House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) announced on Sunday that the whistleblower at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump may not testify before Congress due to concerns over the person’s safety.
“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff told interviewers on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Schiff explained that Democrats may be able to gather enough evidence to impeach Trump without revealing the person’s identity.
Trump blasted Schiff’s comments on Twitter on Monday morning .
“Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO!” Trump wrote. “We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA.”
Trump has repeatedly called on House Democrats to reveal the identity of the whistleblower. “I do not know why a person that defrauds at the American public should be protected,” the president tweeted on Wednesday.
The whistleblower initially came forward with concerns about a July phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky based on second hand accounts of the discussion. Trump subsequently released a transcript of the call revealing that he asked Zelensky to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden.
Days before the July conversation, Trump delayed a military aid package earmarked by Congress for Ukraine. The timing has caused Democrats to suspect that Trump withheld the aid package to pressure Ukraine to conduct an investigation damaging to his political rival.
Trump has called the Democrats’ accusations a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”
Meanwhile, a second whistleblower who reportedly has direct knowledge of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky has come forward, and is being represented by the same legal team as the initial whistleblower.