As President Donald Trump and his allies continue to denounce the CIA whistleblower whose complaint led to an impeachment investigation, pressure is building on the spy agency’s director, Gina Haspel, to take a stand on the matter, current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News.
“It will be incumbent on her to protect the whistleblower — and by extension, the organization — moving forward,” Marc Polymeropoulos, a recently retired CIA officer who oversaw operations in Europe and Russia, said in an interview. “This is a seminal moment for her leadership, and I’m confident she will do the right thing.”
So far, Haspel has been publicly silent as Trump has railed about the whistleblower, a CIA analyst, on Twitter. So has the director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.
On Wednesday, during Ukraine testimony, the lawyer for Republicans on the House Oversight Committee asked former Ambassador Bill Taylor about an individual who has been identified by some right-wing news organizations as the whistleblower. The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. had already tweeted out the same name.
Trump Jr.’s tweet came after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Monday he would probably disclose the whistleblower’s name, and he urged the news media to do so. Also Monday, the president tweeted: “There is no Whistleblower. There is someone with an agenda against Donald Trump.”
Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lead lawyer, has said that disclosure of his client’s name would deter future whistleblowers and he has threatened legal action against anyone who reveals the name. In a statement Wednesday, the whistleblower’s lawyers said “identifying any suspected name … will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm.” [Continue reading…]