Whistleblower attorney warns retaliating against client violates law after Trump comments

Whistleblower attorney warns retaliating against client violates law after Trump comments
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The lead attorney for the whistleblower responsible for a complaint focused on President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE’s dealings with Ukraine warned the president on Monday about retaliating against his client, saying it would be a violation of federal law.

Andrew P. Bakaj issued the warning on Twitter as Trump escalated his attacks against the whistleblower and the credibility of the complaint regarding his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump said earlier Monday that the White House was “trying to find out” the identity of the whistleblower. 

"The Intel Community Whistleblower is entitled to anonymity," Bakaj said on Twitter moments later. "Law and policy support this and the individual is not to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law."

The whistleblower complaint, which was released to the public Thursday, accuses Trump and his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiWanna beat Sanders? Hope he wins South Carolina Giuliani: Bloomberg 'jeopardized' stop and frisk by 'overusing it' Giuliani asked for post-9/11 mayoral election to be canceled so he could stay in office: book MORE of a broad effort to enlist Ukraine's help in investigating 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary Sanders holds 13-point lead in Fox News poll MORE and his son Hunter Biden over unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. 

The whistleblower, whose identity remains unknown, alleged that they received information from several government officials who claimed Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign government in the 2020 U.S. election." 

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The figure also wrote in the complaint that allegations about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky were based on accounts from "multiple White House officials with direct knowledge." 

The White House last week released a memo confirming that Trump asked Zelensky on the phone call to work with Giuliani and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — Federal court rules tech giants can censor content | Trump upends surveillance fight | Senate passes bill barring federal funds for Huawei equipment Trump upends controversial surveillance fight Former impeachment managers clash over surveillance bill MORE to investigate the Bidens. 

The revelations prompted Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Hillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — Federal court rules tech giants can censor content | Trump upends surveillance fight | Senate passes bill barring federal funds for Huawei equipment MORE (D-Calif.) to announce a formal impeachment inquiry into the president. 

Trump has repeatedly dismissed allegations of impropriety and has described his July 25 conversation with Zelensky as "perfect." He also has frequently targeted the whistleblower and the officials who provided him with information. 

During a private event in New York on Thursday, the president suggested those involved had committed treason. 

"That’s close to a spy," he said, according to audio obtained by the Los Angeles Times. "You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."

Trump then tweeted on Sunday that he wanted to meet the whistleblower, claiming that the complaint represented him in a "totally inaccurate and fraudulent way."

"I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented second and third hand information, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the 'Whistleblower,'" Trump said. "Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!"