Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Wednesday night publicly named a person that some Republicans and allies of President Trump claim to be the alleged whistleblower who made the complaint against Trump and the Ukraine phone call that started the talk of impeachment.
Gohmert, a vocal defender of Trump in the impeachment fight, identified the person, who is not being named in most articles and news comments due to remarks at a Judiciary Committee meeting on articles of impeachment against Trump. Gohmert however, did name the person as he spoke about a list of witnesses that he thought the committee should hear from before voting on impeachment.
“Now that we have the articles of impeachment — a vague abuse of power, obstruction of Congress — the very things the majority has done in preventing us from having the witness that could shed light on this, not opinion but fact witnesses, we need to hear from those witnesses,” Gohmert said. He then proceeded to say a list of names of witnesses he wanted to testify, which included Eric Ciaramella — the person alleged to be the whistleblower.
Gohmert did not identify the person as the potential whistleblower by title though, he was simply on the list of people Republicans want to be subpoenaed to testify. This is something that Democrats have swatted away as irresponsible and even dangerous because according to them, any attempt to reveal the whistleblower’s identity could endanger the person’s life and discourage future whistleblowers from revealing wrongdoings in our government.
When asked about his decision to mention the name of the purported whistleblower, Gohmert said he was simply “naming witnesses to the case.”
“I could care less who the whistleblower is,” Gohmert said, repeating the name, as well as the names of two former National Security Council aides as witnesses he wants to hear from. He said the person he identified was someone he considers a “fact witness.” He said he was not worried about the appropriateness of identifying the person publicly or whether he might have violated whistleblower protection statutes and told the interviewer – “You need to do your homework.”
Leader of the Ukraine investigation, House Intelligence Adam Schiff, warned colleagues last month that any attempt by lawmakers to identify the whistleblower could be considered to be an ethics violation. He said that the whistleblower had a statutory right to anonymity and the right to be protected from reprisal, He added that the whistleblower also had the legal right to contact Congress.
Though no one on the committee acknowledged Gohmert’s comment, one Democratic lawmaker was furious.
“House Republicans just committed an incredible and outrageous breach,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) posted on his social media account. “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.”