One of the lawyers representing a member of the intelligence community, who filed a complaint against President Donald Trump, sent a letter to the White House trying to get lawyers there to stop Trump from attacking the whistleblower.
Trump has repeatedly maligned the person, who currently remains anonymous and was found to have indications of political bias against Trump, over the complaint and has said a number of times that the person should be identified and questioned. The whistleblower complaint itself relied on secondhand information and media reports.
Andrew Bakaj, a lawyer representing the person, claimed in the Nov.7 letter (pdf) to White House counsel Pat Cipollone that Trump could be liable if the whistleblower is hurt.
“I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger. I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates, behavior,” Bakaj wrote.
Trump in September said the whistleblowers sources and the whistleblower himself were similar to spies.
Bakaj cited that statement, and Trump telling reporters this week that the media know the identity of the whistleblower but are refusing to report it, in accusing the president of supporting “acts of violence against my client.”
Bakaj claimed that Trumps statements led to the whistleblower not testifying to congressional investigators. The team offered to answer written questions, which was rejected by Republicans.
Bakaj said Trumps activity violates 18 U.S.C. § 1512, Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant, among other laws.
“Let me be clear: should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client,” Bakaj wrote.
“I submit that it is in your clients best interest to cease and desist in calling for the public disclosure of my clients identity and to cease in rhetoric that may endanger their life and the lives of their family. Should anyone be physically harmed, my co-counsel, Mark Zaid, and I will not hesitate to take any and all appropriate action aRead More – Source