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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 TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump 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 GiulianiTiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report Talk of self-pardon for Trump heats up MORE of a broad effort to enlist Ukraine's help in investigating 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge 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 BarrBill BarrBarr breaks with Trump on claims of fraud Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel Barr says DOJ hasn't uncovered widespread voter fraud in 2020 election MORE to investigate the Bidens. 

The revelations prompted Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief 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!"