before filing the complaint on President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.

The whistleblower reportedly did not have first-hand knowledge of that call and the intelligence community had quietly eliminated a standing requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings just before the complaint was filed.

How the complaint was written is also a concern, with veteran CIA official Fred Fleitz saying it appeared to be written by left-wing lawyers or Congressional staffers.

“It appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified, Fleitz said. “From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff.”

The ridiculousness of it all didn’t escape the notice of skeptical social media users — here’s a sampling of responses to the latest development from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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