GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert Publicly Names Alleged Whistleblower; Democrats Respond Angrily
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) publicly identified late Wednesday a person certain GOP lawmakers and allies of President Donald Trump believe to be the alleged whistleblower who initially revealed Trump’s quid pro quo with Ukraine.
Gohmert’s comments came during a House Judiciary Committee meeting about two articles of impeachment Democrats introduced against Trump this week. The Texas Republican said he believes the person he and his GOP colleagues claim to be the whistleblower should testify before Congress before any sort of impeachment vote is held.
According to the Washington Examiner, Gohmert identified the alleged whistleblower as a 33-year-old former CIA analyst who also served as Ukraine director on the National Security Council during former President Barack Obama‘s administration. Ciaramella reportedly stayed at the White House for the first few months of the Trump administration, where he briefly served as acting senior director for European and Russian affairs. Ciaramella is one of several people Gohmert said should appear before lawmakers as witnesses in Trump’s impeachment inquiry. The Texas Republican also named two former National Security Council aides as people who should testify before Congress.
“I could care less who the whistleblower is,” Gohmert said.
When asked by Politico if he may have violated whistleblower protection statutes, Gohmert answered, “You need to do your homework.”
Gohmert’s bold statement marks a turning point in the Trump impeachment inquiry. His remarks quickly drew condemnation from several Democrats, who criticized the GOP lawmaker’s words as dangerous and irresponsible.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Virginia) was one of several Democratic lawmakers to denounce Gohmert’s comments, as was legal analyst Barb McQuade:
House Republicans just committed an incredible and outrageous breach.
The President threatened the whistleblower with violence, and whether the person just named is the whistleblower or not they were just put in real danger. This is unacceptable and there should be consequences. https://t.co/yyzK5KNKGS
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) December 12, 2019
Naming whistleblowers harms national security by chilling them from coming forward, encouraging them to leak or, even worse, staying silent when they uncover abuse. https://t.co/RPH1a9mdWO
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) December 12, 2019
Last month, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) warned lawmakers that any effort to publicly reveal the whistleblower’s name would likely constitute an ethics violation. Schiff emphasized that the unknown individual holds a right to anonymity and to be protected from retaliation.