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 HawleyAgencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok Typical income no longer covers major costs: Study Senate Democrats introduce legislation to change impeachment trial rules 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 TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes 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. 
 
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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 GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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 whistleblower is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry because of a complaint they filed raising concerns about Trump's request that the Ukraine government "look into" former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.
 
The House impeachment inquiry is also investigating if Trump tied aid to Ukraine to the country opening up a probe of the Bidens.