The impeachment inquiry was started by a whistleblower, who came forward with concerns to the inspector general of the intelligence committee regarding President Donald Trump’s conversations with a foreign leader, allegedly requesting investigations be opened in that country in order to benefit himself politically.
Since that time, many defenders of Trump, and indeed the president himself, have made disparaging statements toward the whistleblower, whose identity remains hidden for now, in spite of the fact that Trump has demanded to know who they are.
But now, there are troubling developments regarding the whistleblower’s personal safety. A source familiar with the situation explained to CNN this week that the whistleblower has received death threats, and has referred at least one threat to law enforcement to investigate.
“There have been a myriad of disturbing emails and voicemails sent to the legal team, with a few select messages crossing the line enough into direct threats of harm that have resulted in follow up from relevant law enforcement entities,” the source explained.
The FBI has looked into at least one of those threats, and has determined it wasn’t credible after speaking with the individual who made it. Information about other threats has not been made public at this time.
Trump’s demands for the identity of the whistleblower and the ability to confront them directly have been deemed a “serious” safety concern by their lawyers. The whistleblower’s legal team wrote a letter to inspector general late last month regarding the matter.
Trump’s comments, as well as others, “have heightened our concerns that our client’s identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm’s way,” the lawyer’s wrote, according to ABC News.
Within that same letter, the whistleblower’s lawyers noted that some have gone to extreme lengths in order to “out” the whistleblower’s identity — including establishing large monetary rewards to anyone who can discern who they are.