A Second Whistleblower—Much Ado About Nothing

October 10, 2019 Updated: October 10, 2019

Commentary

House Democrats recently advised that a second whistleblower has emerged. This whistleblower is represented by the attorney representing the initial whistleblower and, apparently, has first-hand knowledge regarding the allegations in the initial whistleblower complaint and/or the president’s conversation with the Ukrainian president.

Despite the sudden emergence of this second whistleblower, House Democrats are no further along in their efforts to remove the president.

The emergence of a second whistleblower is quite convenient for House Democrats, who have recently been on the defensive with respect to the initial whistleblower. After all, that individual did not have first-hand knowledge of any pertinent facts, was reportedly against the president, and met with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and/or a member of his staff before filing the whistleblower complaint.

The allegations were apparently so weak that Schiff knowingly mischaracterized the president’s words in his opening remarks during the recent House Intelligence hearing with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Conveniently, the second whistleblower, who happens to be represented by attorney Mark Zaid, miraculously comes along to fill in any blanks that the first whistleblower “missed,” or “omitted.”

While this second whistleblower allegedly has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations in the initial complaint, so does anyone else in America and around the world who took the time to read the transcript of the president’s call with the Ukrainian president.

The second whistleblower’s alleged first-hand information should be consistent with the transcript that was released. If it isn’t, his/her testimony should be viewed with skepticism, as the transcript of the telephone conversation appears to be the best evidence of what was discussed.

If the second individual provides information that is different to what is in the transcript, what reason is there to believe that this second individual didn’t conform his allegations/testimony around the publicly released transcript in an effort to hurt the president? This second individual is no different than someone who alleges to have first-hand information about a baseball game that already happened.

At the present time, House Republicans cannot push back against House Democrats because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not called for a House vote on any article of impeachment, thereby triggering the rights that come along with a formal (and lawful) impeachment of the president. If, and when, she does so, House Republicans will be able to mount a defense to the allegations against the president, which includes the right to question individuals and to issue subpoenas.

Further hindering the ability to mount a solid defense is the cloak of secrecy that protects the identity of whistleblowers.

Pursuant to 50 U.S. Code § 3033 (g)(3)(A, B):

(A) the Inspector General shall not disclose the identity of the employee without the consent of the employee, unless the Inspector General determines that such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation or the disclosure is made to an official of the Department of Justice responsible for determining whether a prosecution should be undertaken, and this provision shall qualify as a withholding statute pursuant to subsection (b)(3) of section 552 of title 5 (commonly known as the “Freedom of Information Act”); and

(B) no action constituting a reprisal, or threat of reprisal, for making such complaint or disclosing such information to the Inspector General may be taken by any employee in a position to take such actions, unless the complaint was made or the information was disclosed with the knowledge that it was false or with willful disregard for its truth or falsity.

While this law generally prevents the inspector general from disclosing the identity of the whistleblower (with several exceptions), it is silent as to whether the Senate may identify the whistleblowers if the House passes articles of impeachment. As a matter of fact, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) recently indicated that he would expose the identities of both whistleblowers if Democrats moved forward with impeachment.

Said Graham on Fox News:

“Here’s what’s going to happen: if the whistleblowers’ allegations are turned into an impeachment article it’s imperative that the whistleblower be interviewed in public, under oath, and cross-examined. … If that doesn’t happen in the House, I’ll make sure it happens in the Senate.”

Assuming that Graham is legally permitted to do so, and assuming that the Senate doesn’t make quick work of any impeachment efforts by way of immediate dismissal, the importance of his point cannot be overstated.

From a practical standpoint, the president of the United States is being accused of wrongdoing and threatened with impeachment while the House is unable to push back, the identity of his accusers is protected, his right/ability to face his accusers is significantly hindered, and Congressional Democrats have been obsessed with removing him from office since the day he was elected.

Despite these setbacks, and the emergence of a second whistleblower, House Democrats are no closer to removing the president from office. Despite all of the noise coming from House Democrats, there’s still no evidence that the president engaged in any sort of quid pro quo with Ukraine. The transcript of the call is there for all to see and speaks for itself.

With regard to the second whistleblower, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) said it best: “It does not matter.”

Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications. 

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.