In the face of Trump's insistence that he should be allowed to learn the whistleblower's identity, House Democrats are contemplating how to keep that person safe.
Donald Trump is a loose cannon who goes after anyone who dares to highlight his corruption. That's why House Democrats are considering exceptional measures to mask the identity of the whistleblower should that person testify before Congress.
In a normal presidency, this sort of thing might seem like overkill. But this is the Trump presidency. House Democrats are considering masking the whistleblower's voice and appearance and even hearing testimony offsite because they're concerned their GOP colleagues would leak the identity of the whistleblower to Trump. There's even a suggestion that a group of retired Navy SEALs might be needed to provide personal security for the whistleblower.
Trump has made no secret of the fact he is willing to undermine whistleblower protections completely. At best, he wants to figure out who the whistleblower is. At worst, he seems to want to put them to death.
Speaking to reporters last month, he said, "We're trying to find out about a whistleblower." Just yesterday, he demanded he be allowed to meet his "accuser" and the person that gave information to the whistleblower. He has also said the whistleblower was "almost a spy" and went on to reminisce about "the old days" where "[t]he spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."
Trump also still believes anyone investigating him should be impeached, no matter how many times it is explained that members of Congress cannot be impeached. He also thinks merely getting investigated by anyone is tantamount to treason, a crime for which the punishment is execution.
When you have someone like Trump, who so willfully refuses to understand the very basics of whistleblower law and throws the term "treason" around at anyone who disagrees with him, extraordinary steps must be taken. House Democrats should be able to rely on their GOP colleagues to keep those protections sacred.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.