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President Trump at the White House Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The intelligence whistleblower whose complaint on the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine triggered an impeachment inquiry into the president fears for their safety, letters released Sunday night show.

Why it matters: One letter from the whistleblower's lawyer first obtained by CBS News' "60 Minutes" outlined concerns that the whistleblower may be identified. The lawyer specifically cites President Trump's demand to know who gave the whistleblower the information and states that a $50,000 bounty has been issued for anyone with information relating to his client's identity.

What's new: "60 Minutes" first reported that the whistleblower was under federal protection because of safety fears. But the whistleblower's lawyer Mark Zaid tweeted that the show "completely misinterpreted" the contents of the letter.

"Nor have we ... reached any agreement with Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing."
— Lawyer Mark Zaid's tweet
  • However, Politico's Natasha Bertrand notes, the letter does state, "[W]e appreciate your office’s support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure their safety."

The big picture: Trump and his associates have doubled down in recent days against allegations that he may have pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as House Democrats step up their formal impeachment inquiry.

  • The president continued his days-long attacks on the whistleblower and House Democrats Sunday, declaring "I deserve to meet my accuser" and accusing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of treason.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: Schiff said to "60 Minutes" in its special report on House Democrats' impeachment inquiry of Trump's demand to know who reported his call to Zelensky, "It’s hard to describe how dangerous and loathsome that invitation to violence is."

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CBS journalist Scott Pelley that Trump phoned her early last week to say "there was nothing wrong" his conversation with Zelensky as calls for his impeachment grew among Democrats.
"It is wrong for a president to say that he wants you — another head of state — to create something negative about his possible political opponent to his own advantage, at the expense of our national security, his oath of office to the Constitution and the integrity of our elections."
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments to "60 Minutes"
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told "60 Minutes," "The president did nothing in this phone call that's impeachable." 

Read the letters from the whistleblower's lawyer:

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

500 Hong Kong police officers raid pro-democracy newspaper

Chief Operations Officer Chow Tat Kuen (front 2nd R) is escorted by police from the Apple Daily newspaper offices before being put into a waiting vehicle in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong's Apple Daily said 500 police officers searched the pro-democracy newspaper's offices and arrested five senior executives on Thursday.

Why it matters: The arrests of the paper's chief editor, Ryan Law, along with its chief operating officer, two other editors and the CEO of Next Digital, which operates Apple Daily, were made under China's national security law — which gives the government broad power to limit people's political freedom.

World Bank rejects El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin

President Nayib Bukele, giving a speech in El Salvador's legislative assembly in San Salvado earlier this month, pushed for bitcoin to become legal tender. Photo: Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help the country implement Bitcoin as legal tender, Reuters first reported late Wednesday.

Why it matters: The international lender's rejection could hamper the government's goal of making the digital currency accepted across the country within three months.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.

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