A lawyer for the Ukraine whistleblower reportedly sent a letter to the White House on Thursday warning President Trump to “cease and desist” calls to unmask his client.
“I submit that it is in your client’s best interest to cease and desist in calling for the public disclosure of my client’s identity and to cease in rhetoric that may endanger their life and the lives of their family,” Andrew Bakaj wrote in a letter addressed to Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House lawyer, which was obtained by CNN.
The whistleblower complaint sparked the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump over whether the White House attempted to strong-arm Ukrainian officials into probing a political rival of the commander in chief.
Calls to unmask the whistleblower, who is reportedly a CIA officer, have ramped up in recent days.
Sen. Rand Paul pressed reporters to publish the whistleblower’s name the president’s Monday night rally — a call backed by Trump.
“We also now know the name of the whistleblower,” the Kentucky Republican told the crowd and the reporters gathered in back. “I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name.”
On Wednesday, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted a link to a news story with the purported name of Bakaj’s client.
The story from Breitbart also implied the whistleblower was pro-Democrat and anti-Trump.
In his Thursday letter, Bakaj requested that Cipollone advise Trump on the potential legal ramifications of his attacks.
“I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior,” the letter read.
US whistleblower laws are in place to protect the identities of people who expose allegations of wrongdoing by government officials.
Bajak included in the letter quotes from several former presidents — including John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln — to illustrate how “the words of the President carry great weight and have the ability to change the course of history.”
But Trump’s “rhetoric and behavior fall well beneath the dignity of the office,” Bajak wrote.
“In fact, contrary to President Lincoln’s words about the government existing of the people, by the people, and for the people, your client instead appears intent on consistently attacking private citizens—the people. As of late, his fixation has been on my client for reasons that I submit are self-evident.”
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