Top Nunes aide reportedly leaking whistleblower's identity to Republicans
An aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is reportedly leaking information about the Ukraine whistleblower — including their name — to House Republicans, hoping to get the whistleblower's identity into the record of the impeachment proceedings.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Derek Harvey had "provided notes" to House Republicans with the name of the whistleblower. The protections for intelligence community whistleblowers are fragile at best, and Trump has threatened to reveal their identity as well.
Earlier reporting by the Washington Post suggested Harvey was responsible for trying to out the whistleblower as well, stating that the aide had not only reportedly provided notes to House Republicans ahead of closed door impeachment inquiry depositions, but "was passing notes the entire time" former top National Security Counsel Russia adviser Fiona Hill was testifying.
As the Post noted, Harvey previously served as NSC senior director of Middle East and North African affairs, but was dismissed from his position by former national security adviser H.R. McMaster in July 2017 "amid allegations that Harvey was compiling lists of suspected disloyal colleagues."
Neither Nunes nor Harvey have commented on the new accusations publicly.
Nunes, Harvey's boss, is the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. He's used that perch to advocate for Trump, and previously declared special counsel Robert Mueller's 400-plus page report on Russian interference "fraudulent," saying, "We can just burn it up" before having seen it.
The Mueller report outlined the extensive ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and detailed at least 10 instances of possible obstruction by Trump himself. Trump has declared the report and its companion probe nothing more than a partisan witch-hunt to undermine his presidency.
Harvey's actions could put the whistleblower and their family in danger, given Trump's heated rhetoric, specifically his comments suggesting that the whistleblower is a traitor who should be put to death. As the whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, told the Daily Beast, outing them will "deter future whistleblowers from coming forward[.]"
Harvey isn't just going after the whistleblower either, several sources told the outlet. According to the Daily Beast, the Nunes aide has targeted a House Intelligence staffer for the Democrats as well, claiming that the whistleblower contacted the Democratic staffer before actually reporting their concerns through proper channels.
That claim echoes Republican lawmakers who have complained that the whistleblower reached out to a House Intelligence Committee aide and committee Chair Adam Schiff before filing their official complaint. The committee in fact told the whistleblower to report their concerns to the inspector general for the intelligence community — standard procedure when someone comes forward to the committee.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Lisa Needham.