The Slatest

Lawyer Says Whistleblower Willing to Answer Written Questions From Republicans

Staff arrive at a closed door House Intelligence Committee meeting where former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker is being interviewed at the U.S. Capitol on October 3, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Staff arrive at a closed door House Intelligence Committee meeting where former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker is being interviewed at the U.S. Capitol on October 3, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Zaid, an attorney representing the whistleblower who first raised questions about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, said his client would be willing to answer written questions from Republican lawmakers without having to through the committee’s Democratic majority. The whistleblower’s attorneys had previous offered to answer questions from lawmakers under oath if they were submitted by the House Intelligence Committee as a whole, but now the new offer would open up a direct channel of communication between the whistleblower and Republican lawmakers.

In a series of tweets explaining the offer, Zaid noted that it comes at a time when Republicans are trying to “expose our client’s identity which could jeopardize their safety, as well as that of their family.” Zaid emphasized that any questions that sought to identify the whistleblower will not be answered. “We stand ready to cooperate and ensure facts - rather than partisanship - dictates any process involving the #whistleblower,” Zaid wrote.

The offer to answer written questions came as Trump called on the media to reveal the name of the whistleblower, saying it would amount to “doing the public a service.” Trump mentioned unconfirmed report about the whistleblower’s identity, saying that if they are true then he has no credibility because “he’s an Obama guy” who “hates Trump” and “is a radical.” The president added that “maybe it’s not him, but if it’s him, you guys ought to release the information.” Trump once again accused the whistleblower of lying, saying that his phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfecto.”

In a tweet, Trump added that the whistleblower “got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward.” The president added that while the “Fake News Media knows who he is” they won’t reveal his identity because they are “an arm of the Democrat Party.” Andrew Bakaj, an attorney representing the whistleblower, said the “fixation” on revealing their identity “is simply because they’re at a loss as to how to address the investigations the underlying disclosure prompted.”