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GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower

Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee jumped in ahead of opening statements from Wednesday's impeachment witnesses to call for a subpoena to compel testimony from the whistleblower who triggered the inquiry.

Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayEx-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture Bottom line MORE (R-Texas) motioned that the committee subpoena the whistleblower for a closed-door hearing.

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Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ohio), who was added to the committee to bolster Trump's defense, then pushed Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse Democrats want to silence opposing views, not 'fake news' White House defends not sanctioning Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.) for details on when the panel might vote to subpoena the whistleblower.

Schiff said the committee would have to vote to subpoena the whistleblower, and that such a vote would wait until after witness testimony.

Democrats, who hold the majority on the committee, seem certain to kill a motion to subpoena the whistleblower, who first raised concerns about Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

Since the whistleblower's complaint, most if not all of the allegations have been overtaken by testimony from witnesses, who have testified about their concerns that Trump was pressuring Ukraine to conduct politically motivated investigations of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE and his son, Hunter.

Democrats have argued there is no reason to bring in the whistleblower given the subsequent testimony, and the whistleblower's attorneys have argued their client's anonymity should be respected.

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikParliamentarian strikes down Pelosi priority in aid package Cuomo asks New York AG to appoint independent attorney to investigate sexual harassment claims Psaki: Cuomo should face 'independent review' over sexual harassment allegations MORE (R-N.Y.) questioned Schiff on whether he would block lawmakers from asking certain questions of witnesses. Schiff responded that he would only do so if it members were seeking to publicize the identity of the whistleblower. 

"We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower's identity, and I'm disturbed to hear members of the committee ... seek to undermine those protections by outing the whistleblower," Schiff said.

Trump and his Republican allies have made the anonymous whistleblower a central part of their efforts to undermine allegations of wrongdoing by the president. Trump and Republicans have called for the whistleblower to testify, despite the additional testimony and documents corroborating the bulk of the individual's original claims.

GOP members of the Intelligence Committee on Wednesday displayed a poster that alleged Schiff has known the identity of the whistleblower for more than 90 days.

But Schiff has said those claims are false and that he does not know the person's identity.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill MORE (R-Ky.) and Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpTrump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' MORE are among those who have tweeted out the name of the person they believe is the whistleblower, despite federal laws offering protections to those who flag government abuse through the proper channels.