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The Whistleblower Needs to Publicly Testify

On January 30, 2017, Mark S. Zaid tweeted:

That was less than ten days after Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to President Trump at the inauguration. How convenient that Zaid is now representing the whistleblower.

I have an extraordinary number of friends who tell me the whistleblower no longer matters. They have a compelling argument. There are now ample first hand accounts. We have the people who listened in on the call. We have the people the President talked to. We do not need the whistleblower.

Except the Democrats initially said they wanted to talk to the whistleblower. They coordinated with the whistleblower before the whistleblower blew his whistle. If reports of his identity are true, he is a partisan progressive activist.

Those opposed to revealing him say that does not matter. The truth matters. The facts matter. The identity does not matter. I disagree.

We are at this point because of a whistleblower who, if reports are true, spent a couple years inside the White House throwing every possible complaint against the wall to see which would stick. This one has. He coordinated in advance with the Democrats. He is now paired with a lawyer who two years ago advocated a coup.

The American people deserve to see this person in public and he deserves to be grilled on the reason for his complaint — did he really feel aggrieved or did he just want to take down the President.

I dare say the reason the Democrats who were so desperate to talk to him now don’t want to is that they know he will come across as hyper-partisan and that will undermine their efforts.

But here is the bottom line for me. For three years, Trump supporters have insisted there was a deep state conspiracy to take down the President. I dismissed them and the press ridiculed them. Now various media outlets from the New York Times to MSNBC are celebrating the deep state attack on President Trump. They are openly laughing about it.

It is a dangerous, dangerous precedent for a CIA employee embedded in the White House to work with Democrats and others to end a presidency that operative does not like — no matter the reason. It is a dangerous thing to let career bureaucrats get it in their head that they can sabotage a presidency.

There should be every disincentive possible for a career civil servant to exercise his judgment against the presidency, even if he is ultimately right. There are layers upon layers of appointees under the President, including at least one willing to write anonymously in the New York Times. But none of these came forward to complain. There were chains of command the whistleblower could have used to express his concern. But he wanted to take down the presidency instead.

A careerist should be brave enough to put himself out there and Congress should demand it as a direct disincentive on whistleblowing against the President. The President, regardless of who he or she is, must be able to trust advice given and interactions. This whistleblower fundamentally undermines all of that.

One can credibly argue that the whistleblower did the right thing. I would argue he did not. Instead, he cast doubt on the President’s ability to work with the intelligence community and, along with Anonymous, made us less safe as a nation in his partisan zeal to take out the President. His friends in the media have further helped undermine half the nation’s trust in our intelligence community and bureaucracy. This is damage people will hand wave away, but they should not.

I know the loudest voices right now wish the President impeached and so the wagons must be circled around the whistleblower. I acknowledge the merits of their arguments. Unfortunately, we cannot settle this at the ballot box. It must be settled now to scratch an itch by some. After all, in the whistleblower’s attorney’s words, the coup has started.

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