September 30, 2019
The whistle-blower said that US President Donald Trump had tried to get a foreign power to interfere in a US election for his own gain. PHOTO: REUTERS
WASHINGTON (AFP, WASHINGTON POST) – President Donald Trump said on Sunday (Sept 29) he wants to meet the anonymous whistle-blower at the centre of the scandal threatening his presidency.
Mr Trump has been relatively quiet this weekend but in a series of evening tweets he also blasted Democratic lawmakers and the media as he railed against the impeachment inquiry launched last week.
That probe was triggered by the release of a rough transcript of a July phone call in which Mr Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Mr Joe Biden, a potential Democratic candidate in the 2020 US election.
He also enlisted his attorney general and personal lawyer to help in that effort.
The whistle-blower filed a complaint over the contents of the conversation back in August, saying Mr Trump had tried to get a foreign power to interfere in a US election for his own gain.
“Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called ‘Whistleblower’, represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” Mr Trump tweeted.
He also said the de facto leader of the congressional inquiry, Mr Adam Schiff, lied to Congress last week about what Mr Trump said to the president of Ukraine and should be punished.
“His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” he wrote.
Mr Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, said on Sunday that his panel has reached an agreement to secure testimony from the anonymous whistle-blower.
In an appearance on ABC News’s This Week, Mr Schiff also said he expected the Intelligence Committee to hear from the whistle-blower “very soon”, pending a security clearance from acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.
“We’ll get the unfiltered testimony of that whistle-blower,” Mr Schiff said, noting that Mr Maguire said in a hearing on Thursday (Sept 26) that he would allow the whistle-blower to testify privately without constraints.
One of the whistle-blower’s attorneys, Mr Mark Zaid, said in a statement that bipartisan negotiations in both chambers are ongoing “and we understand all agree that protecting the whistle-blower’s identity is paramount”.
He added that no date or time for the testimony has been set.