GOP Senators Advance Probe Into Whistleblower
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Immediately following President Trump’s acquittal in the Senate, Republicans set their sights on the whistleblower behind impeachment. The investigation into the Ukrainian whistleblower has reportedly been underway for months, and Senators seem to have begun focusing on preparing for a vote in the Senate to compel the whistleblower to testify.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been able to maintain a bipartisan status despite recent fights in Congress, but this reputation is certainly going to be challenged in the next coming weeks over this issue.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr spoke on the matter with confidence, telling The Hill:
“I think you can rest assured that I’m prepared to do whatever we have to do to interview the whistleblower.”
Things are expected to happen quickly after the panel concludes two final reports on Russian election interference in 2016, with Richard Burr saying he plans to talk to the whistleblower “sooner rather than later.”
Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner also spoke on the ongoing investigation, saying:
“Chairman Burr and I are working on how we’re going to go through our proceedings. I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve managed for three and a half years to continue to put out broad, bipartisan reports,” Warner said. “I’m not going to get into any details on what we’re going to do. ... We’ve been pretty close to the vest.”
Another Democratic committee source added that the whistleblower’s safety will be “a top priority” throughout the process.
The fight to hear from the whistleblower was initiated by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who, during an interview earlier this month at CBS, claimed the “whistleblower episode needs to be investigated by Richard Burr.”
Many Republicans agree with Burr and Graham, including Roy Blunt, a member of the Intelligence Committee who told The Hill he would be supportive of a subpoena. On the other hand, questionable Republican Senator Susan Collins stated:
“I am very uncomfortable when I hear about investigations of a whistleblower. We have a law that explicitly protects whistleblowers because they perform an invaluable role in exposing wrongdoing in government.”
A testimony from the whistleblower could have serious consequences for top ranking Democrats, including Adam Schiff, who lied about not meeting with the whistleblower, and even has two staffers who worked closely with the whistleblower at the NSC. This will give Republican Senators the chance to further vindicate President Trump, and lay out their case of the sham impeachment trial in a counter investigation.