Jordan: Republicans to subpoena whistleblower to testify in public hearing

Republicans intend to subpoena the government whistleblower to testify in the House's impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE's dealings with Ukraine, according to Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTop conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court The relief bill and public broadcasting: A missed opportunity MORE (R-Ohio).

The effort is not likely to bear fruit, as Democrats have rejected the idea of outing the anonymous figure, citing safety concerns, and they have veto power over any GOP subpoena requests for witness testimony.

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But Trump and his Republican allies in the Capitol have made the whistleblower a central part of their defense, casting doubts about the figure's political motivations even as they readily acknowledge they don't know the person's identity.

In an investigation as weighty as impeachment, they argue, Trump has the right to face his accuser.

“The whistleblower statute never required for anonymity," Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Schumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Guidance on masks is coming MORE (R-N.C.) told reporters recently.

Behind House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog MORE (D-Calif.), Democrats have hammered the Republicans for launching attacks on a figure before that person's role in the Ukraine saga, if any, is clear — attacks, they say, that threaten the very safety of the figure in question.

“The president's allies would like nothing better than to help the president out this whistleblower. Our committee will not be a part of that,” Schiff told reporters last week. “They have the right to remain anonymous. They certainly should not be subject to these kinds of vicious attacks.”

The anonymous whistleblower has alleged that Trump had compromised national security in asking Ukrainian leaders to find dirt on the president's domestic political adversaries — an accusation that led Democrats to launch their impeachment inquiry in late September. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Early in the impeachment process, Schiff had expressed interest in having the whistleblower testify. Since then, Democrats have said that testimony is unnecessary, since a number of subsequent witnesses have backed up the allegations at the center of the initial complaint.

After weeks of closed-door depositions guiding their impeachment probe, Democrats plan to shift the process to the public square next week, scheduling a series of open hearings with witnesses who have already testified in private. Last week, the House had passed a package of rules governing that open-hearing process, including provisions that allow Republicans to subpoena their own witnesses — with the approval of the whole committee. The latter stipulation essentially grants the majority Democrats veto power over any witness request they deem to be out of bounds.

Schiff in a letter late Wednesday asked Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesCalifornia governor responds to Nunes on canceling school: 'We'll continue to listen to the experts' Nunes claims it would be 'way overkill' to cancel school year in California due to coronavirus Trump steps up intensity in battle with media MORE (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, for a list of Republican witnesses by Saturday, ahead of the first hearings next Wednesday.

Jordan has previously deferred on the specifics of that list to Nunes.

Updated at 12:00 p.m.