GOP senator wants to know whistleblower identity if there's an impeachment trial

GOP senator wants to know whistleblower identity if there's an impeachment trial
© Greg Nash
Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (R-Mo.) said on Thursday that he wants to know the identity of the whistleblower if there's an impeachment trial in the Senate, and that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE's team should be able to question them. 
"I can't control what goes on in the House, but if it comes over to the Senate and we have a trial I'm going to want to know who the whistleblower is," Hawley said during an interview on Missouri radio station KFTK. 
"How else are we going to evaluate the content and the truthfulness of these people if we don't know who they are? And by the way the president's team has a right to cross-examine these people under oath as part of any kind of trial and frankly I look forward to that," Hawley continued. 
The whistleblower, and whether or not that person should be identified, has emerged as a rolling point of debate among Republicans. 
President Trump and some of his closest allies have called for the whistleblower to come forward publicly, arguing that the president should have the ability to confront his accuser. They also believe publicly identifying the individual would help reveal any potential political biases the person might have. 
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFBI official under investigation for allegedly altering document in Russia probe: report Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Graham requests State Department documents on Bidens, Ukraine MORE (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump's, has argued that the name should be disclosed, telling reporters that he believes the "whistleblower statute is being terribly abused here.” 
But calls for the whistleblower to be publicly identified have also drawn fierce pushback from several GOP senators, who note that the whistleblower is protected under federal law.
The House impeachment inquiry is also investigating if Trump tied aid to Ukraine to the country opening up a probe of the Bidens.