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Lawyers express concern for whistleblower's safety

Lawyers representing the whistleblower behind the explosive complaint involving President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's efforts to persuade Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden expressed concern for their client's safety in a letter to lawmakers released Sunday.

In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina's Mark Walker expected to announce Senate bid Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Cyber agency urges employees not to lose focus in wake of director's firing MORE (R-N.C.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump addresses pandemic but not election during annual turkey pardon Trump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract MORE (D-Calif.) and others, lawyers representing the whistleblower said they had "serious concerns for our client’s personal safety, as well as for others connected to this matter." They called on lawmakers "to speak out in favor of whistleblower protection and reiterate that this is a protected system where retaliation is not permitted, whether direct or implied."

The lawyers also attached correspondence with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireRetired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden Congressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones MORE thanking him for his supportive words during his testimony and expressing concerns for their client.

"60 Minutes," which first obtained the letter, originally reported that the contents suggested the whistleblower was under federal protection. However, lawyer Mark Zaid said in a statement to The Hill that the news outlet "completely misinterpreted the contents of our letter."

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The whistleblower's complaint, which was released to the public on Thursday, is at the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Trump and his allies have sought to discredit the complaint and the whistleblower behind it.

The president on Sunday tweeted that the person who filed the complaint should be outed and that they will face "Big Consequences."

Little is known about the whistleblower, who, according to the complaint, was not a direct witness to the conversation but was told about it by White House colleagues.

The president's camp has zeroed in on the whistleblower not being directly privy to the call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, as a disqualification of the complaint.

The partial transcript of the call confirms the whistleblower's claim that Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate the Biden family.

The New York Times has reported the whistleblower is a CIA officer who is currently working at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with a statement from the lawyer and to clarify the contents of the letter.