A second person has come forward to accuse President Donald Trump of potentially improper dealings with Ukraine related to the U.S. election and has sought whistleblower protection, according to lawyers who represent the initial accuser in the case.
The legal team, now representing both individuals, said the new whistleblower is an intelligence official who has “firsthand knowledge” of Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian officials.
Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys representing the initial accuser in the case, said in a tweet over the weekend that his firm is representing the person.
NEWS UPDATE: I can confirm this report of a second #whistleblower being represented by our legal team. They also made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against. This WBer has first hand knowledge. https://t.co/zYkUYgJ0mE
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) October 6, 2019
The New York Times reported Monday that the second whistleblower was among the people interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general as part of the investigation into the initial allegation.
Trump took to Twitter to dismiss the new whistleblower as just another part of what he calls a “witch hunt.”
Democrat lawyer is same for both Whistleblowers? All support Obama and Crooked Hillary. Witch Hunt! https://t.co/KL78g24AXx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2019
Zaid told the Times that the second official’s act of coming forward to the inspector general gives the person whistleblower protections, and it's not yet clear whether the person will file a formal complaint.
The official, who has not been identiified publicly, has not communicated with any congressional committees, Zaid said.
The House has begun a formal impeachment investigation of Trump, but there's no indication of how long it will take.
Several officials, including the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, and State Department official T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, are scheduled to be deposed by House Intelligence Committee lawyers this week, but the State Department has fought the schedule, saying it is unreasonable.
Trump Accuses Pelosi of Treason
Trump also tweeted over the weekend that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors "and even treason," a crime that can be punishable by death.
Trump has previously made the same accusation against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
....This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even Treason. I guess that means that they, along with all of those that evilly “Colluded” with them, must all be immediately Impeached!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
The allegations against Trump are that he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Biden's son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
Trump supporters have suggested Joe Biden was misusing his position as vice president under President Barack Obama to protect Hunter Biden or the company.
Trump released a summary of a phone call he had with Zelensky this summer in which he asks the president to "look into" the allegations against Biden.
Trump has also suggested while speaking to reporters that Ukraine should investigate Biden, publicly calling for the exact thing that he is accused of doing in the phone call.
Pelosi: House To Move Ahead With Trump Impeachment Inquiry
Trump Denies Wrongdoing In Call With Foreign Leader; Congress Seeks Whistleblower Complaint
President Donald Trump arrives at Joint Base Andrews Air Force Base on Thursday, Oct. 3. White House photo by Shealah Craighead.
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