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Politics Ukraine whistleblower's lawyers say client's identity no longer relevant

23:25  25 october  2019
23:25  25 october  2019 Source:   thehill.com

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The lawyers who represent the whistleblower who first came forward with allegations about President Trump' s contacts with Ukraine are arguing that the identity of their client is no longer relevant now that more information about the complaint has.

A lawyer for the Ukraine whistleblower , whose complaint document triggered the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, has sent a letter to the White House warning the President to "cease and desist" attacking his client .

The lawyers who represent the whistleblower who first came forward with allegations about President Trump's contacts with Ukraine are arguing that the identity of their client is no longer relevant now that more information about the complaint has publicly come to light.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Ukraine whistleblower's lawyers say client's identity no longer relevant© The Hill Ukraine whistleblower's lawyers say client's identity no longer relevant

Lawyers Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid wrote in an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post that witnesses interviewed by House Democrats have "substantiated" the whistleblower complaint that raised concerns about Trump pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into one of his top 2020 political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.

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The lawyers said the whistleblower voluntarily provided " relevant career information" to the IG "to facilitate an assessment of the credibility of the To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant."

Our client ’ s whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s efforts to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election was publicly released a month ago, and since then, speculation about the whistleblower ’ s identity has only increased.

Their op-ed comes, they write, amid increased speculation over the whistleblower's identity, particularly as the president and his supporters seek to "fanatically" reveal their client's identity.

"Much of what has been disclosed since the release of our client's complaint actually exceeds the whistleblower's knowledge of what transpired at the time the complaint was submitted," the lawyers write.

In particular, they point to the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky July phone call that the White House released and text messages between three U.S. diplomats related to discussions of the investigations and a potential quid pro quo, as well as from "congressional testimony by people intimately involved with the circumstances the whistleblower first raised concern about."

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Our client ’ s whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s efforts to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election was publicly released a month ago, and since then, speculation about the whistleblower ’ s identity has only increased.

Our client ’ s whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s efforts to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election was publicly released a month ago, and since then, speculation about the whistleblower ’ s identity has only increased.

"Because our client has no additional information about the president's call, there is no justification for exposing their identity and all the risks that would follow," they continue.

The lawyers noted that the intelligence community inspector general found that the whistleblower not only followed the proper procedures in filing a complaint, but that their complaint was both "urgent" and "credible."

The two lawyers said despite the new information about Trump's contacts with Zelensky, the president has continued to attack the whistleblower and look to reveal the individual's identity.

They also voiced concern that the president's defenders are aiding in those attacks.

"The reckless attacks on our client are particularly disturbing because they undermine an already frail system meant to protect honorable whistleblowers who lawfully disclose a reasonable belief that there has been a violation of law, rule or regulation, or an abuse of authority," they wrote.

"Exposing the identity of the whistleblower and attacking our client would do nothing to undercut the validity of the complaint's allegations."

Analysis: How 'do us a favor' led to Trump impeachment inquiry .
How we got here is something of a play in three acts, involving machinations by Ukrainians, Trump and Democrats in turn, with the fourth act to be written. ___THE BLACK EARTHUkraine is a land of dark, fertile soil where corruption and assorted American conspiracy theories have taken root along with the wheat and cabbage. Trump's preoccupation with Joe Biden and his son Hunter flourished there.A true if flawed democracy on Russia's doorstep, Ukraine in 2014 ushered out a pro-Russian leader who tolerated corruption and replaced him with an anti-Russian leader who tolerated somewhat less corruption.

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