Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) raged over what she described as “attempts” to out the so-called “whistleblower,” whose name has been public for weeks, arguing that his “identity and testimony are irrelevant” to the impeachment inquiry.
Feinstein joined the barrage of outrage on Wednesday sparked by Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet of a Breitbart News article that featured the name of the alleged “whistleblower” at the heart of the partisan impeachment inquiry.
The suspected “whistleblower,” Eric Ciaramella, who reportedly works as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, has ties to the individuals who helped craft Fusion GPS’s anti-Trump dossier, which was reportedly funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), as Breitbart News reported.
RealClearInvestigations identified Ciaramella as the “whistleblower” in a bombshell report last week. While the mainstream media outlets have staunchly refused to name Ciaramella, his name has not remained a secret, floating around for weeks.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said this week that he would “at some point” drop the name of the so-called “whistleblower.”
“I’m more than willing to, and I probably will at some point,” he said, according to the Hill. “There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name.”
However, Feinstein, who came under fire last year for reportedly employing a Chinese spy for roughly two decades, is incensed by the “attempts” to publicly expose the “whistleblower,” deeming it “inexcusable” and arguing that the “whistleblower’s” identity and testimony are “irrelevant”:
Attempts by the president and congressional Republicans to publicly identify the whistleblower are inexcusable and must stop. These efforts are nothing more than an attempt to distract the public from a legitimate investigation of serious allegations made against the president. pic.twitter.com/NdbRhmHQjj
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) November 6, 2019
Her full statement:
Attempts by the president and congressional Republicans to publicly identify the whistleblower are inexcusable and must stop.
Federal law specifically protects government employees who report official misconduct. Attempts to release any whistleblower’s identity discourages future complaints, which are vital to Congress’ ability to conduct oversight and uncover waste, fraud and abuse.
These complaints are made by conscientious public servants out of a sense of loyalty to America and its laws. They should be protected, not maligned by the people in charge of upholding those laws.
Efforts to leak the name of the whistleblower in the Ukraine case are nothing more than an attempt to distract the public from a legitimate investigation of serious allegations made against the president. In fact, the whistleblower’s identity and testimony are irrelevant. Witnesses with first-hand knowledge have testified to the facts, which paint a troubling picture and should be the focus.
The demand to reveal this whistleblower are purely punitive – clear retaliation for having brought wrongdoing to light. I urge my House and Senate colleagues to protect this whistleblower as they would any other.
While Feinstein claims that the “whistleblower’s” identity and testimony are “irrelevant,” Paul says the latter, in the very least, is central to the inquiry.
“The whistleblower is actually a material witness completely separate from being the whistleblower because he worked for Joe Biden. He worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was receiving $50,000 a month,” Paul told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux on Tuesday.
So the investigation into the corruption of Hunter Biden involves this whistleblower because he was there at the time. Did he bring up the conflict of interest? Was there discussion of this? What was his involvement with the relationship between Joe Biden and the prosecutors? There’s a lot of questions the whistleblower needs to answer.
Question: "The whistleblower laws protect the whistleblower. You know it's illegal to out a whistleblower?"
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
Feinstein, a Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member, recently endorsed Biden’s presidential bid.
“I’ve worked closely with Vice President Biden, and I’ve seen firsthand his legislative ability, his statesmanship, and most importantly his moral fortitude,” she said in a statement.
“During his time in Congress and in the White House, Joe Biden has been a tireless fighter for hard working American families,” she added.