My former colleague Spencer Ackerman and two other journalists at the Daily Beast are reporting that an aide to Devin Nunes, the ranking Republic and chief Trump bootlicker on the House Intelligence Committee, has been leaking the name of the whistleblower who filed the complaint over Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
Derek Harvey, who works for Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, has provided notes for House Republicans identifying the whistleblower’s name ahead of the high-profile depositions of Trump administration appointees and civil servants in the impeachment inquiry. The purpose of the notes, one source said, is to get the whistleblower’s name into the record of the proceedings, which committee chairman Adam Schiff has pledged to eventually release. In other words: it’s an attempt to out the anonymous official who helped trigger the impeachment inquiry.On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that GOP lawmakers and staffers have “repeatedly” used a name purporting to be the whistleblower during the depositions. The paper named Harvey as driving lines of questioning Democrats saw as attempting to determine the political loyalties of witnesses before the inquiry. A former official told the Post that Harvey “was passing notes [to GOP lawmakers] the entire time” ex-NSC Russia staffer Fiona Hill testified.
“Exposing the identity of the whistleblower and attacking our client would do nothing to undercut the validity of the complaint’s allegations,” said Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s attorneys. “What it would do, however, is put that individual and their family at risk of harm. Perhaps more important, it would deter future whistleblowers from coming forward in subsequent administrations, Democratic or Republican.”
Trump badly wants to retaliate against this CIA analyst, but I think CIA Director Gina Haspel, for all her other myriad flaws, will work to protect him. She came up through the CIA ranks and they tend to show enormous loyalty to the institution and to one another. Let’s hope so or this person’s career, if not their life, is at serious risk. But this shows just how deeply beholden Nunes is to Trump. He has sold himself completely.