Texas Republican Louie Gohmert named the alleged whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump during Wednesday’s impeachment hearing.
Gohmert did not identify the name as the whistleblower but named a CIA analyst that has been purported as the whistleblower in conservative media reports while listing “fact witnesses” he says Democrats blocked from testifying.
"Now that we have the articles of impeachment — a vague abuse of power, obstruction of Congress — the very things the majority has done in preventing us from having the witness that could shed light on this," Gohmert said. "Not opinion, but fact witnesses. We need to hear from those witnesses.”
Gohmert denied to Politico that he did anything wrong, arguing he was just “naming witnesses to the case.”
“I could care less who the whistleblower is,” he said.
Gohmert slammed for “outrageous breach”:
"House Republicans just committed an incredible and outrageous breach," said Virginia Democrat Don Beyer. “The President threatened the whistleblower with violence, and whether the person just named is the whistleblower or not they were just put in real danger. This is unacceptable and there should be consequences."
Gohmert’s comments came shortly after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz reaffirmed the importance of whistleblower anonymity to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Whistleblowers have a right to expect complete, full confidentiality in all circumstances,” he testified. “It's in the law in the IG Act that Congress wrote, and it's a very important provision.”
Gohmert named whistleblower before:
Gohmert also bizarrely named the whistleblower during a completely unrelated House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Puerto Rico in October.
“Naming whistleblowers harms national security by chilling them from coming forward,” said former US Attorney Barb McQuade, “encouraging them to leak, or even worse, staying silent when they uncover abuse.”