Updated Oct 6, 2019

Second Ukraine whistleblower has "firsthand knowledge" of Trump allegations

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The attorney representing the whistleblower whose anonymous complaint about President Trump and Ukraine has sparked an impeachment inquiry confirmed to ABC News on Sunday that he is now representing a second whistleblower with "firsthand knowledge" of some of the allegations.

Why it matters: One of the attacks Trump and his allies have used to try to undermine the credibility of the first whistleblower is that he relied on secondhand information from other White House officials. There is no requirement in the whistleblower statute for firsthand information, but an official with direct knowledge of the allegations could provide even more explosive evidence in the impeachment investigation.

  • Attorney Mark Zaid confirmed to ABC that the second whistleblower has been interviewed by intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, but said that they have not been in contact with the House committees conducting the inquiry.
  • One of Zaid's colleagues, Andrew Bakaj, tweeted: "I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General. No further comment at this time."

Following a report in the New York Times last week suggesting that there could be a second whistleblower, Trump tweeted on Saturday night:

"The first so-called second hand information 'Whistleblower' got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another 'Whistleblower' is coming in from the Deep State, also with second hand info. Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming!"

Go deeper: Trump demands to meet whistleblower and accuses Adam Schiff of "treason"

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Ukraine whistleblower never worked for political candidate, attorneys say

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hand with President Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The whistleblower whose allegations about President Trump and Ukraine have sparked an impeachment inquiry "never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party," and spent their entire government career in apolitical positions, according to a statement released by the whistleblower's lawyers Wednesday night.

Why it matters: Republicans and the White House have been ramping up their attempts to discredit the whistleblower, seizing on an Aug. 26 letter from Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson in which he disclosed the whistleblower showed "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate."

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Ukraine whistleblower previously worked with unnamed 2020 candidate

Michael Atkinson testifies to House Intelligence Committee on October 4, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week that the whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump and Ukraine has set off an impeachment inquiry previously had "some type of professional relationship" with one of the 2020 Democratic candidates, the Washington Examiner first reported and Axios' Jonathan Swan has confirmed.

The big picture: Atkinson wrote in an Aug. 26 letter that the whistleblower demonstrated "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate." CNN later reported that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat, which Trump allies have used in an effort to undermine their credibility. Much of the information laid out in the whistleblower's original complaint has since been substantiated.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Republicans scold Schiff for not seeking whistleblower's testimony

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republican leaders on the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine condemned House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff in a letter on Wednesday for failing to call the whistleblower to testify before them, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The letter marks the first time Republicans have formally demanded the statement of a witness involved in Democrats' impeachment inquiry. But "this particular whistleblower could also face a significant physical risk if his or her identity is exposed," Lawfare notes.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019