Lawyers express concern for whistleblower's safety

Lawyers representing the whistleblower behind the explosive complaint involving President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 BurrEx-CIA agent: Whistleblower's complaint 'should be considered on its merits' Senate Intel chair: Whistleblower hasn't agreed to testify before panel Juan Williams: Trump, the conspiracy theory president MORE (R-N.C.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Trump's insult-comic act enters danger zone  White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours 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 MaguireSecond intel official considering filing complaint over Trump: report Overnight Defense: State approves M weapons sale to Ukraine | Pompeo rejects Dem demands for officials' testimony | Dems worry about whistleblower's safety | US, North Korea to hold talks Democrats warn GOP, Trump putting whistleblower safety at risk 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.