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Whistleblower's Image, Voice May Be Obscured

House Democrats are concerned about safety of witness
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2019 5:31 PM CDT
The whistleblower could testify at a secure site,   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Worried about the whistleblower's safety, House Democrats are looking into how best to protect the person's identity during upcoming testimony. They want to keep Republicans on the committees, as well, from knowing who the whistleblower is, the Washington Post reports, so they can't leak the name. President Trump has attempted to discredit the person, who filed a complaint about a July call between Trump and the president of Ukraine. Trump has said he wants to meet the whistleblower, whom he's accused of spying, and has warned of "big consequences." Democrats are conferring with the whistleblower's lawyers about how to keep his or her identity secret. One of the person's lawyers said someone has offered $50,000 for information about the whistleblower's identity.

The committee hearing could take place somewhere other than the Capitol, possibly at a secure site at Langley or Fort Meade, per CNN. Disguising or obscuring the appearance and voice of the witness are among the possibilities. The witness could be elsewhere and testify live on a video hookup, or just sit behind a screen. Or the testimony could be audio, without video. A group of retired Navy SEALs has offered to provide security, at the Capitol or even the whistleblower's home. (There's more than one Ukraine whistleblower, lawyers say.)

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