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 HurdThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches 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 TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE even as he blasted Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy READ: Top NSC aide Tim Morrison's closed-door impeachment inquiry testimony Top NSC aide puts Sondland at front lines of Ukraine campaign, speaking for Trump 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) WallaceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony Chris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' Bret Baier says Trump tweet added an article of impeachment in real time 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 BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry 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 MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNew witness claims firsthand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Trump files to dismiss lawsuit from Bolton aide on impeachment testimony OMB official to testify in impeachment probe if subpoenaed after others refused 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.”