The whistleblower: Should his name be revealed?
President Trump and his allies are on a “witch hunt” of their own, said Sophia Nelson in TheDailyBeast.com. Republicans are obsessed with naming and shaming the whistleblower who tipped off Congress about the July 25 phone call in which the president attempted to extort Ukraine into launching investigations that would help his re-election. Federal law protects government employees who expose wrongdoing from retaliation, with whistleblower protections going back to the country’s founding. But Trump has been attacking the whistleblower for weeks, while Sen. Rand Paul has called on the media to “do your job and print his name.” A few conservative publications have printed a name, putting the person’s safety at risk. Since the whistleblower came forward, multiple people with direct knowledge of the call have confirmed his account. Trump’s defenders have no answer for this, so they’re creating a diversionary attack on a public servant.
Don’t fear for the whistleblower, said Ben Weingarten in TheFederalist.com. “Should he leave public office, he will resign as a Resistance hero,” and he’ll probably get hired by CNN. The only reason Democrats and their media allies are protecting his identity is because it supports Trump’s argument that the impeachment inquiry is part of the “rolling coup” against him. Unconfirmed reports identify the whistleblower as a CIA analyst, registered Democrat, and card-carrying member of the “deep state.” During the Obama administration, he worked closely with former Vice President Joe Biden as well as former CIA director John Brennan, a bitter foe of Trump’s. The public has a right to know “who set the impeachment fires burning,” said William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal. This inquiry is illegitimate unless we hear public testimony from the whistleblower and determine his motives.
Actually, the whistleblower’s identity and motives are “irrelevant,” said Paul Waldman in The Washington Post. He’s like an anonymous tipster who called the police to report a bank robbery in progress. If the police go the bank and find masked bandits holding sacks of cash, they’ll charge the guilty parties. By now, multiple high-level officials have testified about Trump’s efforts “to strong-arm Ukraine into helping his re-election campaign.” Republicans might argue it wasn’t impeachable conduct. “But they can’t claim it didn’t happen, and no amount of shouting about the whistleblower will change that.”