Breaking News Emails
The attorney for the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint fueled a House inquiry into impeaching President Donald Trump says he has "serious concerns" that Trump's comments had put his client in danger.
The unidentified whistleblower's legal team sounded the alarm in a letter, dated Saturday and made public on Sunday, to Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.
The letter, which was signed by Andrew P. Bakaj, the whistleblower's lead attorney, pointed to Trump's call last week for "the person who gave the whistleblower the information" to be publicly identified.
It said the president's remarks were among the events that "have heightened our concerns that our client's identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm's way."
Bakaj acknowledged that it was the whistleblower's source of information whom Trump's statement targeted, but he wrote that the distinction "does nothing to assuage our concerns for our client's safety," claiming that "certain individuals" had put out a $50,000 bounty for information relating to the whistleblower's identity, as well.
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The letter offered no further information about the purported bounty. The Washington Examiner, a conservative political website, reported last week that two right-wing activists had offered $50,000 for "credible information corroborating" the whistleblower's identity.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, after Bakaj's letter was sent to Maguire, Trump made it clear that he does, indeed, want the whistleblower to be outed.
"Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called 'Whistleblower,' represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way," the president wrote.
A report by CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday claimed that the whistleblower is under federal protection, but their lawyer Mark Zaid told NBC News on Monday that is not the case. He added that while discussions are underway with Congress, no agreements about protecting the whistleblower have been reached.