Nov 8, 2019

Whistleblower's lawyer sends cease-and-desist to White House counsel

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Ukraine whistleblower's lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Thursday, saying President Trump's rhetoric puts his client and the intelligence community in danger.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have called on the whistleblower to come forward and some, including Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., have publicly stated the whistleblower's alleged identity, which has been promoted among right-wing media.

What he's saying: The lawyer, Andrew Bakaj, pointed to multiple incidents, including one in September when Trump said the whistleblower was "almost a spy" and asked if those listening knew "what we used to do in the old days" to spies.

  • "As the leader of the world's remaining global superpower, the words of the president carry great weight and have the ability to change the course of history."
  • "Respectfully, your client's rhetoric and behavior fall well beneath the dignity of the office."
  • "Let me be clear: should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client."

Read the letter:

Go deeper: The GOP's war over naming the Ukraine whistleblower

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Why it matters: After Vindman said he discussed the call — as a part of his position on the National Security Council — with State Department official George Kent and an unnamed intelligence official, the questioning devolved into a squabble over the impeachment inquiry's rules protecting the identity of the whistleblower.

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Ivanka Trump: Ukraine whistleblower's identity is "not particularly relevant"

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Ivanka Trump told the AP Friday that the Ukraine whistleblower's identity is "not particularly relevant" to the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Why it matters: The statement from the president's daughter and adviser is in stark contrast to both her father, who has called on the whistleblower to come forward, and her brother, Donald Trump Jr., who earlier this week tweeted the alleged name of the whistleblower that has been circulating among right-wing media outlets.

Go deeperArrowNov 8, 2019