The anonymous whistleblower, who in August filed an official complaint after learning of the president’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has agreed to answer written questions from House Republicans. This was announced by his lawyer, according to a report from CBS News on Sunday.
Per CBS News, the identity of the whistleblower could be verified by the Trump-appointed director of the intelligence community in order to calm concerns of House Republicans, who have claimed they felt shut out of the Democratic-led process. The offer was made in a letter sent by the whistleblower’s lawyer to Devin Nunes, the highest-ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, said his client’s offer highlights their desire to make sure that their complaint is investigated in a non-partisan manner. The whistleblower had initially said they would be willing to answer questions submitted by the House Intelligence Committee as a whole, but their offer Sunday extends the offer directly to the Republican minority members on the committee.
Zaid said that his client would be willing to take written questions directly from members of the Republican Party, which would avoid any potential interference by Democrats running the impeachment probe. Republicans have repeatedly criticized the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry, which has involved testimony in closed-door hearings open only to members of the three committees conducting the probe – which actually includes both Democrats and Republicans.
As CBS News reported, it wasn’t clear if House Republicans would accept the whistleblower’s offer to answer written questions under oath. Nunes did not respond to a request for comment, CBS News said.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had initially intended for the anonymous whistleblower to testify before Congress about their complaint. Later, Schiff said it wouldn’t be necessary due to other witnesses interviewed as part of the impeachment probe. Those witnesses have reportedly corroborated the whistleblower’s account.
“Given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower, who wasn’t on the call, to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff said last month. “We have the best evidence of that.”
Schiff added that he lost interest in having the whistleblower testify following the president’s repeated attempts to undermine the whistleblower’s credibility and repeated calls to have their identity unmasked, CBS News reported.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier Sunday, while the president and many Republicans have continued to deny that there was a quid pro quo involved in the July interaction, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said in an interview on CNN that she didn’t know whether or not the president ordered funds to be held. Reportedly, Trump was going to withhold aid unless Ukraine publicly announced an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.