Krishnamoorthi, Quigley say protecting whistleblower's anonymity is key
How do you hold a congressional hearing with the most-sought-after witness in the nation and keep that person's identity secret?
"I think the logistics are way more complicated than you can imagine," U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat, said Wednesday regarding a whistle-blower complaint about President Donald Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president that has propelled an impeachment inquiry.
Quigley and fellow Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg both sit on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that will interview the whistle-blower in the near future.
"It's not a matter of whether, it's when and how," Quigley said, adding that the committee Chairman Adam Schiff is working on arrangements with the whistleblower's lawyers.
"We want to talk to him or her ASAP but we have to protect his or her identity," Krishnamoorthi said.
Both lawmakers said in separate interviews they are concerned for the whistleblower's safety after Trump said the White House is trying to find out who the whistle-blower is.
"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," the president said on Twitter.
The whistleblower's complaint states Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump's Democratic rivals, in a July phone call. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Krishnamoorthi plans to ask the whistle-blower about a secret computer system referenced in the complaint where the records of the president's July 25 conversation were stored. The whistle-blower indicated this was improper because the system was intended only for matters of national security, and it wasn't the first time this occurred.
"What is the whistle-blower referring to? What (else) is being deliberately concealed from the public," Krishnamoorthi wondered.
This week, the Intelligence Committee is expected to hold hearings with the intelligence services Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who reviewed the whistleblower's complaint and found it credible, and former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volkner, who resigned last week.
Quigley said, "I want to know how (Atkinson) corroborated the claims (by the whistle-blower)."
Asked about having a front seat to history, Quigley said, "if I was just a spectator it would be wildly frustrating. (But) I can do something about it."