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 ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (R-Texas) motioned that the committee subpoena the whistleblower for a closed-door hearing.

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Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence Tucker Carlson calls Fauci a 'fraud' after tense hearing Overnight Health Care: Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony | CDC: Children might play 'important role' in spreading COVID-19 | GOP leader wants rapid testing at Capitol MORE (R-Ohio), who was added to the committee to bolster Trump's defense, then pushed Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence 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 Biden2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Abrams: Trump 'doing his best to undermine our confidence' in voting system 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 StefanikThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Obama reunite for socially distanced conversation The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans 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 PaulMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 Republican senators revolt over coronavirus proposal MORE (R-Ky.) and Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTwitter limits Donald Trump Jr.'s account after sharing coronavirus disinformation South Dakota governor flew with Trump on Air Force One after being exposed to coronavirus: report Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle 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.