President Donald Trump continued to insist on Monday that the whistleblower who filed the initial complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives cannot remain anonymous. “We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA,” Trump wrote in a pair of Monday morning tweets.
Trump reiterated his demand to reveal the identity of the intelligence official who filed a whistleblower’s complaint on Trump’s call with Ukrainian Presidnet Volodymyr Zelensky a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that testimony from the whistleblower may not be necessary. “Given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff said on CBS’ Face the Nation. Schiff emphasized that Trump’s insistence on knowing the whistleblower’s identity was part of the reason why the interest in having the whistleblower testify has waned.
“Before the president started threatening the whistleblower, threatening others calling them traitors and spies and suggesting that you know we used to give the death penalty to traitors and spies and maybe we should think about that again. Yes we were interested in having the whistleblower come forward,” Schiff said. Now though, the main goal “is making sure that that person is protected. Indeed, now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected. And given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call.”
Indeed, Trump continues to refer to a single whistleblower but a second whistleblower who reportedly has more direct knowledge of the call has come forward and has secured the same legal representation as the first whistleblower. It’s unclear if that second whistleblower has provided information to House investigators.
Trump slammed Schiff Monday for his seeming second thoughts on having the whistleblower testify. “Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close,” Trump wrote. The president continues to insist the whistleblower got the call “wrong” even though his allegations were consistent with the memo on the call that was released by the White House. The president then went on to say that “Democrat’s game was foiled when we caught Schiff fraudulently making up my Ukraine conversation, when I released the exact conversation Transcript,” repeating two lies he has told before. Schiff’s account may have not been exact but it generally matched with the White House version of the call. Also the transcript of the call released by the White House was not “exact,” the document itself cautions that it is “not a verbatim transcript.”