It Turns Out That Anyone Can Legally Identify the Trump Whistleblower, Except His Employer or the Inspector General

President Trump has demanded that the whistleblower in the Ukraine investigation, which has morphed into a formal impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, identify himself because he gave false information.

Now Senator Rand Paul (R-KS) and Donald Trump, Jr. have tweeted a link to an article that claims to have unmasked the person in question.

Media outlets have piled on Senator Paul and Trump, Jr. for their actions, and called out the president for wanting to remove the whistleblower’s anonymity.

Most of the rules surrounding protecting a whistleblower’s identity involve shielding them from future retribution or harm at work, which is why the law contemplates protecting their anonymity in that setting.  But beyond his employer and the inspector general to whom the complaint was made, the law doesn’t afford the whistleblower any identity protections.

According to Kel McClanahan, a national security lawyer in Washington, there is only one provision in the law that deals specifically with whistleblower anonymity in the intelligence community.

That provision says the inspector general should not disclose the whistleblower’s identity without their consent, unless the watchdog determines that “such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation.”

But once the compliant moves from the inspector general to other departments and branches of government, all bets are off.  The law is silent.

Congress maintains rules that can include protecting a witness’s identity.  If a member of Congress broke the rule, he or she could be censured, but that carries very little weight and fall under Congressional matters, not legal protections for whistleblowers.

But just because others legally can identify the person doesn’t mean they should.  That’s a separate question to be considered.

The whistleblower’s lawyers said in a statement on Wednesday that efforts to identify their client “will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm” and will deter future whistleblowers.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. According to this whistleblower, Google is a “highly biased political machine that is bent on never letting someone like Donald Trump come to power again.”

    Paul Joseph Watson notes:

    According to Robert Epstein, Google algorithmic manipulation can shift millions of votes in national elections.

    Google is clearly engaging in massive election meddling and should be investigated by lawmakers immediately.

  2. We the people demand that the whistleblower is named. We have been advised that POTUS and the Attorney General cannot name him, but once he moves beyond that to an attorney or anyone else all bets are off. We are being told by this hideous person’s attorney that his family might be in danger. Well he should have thought of that before he opened his foul mouth. Somebody should make sure he is outed properly in the correct manner.

  3. Pat myself on the back but I knew when they passed the ruling that “whistleblowers” identity would be protected this would be the result. Anyone who sees a wrong doing and wants it corrected should have the guts to stand up and be counted. This slight of hand the democrats are pulling now is a sham.

  4. Anyone who has claims brought against them SHOULD be able to know who they are. This is an extreme accusation brought onto the President. It’s ridiculous to think/know that a President of these United States could be impeached by someone who will not come forward with the actual facts. So far it’s all hearsay. Trump has done a fabulous job as President, he has accomplished MORE in his 4 years than ANY other president has. What’s the matter with you people, can’t handle the fact that he getting the job done? He may have some faults, but we ALL do. What remains is that he is taking the bull by the horns, not worried about what other countries think OR bowing to them as Obama did. In fact Obama bowed and apologized to Japan over a war THEY started!! Leave Trump alone and let him do his job. We will vote for Trump again in a heartbeat. He’s freeing our country and those who owe us are finally being made to pay up.

  5. Does a Whistle Blower actually exist? If old Beetle Face Schiff, has his way, he’ll never be identified. It’s possible and even likely, that the so called whistle blower is a figment of Schiff’s imagination! The whistle blower item was to protect the accuser from physical harm, not to protect liars! Of course, Schiff knows all about being a liar. One little hint might expose him or her, and if it did, it would also expose the lie, putting both Schiff and his liar in jeapordy!

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