The whistleblower who legally came forward to tell the government about Donald Trump’s hinky phone calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is “under federal protection,” 60 Minutes reported on Sunday night. The news magazine show reported on two letters from the whistleblower’s lawyers detailed their concerns about how Trump’s comments and the “bounty” for information on the whistleblower affects their client’s safety.
In a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, lawyer Andrew P. Bakaj wrote of the “serious concerns we have regarding our client’s personal safety. We appreciate your office’s support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure their safety.” Read the entire letter via CBS News here.
Bakaj then referenced one of Trump’s troubling? unhinged? deeply concerning comments about the whistleblower complaint. On Thursday after his speech at the United Nations, Trump utterly unloaded on the whistleblower and the person who notified the whistleblower about the “favor” on the phone call. “I want to know who’s the person that gave the whistleblower, who’s the person that gave the whistleblower the information, because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? With spies and treason, right? We used to handle them a little differently than we do now.”
Who wouldn’t want to be “under federal protection,” as 60 Minutes put it, after all of that?
In the letter, Bakaj said even though Trump is ~technically~ directing his ire at the person who told the whistleblower about the phone call, this “does nothing to assuage our concerns for our client’s safety.” Additionally, Bakaj referenced the bounty by Washington’s biggest idiots, Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl. While they might be idiots, their quest for more information than The New York Times already published is clearly adding to a culture of a lack of safety for this person.
It’s also adding to an overall culture of intimidation. If someone who does everything legally to expose wrongdoing by their government is treated this way, why would more people want to come forward when they witness other wrongdoing? The whistleblower is apparently going to testify in front of Congress soon. Hopefully Congress demonstrates why people witnessing wrongdoings in their government can still trust the process.