Is the Trump whistleblower's identity already an open secret? That's what some Republican lawmakers and conservative media outlets are saying as they call for the whistleblower to be subpoenaed or outright exposed, the Wall Street Journal reports. But outlets that name the individual lack hard evidence other than professional and personal details that seem to fit the description. Some Republicans have also mentioned the name in private impeachment hearings—much to the ire of Democrats—and one GOP lawmaker said it in an unrelated open hearing. So far the mainstream media isn't biting, possibly to protect the sanctity of whistleblowers at a time when lawyers for this one say they've gotten death threats.
"It seems to me that any journalist worth their salt would be willing to accept the anonymity of others bringing forward important information," says a professor journalism ethics. There's also federal whistleblower law, which is meant to protect the the anonymity of intelligence workers who dare to speak up. But as Salon notes, the whistleblower is said to be a CIA analyst and Ukraine expert on the National Security Council who "worked closely" with Joe Biden when he was vice president. In today's political climate, that's match to tinder: "It is imperative the whistleblower is subpoenaed and asked under oath about Hunter Biden and corruption," tweeted Sen. Rand Paul. National security attorney Bradley Moss replied, "Stop trying to endanger the life of the whistleblower, Senator." (Read more whistleblower stories.)