Dozens Of Former National Security Officials Pen Letter Defending Ukraine Whistleblower

The let­ter, signed by 90 for­mer offi­cials, stressed the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing the whistleblower’s iden­ti­ty, The Wall Street Journal report­ed.


By Sanjana Karanth

Ninety for­mer nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials penned an open let­ter Sunday to the pub­lic defend­ing the whistle­blow­er in the Trump-Ukraine scan­dal, stress­ing the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing the per­son and their iden­ti­ty.
The let­ter is signed by ex-nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials who served under both Democratic and Republican pres­i­dents, includ­ing President Donald Trump him­self, The Wall Street Journal first report­ed. The whistle­blow­er remains anony­mous, though it’s been revealed that the per­son works in the U.S. government’s intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

Dustin Volz

New: 90 for­mer nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials who served under Dem and GOP pres­i­dents, includ­ing Trump, pub­lish open let­ter say­ing whistle­blow­er fol­lowed the law and deserves pro­tec­tion + anonymi­ty.

“A respon­si­ble whistle­blow­er makes all Americans safer.”

View image on Twitter

The let­ter comes as Trump and his allies denounce the whistleblower’s com­plaint regard­ing the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. The com­plaint, which cites sev­er­al unnamed senior White House offi­cials, accus­es the pres­i­dent of pres­sur­ing Zelensky to inves­ti­gate 2020 elec­tion rival Joe Biden, whose son Hunter pre­vi­ous­ly had busi­ness deal­ings in Ukraine. The com­plaint led the House to launch a for­mal impeach­ment inquiry into Trump.

A sum­ma­ry of the call released by the White House large­ly cor­rob­o­rates the whistleblower’s alle­ga­tions. Trump, who has repeat­ed­ly described the call as “per­fect,” lat­er said on cam­era that both Ukraine and China should inves­ti­gate Biden for unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claims of cor­rup­tion. 

Trump has pushed a con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry sug­gest­ing the rules for whistle­blow­ers used to require first­hand infor­ma­tion and changed before the Ukraine whistle­blow­er came for­ward. But experts, includ­ing the intel­li­gence community’s inspec­tor gen­er­al who reviewed the com­plaint, said whistle­blow­ers have always been allowed to report on sec­ond­hand infor­ma­tion.

The pres­i­dent has also false­ly accused the whistle­blow­er of “trea­son” because of the com­plaint, mak­ing veiled threats that the whistle­blow­er should be “dealt with” in vio­lent ways. Trump has repeat­ed­ly said he “deserved” to meet the whistle­blow­er and find out the person’s iden­ti­ty.
The for­mer offi­cials who penned the let­ter said they “applaud the whistle­blow­er.”

As such, he or she has by law the right ― and indeed the respon­si­bil­i­ty ― to make known, through appro­pri­ate chan­nels, indi­ca­tions of seri­ous wrong­do­ing,” they wrote. “That is pre­cise­ly what this whistle­blow­er did; and we applaud the whistle­blow­er not only for liv­ing up to that respon­si­bil­i­ty but also for using pre­cise­ly the chan­nels made avail­able by fed­er­al law for rais­ing such con­cerns.”

They said a whistle­blow­er should be “pro­tect­ed from cer­tain egre­gious forms of retal­i­a­tion.” “Whatever one’s view of the mat­ters dis­cussed in the whistleblower’s com­plaint, all Americans should be unit­ed in demand­ing that all branch­es of our gov­ern­ment and all out­lets of our media pro­tect this whistle­blow­er and his or her iden­ti­ty,” they wrote.

Federal law says Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson can­not dis­close the whistleblower’s iden­ti­ty with­out the person’s con­sent, unless it is “unavoid­able dur­ing the course of the inves­ti­ga­tion.” The law also says the whistle­blow­er should not face any “action con­sti­tut­ing a reprisal, or threat of reprisal” unless the whistle­blow­er fal­si­fied the report.

Members of Congress, includ­ing Sen. Chuck Grassley (R‑Iowa), have been try­ing to keep the whistleblower’s iden­ti­ty anony­mous as law­mak­ers in the House Intelligence Committee work with the whistleblower’s attor­neys to set up a meet­ing. The whistleblower’s lead attor­ney, Andrew Bakaj, wrote in a Sept. 29 let­ter that the whistleblower’s lawyers have “seri­ous con­cerns” about their client’s safe­ty.

Earlier Sunday, Bakaj and fel­low attor­ney Mark Zaid con­firmed that they are rep­re­sent­ing a sec­ond whistle­blow­er from the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty who they say has first­hand knowl­edge of Trump’s mis­con­duct cit­ed in the orig­i­nal whistleblower’s com­plaint. Several for­mer nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials who were named in the let­ter post­ed on Twitter about their deci­sion to sign it. 

Joshua A. Geltzer@jgeltzer

All Americans should be unit­ed in demand­ing that all
branch­es of our gov­ern­ment & all out­lets of our media pro­tect this whistle­blow­er & his or her iden­ti­ty.“

90 for­mer senior nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials sign new open let­ter to the American peo­ple: …

Carl Woog@CarlWoog

Whistleblowers have every right to secure­ly dis­cuss their con­cerns with prop­er author­i­ties and be pro­tect­ed when they do so.Quote Tweet

Joshua A. Geltzer@jgeltzer · 14h“All Americans should be unit­ed in demand­ing that all branch­es of our gov­ern­ment & all out­lets of our media pro­tect this whistle­blow­er & his or her iden­ti­ty.” 90 for­mer senior nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials sign new open let­ter to the American peo­ple:

Story orig­i­nat­ed here; https://​www​.huff​post​.com/​e​n​t​r​y​/​n​i​n​e​t​y​-​f​o​r​m​e​r​-​n​a​t​i​o​n​a​l​-​s​e​c​u​r​i​t​y​-​o​f​f​i​c​i​a​l​s​-​l​e​t​t​e​r​-​d​e​f​e​n​d​i​n​g​-​w​h​i​s​t​l​e​b​l​o​w​e​r​_​n​_​5​d​9​a​9​7​f​7​e​4​b​0​3​b​4​7​5​f​9​b​a​202