In spite of numerous laws protecting the anonymity of whistleblowers, several top Republicans, including our president, have continued to demand the name of the whistleblower who alerted Republican-appointed Inspector General Michael Atkinson of a potentially illegal scheme by the President of The United States to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
Charlotte’s own Dan Bishop, who was just elected to the US Congress, has answered the requests by tweeting out the name of a person who he believes to be the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal.
This past weekend, Bishop said, “I refuse to cower before the authoritarian intimidation campaign. He’s not Voldemort. And he’s not a bona fide whistleblower. Even if he were, he wouldn’t be entitled to secrecy…” and then proceeded to state the name of a person who he believes to be the whistleblower.
Early this morning, he then sent out another tweet, apologizing for misspelling the name;
The attorneys representing the whistleblower have already received multiple death threats, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Some legal experts now say that Dan Bishop’s tweets may have broken the law. If the name Bishop tweeted out is determined to be the actual name of the whistleblower, there’s a chance he could be found guilty of violating one or more of the following:
- A 1982 amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 that makes it a crime to intentionally disclose “any information identifying” a covert intelligence agent.
- Section 1505 of the US Obstruction of Justice code, which makes it a crime if someone “corruptly, or by threats or force … influences, obstructs, or impedes … the due and proper administration of the law.”
- Section 1513 of the US Obstruction of Justice code, which makes it a crime to retaliate against someone “for providing to a law enforcement officer any truthful information relating to the commission or possible commission of any Federal offense.”
In spite of the attempts by Bishop and other Republicans to discredit the whistleblower’s report, the account has already been corroborated several times by a number of impeachment inquiry witness testimonies.
For that reason, and due to an increase of death threats, the whistleblower will likely not testify in the inquiry.