Chuck Grassley Says ‘Whistleblower’ Must Have His Identity Protected

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Senator Chuck Grassley says the whistleblower who filed the complaint against Trump over his phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky must have his identity protected according to the law. He said the distinction between first- and second-hand information should not be dismissed out of hand.

To me, the difference is between evidence and gossip.

We just have to trust that these bureaucrats have vetted this man. It means he can say whatever he wants but the President’s lawyers might not be able to grill him. It could put the President on the defensive right from the getgo. We’ll have to see what it means in terms of the President confronting his accuser.

There are errors in the complaint but it looks like Congress will see him as a legitimate whistleblower and follow the law which requires them to keep his identity secret.

So far, everything in the complaint shows the whistleblower only had second- and third-hand information.

The whistleblowers of Benghazi enjoyed no such benefit of anonymity and their careers were ruined.

The full statement:

Butler County, Iowa – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made the following comments regarding the intelligence community whistleblower and related issues.

“This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality. Any further media reports on the whistleblower’s identity don’t serve the public interest—even if the conflict sells more papers or attracts clicks.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts. Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.

“When it comes to whether someone qualifies as a whistleblower, the distinctions being drawn between first- and second-hand knowledge aren’t legal ones. It’s just not part of whistleblower protection law or any agency policy. Complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.

“As I said last week, inquiries that put impeachment first and facts last don’t weigh very credibly. Folks just ought to be responsible with their words.”

Grassley is the chairman and co-founder of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus and has authored and co-authored many of the nation’s whistleblower protection laws.


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