After a whistleblower alerted the United States government to Trump's misdealings with Ukraine, their safety has come under threat - by the President himself.
As the call for United States President Donald Trump's impeachment grows stronger amidst the release of an incriminating transcript of his phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, it appears that Trump is willing to fight even dirtier. The transcript was released to the public following an alert from a whistleblower within the White House - and they may now be in danger. In a letter addressed to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and obtained by CBS News, the whistleblower's lawyer Mark Zaid confirmed that the President demanded to know who gave his client the information. More notably, the lawyer added that a $50,000 bounty was issued for anyone with information relating to the whistleblower's identity, Axios reports.
CBS News' program 60 Minutes was the first to report that the whistleblower was under federal protection due to concerns for their safety and security. However, Zaid stated in a tweet that the show had "completely misinterpreted" the contents of the letter and affirmed in a tweet, "[We have not], as we stated earlier today, reached any agreement with Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing." The letter does state, nonetheless, "[W]e appreciate your office’s support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure their safety."
As Trump, his administration, and his team of lawyers double down on the allegations and impending impeachment, it is troubling to see the path the President is taking in order to avoid punishment for his own actions. The lawyer's letter cites a specific instance of intimidation. On September 26, 2019, the POTUS stated, "I want to know who's the person that gave the whistleblower, who's the person that gave the whistleblower the information, because that's close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and reason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now." It is no mystery, therefore, that the lawyer would assert concerns for his client's safety. As Democrats rally behind Trump's impending impeachment, it can only be hoped that the federal government will maintain whistleblower protections, if not strengthen them.