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 HurdGarth Brooks accepts Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song Texas kicks off critical battle for House control Gun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 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 TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE even as he blasted Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCoronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Schiff: Remote voting would not compromise national security 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) WallaceGovernors, health experts warn coronavirus restrictions must stay in place Public health expert: 'We are still at the very beginning of this outbreak' Mnuchin: US will bounce back after we 'kill this virus' and 'reopen this economy' 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 BidenCoronavirus makes the campaign season treacherous for Joe Biden Biden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll Unions urge Chamber of Commerce to stop lobbying against Defense Production Act 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 MulvaneyMnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus Trump to nominate Russell Vought as budget chief Warren, Brown press consumer bureau on auto lending oversight 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.”