Attorney says he’s representing second Trump whistleblower from intel community
Attorney Andrew P. Bakaj on Sunday confirmed that his firm is representing another whistleblower in connection to a formal complaint about President Trump’s alleged interactions with Ukraine.
“I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General,” Bakaj said on Twitter.
IC WHISTLEBLOWER UPDATE: I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General. No further comment at this time. https://t.co/05b5aAVm2G
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) October 6, 2019
Mark Zaid, another attorney at the firm, which also represents the original whistleblower who raised issues regarding Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, told ABC News he was representing a second whistleblower who had spoken with the head of the intelligence community’s internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson.
Zaid described the second official as an intelligence official and noted that the unidentified figure has firsthand knowledge of some of the allegations included in the original complaint.
The complaint, as well as other revelations about Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, prompted a formal impeachment inquiry in the House.
Zaid noted to ABC News on Sunday that the second whistleblower has yet to talk with congressional committees conducting an investigation into Trump’s communications with Ukraine.
The original whistleblower complaint, which was declassified last month after being filed by an anonymous intelligence community official, accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign government in the 2020 U.S. election.”
Based on accounts from “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge,” the original whistleblower alleged that Trump during a July 25 phone call pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy to work with some of his aides to investigate the Biden family.
A White House memo of Trump’s call with Zelensky confirmed several key points in the complaint. The rough transcript showed that Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr on the probe. It also showed that he asked for a “favor” after Zelensky brought up military assistance.
The New York Times first reported last week that a second intelligence official was considering whether to file a whistleblower complaint and testify before Congress about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
The Times, citing two people briefed on the matter, noted that the second official had more direct information about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine than the first whistleblower.
Trump has repeatedly derided the anonymous official responsible for the original complaint, going so far as to suggest that the person is a “spy.” He’s also pushed back against accusations of wrongdoing, frequently describing his phone call with Zelensky as “perfect.”
“The first so-called second hand information ‘Whistleblower’ got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another ‘Whistleblower’ is coming in from the Deep State,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
The original whistleblower’s complaint is at the center of House Democrats’ formal impeachment inquiry into the president. As part of the inquiry, Atkinson testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday about his probe into the complaint.
Democrats on the panel claimed that the testimony confirmed significant and damning details about Trump’s July phone conversation with Zelensky.
“While we cannot get into the substance, we explored with the [inspector general] through documents and testimony the reasons why he found the whistleblower complaint to be both urgent and credible,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “Now that we have all seen the call record, we can see that the [inspector general’s] determination was correct in both respects.”
UPDATED 10:05 a.m.