Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Jim Jordan announced Thursday that Republicans plan to subpoena the whistleblower who filed a complaint concerning President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
House Democrats, who control the majority on the committees conducting the resulting impeachment probe, are expected to shut down the subpoena request as they have already rejected the idea of the whistleblower testifying in public, citing concern for the anonymous member of the intelligence community’s safety.
The whistleblower complaint expressed concerns about Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s connections to a Ukrainian gas company. Much-needed U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being held up at the time, prompting speculation of a quid pro quo.
The Trump administration and lawmakers defending the president have made accusations of political bias one of their main defenses against the allegations, arguing that the whistleblower is partisan and not entitled to anonymity.
The intelligence community inspector general, which examined the complaint, found that the whistleblower exhibited “arguable political bias” but said the allegations included in the complaint were nevertheless worthy of investigation, according to a Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel opinion. The whistleblower also reportedly had a prior professional relationship with Biden when he was vice president.
The whistleblower was originally scheduled to testify to the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing, but Democrats have said since then that such testimony would be redundant since other impeachment witnesses have corroborated the claims in the complaint.
The subpoena from Republicans comes as Democrats continue to move the inquiry into a more public phase, releasing transcripts on Wednesday from the House’s private hearings with U.S. diplomats who were close to the president’s dealings with Ukraine.