‘Whistleblowers’ not expected to testify as talks between legal team and Schiff staff reportedly cease

The whistleblower who sparked the impeachment frenzy against President Trump will likely not be testifying before Congress.

Talks between the whistleblower’s legal team and Rep. Adam Schiff’s staff have ceased, and the second whistleblower who backed the claims by the first will also not be testifying, according to a report Thursday by the Washington Examiner.

(Image: CBS screenshot)

“There is no indication that either of the original whistleblowers will be called to testify or appear before the Senate or House Intelligence committees. There is no further discussion ongoing between the legal team and the committees,” a source familiar with the discussions told the newspaper.

Republicans have complained that Schiff has been blocking any questions into how his staff has been dealing with the whistleblower who filed a complaint to the Intelligence Community inspector general in August about Trump’s July phone call with the Ukraine president. The House Intelligence Committee chairman had previously said he looked forward to the whistleblower’s testimony and asserted “We need to speak with the whistleblower” in a statement in September.

Last month, however, the California Democrat began pressing the need to protect the whistleblower, who is believed to be a career CIA officer who served on the White House National Security Council in the early months of Trump’s presidency, after being in the position during the Obama administration.

“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in October as he moved away from having the whistleblower testify at all.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, attorneys for the first and second whistleblowers, “declined to confirm or deny in a statement to the Washington Examiner” the name of the whistleblower, whose identity – despite circulating speculations – is still protected by law.

But they did indicate that their clients are willing to cooperate with lawmakers as long their identity is protected.

“We remain committed to cooperating with any congressional oversight committee’s requests so long as it properly protects and ensures the anonymity of our clients,” Zaid said.

But even with Thursday’s House vote on a resolution to move forward with impeachment proceedings and setting up a framework for the process, Republicans will likely not be able to ask the whistleblower about any errors in his complaint, or about details regarding with whom he spoke.

A House Republican source familiar with the impeachment inquiry told the Washington Examiner he was “not aware of any discussions” on the whistleblower testifying.

The report on the halted talks between the whistleblower’s legal team and the Schiff camp sparked a round of ridicule on social media.

 

Frieda Powers

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