Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower who sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and triggered an impeachment inquiry, tells ABC News that he is now representing a second whistleblower who has spoken with the inspector general.
Zaid tells ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that the second person — also described as an intelligence official — has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint and has been interviewed by the head of the intelligence community’s internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson.
The existence of a second whistleblower — particularly one who can speak directly about events involving the president related to conversations involving Ukraine — could undercut Trump’s repeated insistence that the original complaint, released on Sept. 26, was “totally inaccurate.”
.@ABC EXCLUSIVE: Attorney representing whistleblower who sounded the alarm on Pres. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine tells @ABC News he is now representing a second whistleblower who has first-hand knowledge of events.@GStephanopoulos reports: https://t.co/nfsdovQMbq pic.twitter.com/LDeYL3dL26
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 6, 2019
That original seven-page complaint alleged that Trump pushed a foreign power to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and Biden’s son, Hunter, and that unnamed senior White House officials then tried to “lock down” all records of the phone call.
“This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” the first whistleblower stated, in a complaint filed Aug. 12.
Zaid says both officials have full protection of the law intended to protect whistleblowers from being fired in retaliation. While this second official has spoken with the IG — the internal watchdog office created to handle complaints — this person has not communicated yet with the congressional committees conducting the investigation.
The New York Times on Friday cited anonymous sources in reporting that a second intelligence official was weighing whether to file his own formal complaint and testify to Congress. Zaid says he does not know if the second whistleblower he represents is the person identified in the Times report.
Zaid’s co-counsel, Andrew Bakaj, confirmed in a tweet Sunday that the firm is representing “multiple whistleblowers.” Zaid later confirmed in a tweet that two are being represented by their legal team.
According to the first whistleblower, more than a half a dozen U.S. officials have information relevant to the investigation — suggesting the probe could widen even further. [Continue reading…]