In order to protect the identity of the whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Democrats are discussing several different ways this person could testify in a safe environment, three officials familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post on Monday.
The whistleblower has said they will answer questions in front of the House and Senate Intelligence committees, and there are concerns that Trump's most fervent supporters on the House panel could leak their identity, the officials said. There are several plans under consideration, including having an audio-only testimony, having the person appear via video with their appearance and voice distorted, and sitting the whistleblower down behind a partition or screen.
"There are lots of different protocols and procedures we're looking into to find out what works and doesn't work to protect the identity of the whistleblower," one official told the Post. "That is paramount." Another official said this is the first time the House Intelligence Committee has ever had to go to such lengths to protect a witness. Attorneys for the whistleblower have told acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire that they are worried about their client's safety, as "certain individuals" have put out a $50,000 "bounty" for "any information" on this person's identity.
Trump has said his call with Zelensky, which included him asking multiple times for Ukraine to open up an investigation into political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, was "perfect." He also has tweeted several inflammatory statements about the whistleblower, and said he wants to meet "my accuser."