President Trump rejected an offer from the whistleblower’s lawyer to respond to Republican lawmakers written questions, saying the arrangement is “not acceptable.”
“The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!,” the president wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Trump’s reference to Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pertained to reports that the whistleblower reached out to the panel’s staff for guidance about filing a complaint.
The complaint is at the center of the impeachment inquiry the Democratic-controlled House has been conducting since September.
In a tweet earlier Monday, Trump defended his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and dismissed the inquiry as unnecessary.
“What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is ‘perfectly’ stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I have had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!). Disgraceful!,” Trump said.
The president urged Zelensky in the July 25 conversation to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.
Democrats allege Trump held up nearly $400 million in military aid Congress approved for Ukraine to force Zelensky’s hand.
Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s lawyer, wrote in a series of Tweets on Sunday that he told Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, that Republicans could send written questions to the whistleblower via the legal team.
He said the whistleblower would respond to the inquiries, except for those that seek identifying information.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump called on the media to out the whistleblower.
“But he gave a report, he or she. According to the newspapers, it’s a he. They think – they know who it is. You know who it is, you just don’t want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don’t want to report it. And you know you’d be doing the public a service if you did,” Trump said.