Lawyer says he represents second Ukraine whistleblower
The lawyer for the first intelligence whistleblower who came forward with accusations concerning President Donald Trump and his interactions with Ukraine said Sunday he is representing a second whistleblower regarding the President’s actions.
Attorney Mark Zaid confirmed to CNN that he and other lawyers on his team are now representing the second person, who the lawyer said works in the intelligence community, has first-hand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower and has spoken to the intelligence community’s inspector general.
Zaid told CNN that the second whistleblower has not filed their own complaint and doesn’t need to as anyone who speaks to the inspector watchdog is considered to have made a protected disclosure and is a whistleblower under law.
Zaid’s co-counsel, attorney Andrew Bakaj, said they are representing “multiple officials” but would not specify if the team is representing more than the two already announced. Bakaj also said there is currently just one complaint filed with the inspector general and that it includes information from both persons.
ABC first reported Zaid’s representation of the second person.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded to the development later Sunday, saying that “it doesn’t matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers about the same telephone call — a call the President already made public — it doesn’t change the fact that he has done nothing wrong.”
The confirmation of a second whistleblower comes as House Democrats ratchet up their impeachment inquiry centered on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by issuing a subpoena to the White House and a documents request to Vice President Mike Pence.
The initial whistleblower’s complaint alleged the President abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied doing anything improper.
A White House-released transcript of the call revealed Trump asked Ukraine’s President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — Trump’s potential 2020 Democratic rival — and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
The New York Times reported Friday that a second intelligence official with concerns and more direct knowledge regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine was considering filing a whistleblower complaint. Zaid told CNN he didn’t know if the second whistleblower he is representing is the same person referenced in the Times report.
This story has been updated with additional developments Sunday.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.