GOP lawmaker pushes back against Trump's attack on whistleblower

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellSteve King challenger: 2020 Democrats have 'huge' opportunity to win over rural America The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate Trump's Dingell insults disrupt GOP unity amid impeachment MORE (R-Mich.), a member of House Republican leadership, pushed back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE on Tuesday after the president tweeted criticism of the whistleblower at the center of the Ukraine probe.

“Whistleblowers are protected by law, even if we don't necessarily like what they say. We must respect that law,” the Michigan Republican tweeted at Trump.


His comment came in response to a tweet from the president that questioned the credibility of the whistleblower and called for his identity to be revealed.

"So if the so-called ‘Whistleblower’ has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my ‘perfect’ call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him," Trump said in a series of tweets. "This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by  Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!" 

Mitchell, who is not seeking reelection in 2020, made the remark as House Democrats are planning to have the whistleblower testify as part of their investigation. Democratic lawmakers have voiced concerns that the president’s recent attacks on the whistleblower constitute witness intimidation and place the whistleblower’s safety in jeopardy.

GOP Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate begins preparations for Trump trial Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat Appeals court skeptical of Trump rule on TV drug ads MORE (Iowa) has also come out in defense of whistleblower protections.

"This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality," Grassley, who chairs the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, said in a statement.

"No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts. Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country," he added.

Mitchell announced over the summer that he wouldn't seek reelection, citing the partisan infighting and "vitriol" of the current political climate.