FBI Reached out to Whistleblower’s Legal Team for Interview: Reports

November 21, 2019 Updated: November 21, 2019

The FBI reached out to request an interview with the whistleblower at the center of the House-led impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

An agent with the FBI’s Washington field office reached out to the whistleblower’s lawyers in October about the complaint, reported The Associated Press, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal.

A source told Fox that no substantive discussions have taken place yet. It’s not clear what information the FBI is seeking. The WSJ also reported that the FBI has twice reached out to the person, while AP said the whistleblower is not the target of an investigation but is being regarded as a potential witness.

The person filed a complaint on Aug. 12 about Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25. The phone call was later released by the White House, where Trump asked Zelensky about investigations related to former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings in the country. Hunter Biden sat on a Ukranian energy company, Burisima Holdings, that is currently under investigation for corruption.

House Democrats claim that Trump abused his power by allegedly withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations or a trip to the White House. Trump has denied the claim, and a recently released letter from May suggested that Trump had asked Zelensky to come to the White House after he won his election.

Republicans and Trump said that the identity of the whistleblower should be identified so as to reveal any biases or potential collusion. Democrats have said they do not need to hear from the person now that others have testified.

In September, the Justice Department confirmed that Brian Benczkowski, who is the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, reviewed the whistleblower complaint and found there were no violations of campaign finance laws by Trump when he asked Zelensky for investigations.

Kerri Kupec, who is chief of public affairs, said the Justice Department, determined that “no further action was warranted,” the Washington Post reported.

On Nov. 12, a newly filed complaint to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) stated that the whistleblower might have violated federal law by indirectly soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars via GoFundMe, Fox reported.

The complaint claimed that donations from 6,000 people “clearly constitute” gifts to a current intelligence official, adding that donations may have come from prohibited sources, and asked the ICIG to investigate if any “foreign citizen or agent of a foreign government” contributed to the person’s fund, Fox News reported on Nov. 12.

According to the report, the ICIG complaint alleged the donations via GoFundMe were a “gift” to a federal employee and were made because of the person’s official “status, authority, or duties.” It also alleged that the whistleblower might be exploiting their access to confidential information.