President Trump stated on Monday that the White House was “trying to find out” the identification of the whistle-blower whose claims led Democrats to start an impeachment inquiry last week, even because the whistle-blower’s lawyers have outlined “serious” safety concerns for their client as Mr. Trump has repeatedly targeted him and compared him to a spy.
Mr. Trump’s latest remark, made to reporters in the Oval Office through the swearing-in of his new labor secretary, Eugene Scalia, followed up on a series of Twitter posts over the weekend, in which Mr. Trump claimed that he deserved “to fulfill my accuser.”
It was not instantly clear what steps the White House was taking to identify the whistle-blower; however, the White House has known for weeks that a C.I.A. officer lodged concerns about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Still, Mr. Trump’s fixation on discovering and discussing the identity of the whistle-blower, whose anonymity is protected by the law, was seen as a brazen transfer for a president under scrutiny for abuse of power.
“As the acting D.N.I. testified last week, the law and policy help the safety of the identity of the whistle-blower from disclosure and retaliation,” Mark Zaid, the lawyer for the whistle-blower, stated Monday, referring to the acting director of national intelligence, in response to Mr. Trump’s most recent feedback. “No exceptions exist for any individual.”
Mr. Trump on Monday additionally questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, needs to be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine throughout a current congressional hearing.