The attorney for the whistleblower who filed a complaint regarding President Donald Trump disputed a Sunday CBS report saying that his client is under federal protection.
A whistleblower complaint filed in August accused Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, during a July 25 phone call. CBS’s “60 Minutes” tweeted Sunday that it had “obtained a letter” indicating that the whistleblower is now under federal protection.
An attorney for the whistleblower, Mark S. Zaid, tweeted back at the news outlet, writing that it “completely misinterpreted” the contents of the letter.
NEWS ALERT: 60 Minutes completely misinterpreted contents of our letter, which is now published online at https://t.co/HjmBrEQLEi. Nor have we, as we stated earlier today, reached any agreement with Congress on contact with the whistleblower. Discussions remain ongoing. https://t.co/3XSwmtuRrn
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) September 30, 2019
The letter, available online, is intended to convey “serious concerns” that the whistleblower’s lawyers have for their client’s personal safety. It requests that leaders in both political parties “speak out in favor of whistleblower protection,” but does not state that the whistleblower is currently under federal protection, as CBS reported.
“Tonight, 60 Minutes has obtained a letter that indicates the government whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry of President Trump is under federal protection because he or she fears for their safety,” host Scott Pelley said.
The letter reads: “The purpose of this letter is to formally notify you of serious concerns we have regarding our client’s personal safety. We appreciate your office’s support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure their safety.”
Compass Rose Legal Group, which represents the whistleblower, added a Trump quote from Sept. 26 where the president said he wanted to know who gave the whistleblower information. He compared the individuals to spies guilty of treason.
Zaid added that no agreement has been reached with Congress about contact with the whistleblower, noting that “discussions remain ongoing.”
CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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