The whistleblower who filed the complaint that sparked the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump is willing to take questions directly from Republicans, his attorney, Mark Zaid, announced Sunday.
"Obviously, per House rules GOP is beholden to DEMs," Zaid said. "We, however, are not."
Zaid explained in a lengthy statement on Twitter that the whistleblower's legal team has reached out to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, to establish a direct channel of communication with the GOP to quell concerns of secrecy.
Zaid said the whistleblower will "answer questions in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury" if Republicans agree.
4/We offered HPSCI (& SSCI), both Majority & Minority, to have #whistleblower answer questions in writing, under oa… https://t.co/QGLhoSJFdd— Mark S. Zaid (@Mark S. Zaid)1572795993.0
The development is significant because Republican allege Democrats have so far conducted the impeachment probe proceedings under the guise of secrecy, cultivating a process they believe is not fair to the president. Direct communication with the whistleblower means that Republicans could dialogue with the whistleblower without having to go through House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the probe.
However, it appears that Republicans may not accept the whistleblower's offer.
One top House Republican, speaking to the Washington Examiner, characterized the sudden offer as a "Sunday narrative ambush."
Other GOP sources also indicated the party would not accept the offer.
GOP source connected to the impeachment indicates they probably won't take up the whistleblower's lawyers on their… https://t.co/wfB3vTES9E— Betsy Woodruff Swan (@Betsy Woodruff Swan)1572804709.0
Indeed, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the top House Republican, said Sunday of the whistleblower's offer, "I have never received that offer, and I'm the lead Republican."