WaPo gives Schiff three Pinocchois on whistleblower anonymity claim


The Post's fact-checker applies Pinocchios ranging from one to four, with three and four being reserved for what the column considers the more egregious statements.  
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Schiff has said repeatedly, including during impeachment hearings on Tuesday, that the whistleblower who filed a formal complaint about Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine has a statutory right to remain anonymous. 

“The whistleblower has the right, a statutory right, to anonymity. These proceedings will not be used to out the whistleblower," Schiff said Tuesday.

The Post fact-checker disagreed, stating "it's not a right spelled out in any statute." 

The analysis also cites the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act in coming to its conclusion to award Schiff three Pinocchios. 
 
"The case for Three: The ICWPA doesn’t include language granting whistleblowers a right to anonymity. Neither do other statutes, directives or court rulings that apply to the intelligence community," it reads. "The argument that whistleblower-protection laws implicitly provide anonymity is more nuanced, and debatable, than what Schiff said in a nationally televised hearing. And what good is a statutory right anyway if there’s no mechanism to enforce it?" 

"We found the case for Three Pinocchios more compelling. Schiff says the whistleblower has a 'statutory right' to anonymity, and it apparently, in Schiff’s understanding, extends to congressional hearings and settings that don’t involve the inspector general," the fact-check concludes. "That’s debatable at best." 
 
The three Pinocchios comes after Schiff was given four Pinocchios in October for claiming his panel had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower," with the paper calling the claim "flat-out false."