Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Man charged with threatening Ukraine whistleblower's attorney

National security lawyer Mark Zaid

Attorney Mark Zaid. Photo: Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors in Michigan have charged Brittan Atkinson for allegedly sending a threatening email to Mark Zaid, an attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have rallied against the whistleblower, demanding their identity be made public — a call often fueled by right-wing media outlets, which have repeatedly amplified the whistleblower's alleged name.

  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) repeatedly said the alleged name on the Senate floor as senators debated during Trump's impeachment trial.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts previously had declined on more than one occasion to read a question from Paul that used the alleged name.

What happened: Atkinson's email called Zaid a "traitor" who "must die a miserable death." "We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with. We are all strangers in a crowd to you," it added.

  • Zaid told Politico he received the threat a day Trump held up a picture of him at a rally.

Go deeper: Whistleblower's lawyer raises fears for client's safety

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