Intelligence panel Republican: 'How we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future'

Intelligence panel Republican: 'How we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future'

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHillicon Valley: Oracle confirms deal with TikTok to be 'trusted technology provider' | QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19 | VA hit by data breach impacting 46,000 veterans House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE (R-Texas), a former CIA officer who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday defended the whistleblower whose complaint helped spark the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE even as he blasted Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff to subpoena top DHS official, alleges whistleblower deposition is being stonewalled Schiff claims DHS is blocking whistleblower's access to records before testimony GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE’s (D-Calif.) handling of the probe.

“I think we should be protecting the identity of the whistleblower… because how we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future,” Hurd told Fox’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceHouse to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Gayle King calls out Pelosi for calling Trump supporters 'henchmen': 'Egregious language' GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE on “Fox News Sunday,” responding to Trump’s calls for the whistleblower to be outed.

“Having this whistleblower law on the books is important, it’s an important check and balance,” he added.

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Hurd also backed up his fellow Republicans' calls for Schiff to himself testify in the inquiry “about what was his engagement with the whistleblower before the whistleblower’s allegations were transmitted,” saying Schiff “has misled the American public.”

And he supported Republican calls for testimony from former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE’s son Hunter.  Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens in a July phone call, leading to the whistleblower complaint.

“I think we should just turn over every rock and pursue every lead,” Hurd said on Sunday. “I would like to hear from Hunter Biden – I would love to hear from the other Americans who served on the board of Burisma,” he added, referencing the Ukrainian natural gas firm upon whose board the younger Biden served.

After Wallace pressed him on whether withholding approved aid to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, which acting White House Chief of Staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOn The Money: House panel pulls Powell into partisan battles | New York considers hiking taxes on the rich | Treasury: Trump's payroll tax deferral won't hurt Social Security Blockchain trade group names Mick Mulvaney to board Mick Mulvaney to start hedge fund MORE claimed before walking it back, Hurd conceded that it was “an understanding based on debunked information” but added that it is unclear whether it was illegal.

“I think if you’re trying to get info on a political rival to use in a political campaign, [that] is not something a president or any official should be doing,” Hurd said, adding that he would reserve judgment on “whether impeachment is the right tool or not.”