A lawyer for the whistleblower who raised alarms about President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine said Sunday his client is willing to answer written questions submitted by House Republicans, the AP reports. The surprise offer, made to Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, would allow Republicans to ask questions of the whistleblower, who spurred the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, without having to go through the committee's chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Attorney Mark Zaid tweeted that the whistleblower would answer questions directly from Republican members "in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury," part of a bid to stem escalating efforts by Trump and his GOP allies to unmask the person's identity.
Only queries seeking the person's identity won't be answered, he said. "Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective. That is not our role," Zaid tweeted. "So we have offered to @DevinNunes. ... We will ensure timely answers." Nunes' office did not have immediate comment. The offer comes as Trump has repeatedly demanded the release of the whistleblower's identity, tweeting Sunday that the person "must come forward." The whistleblower raised concerns about Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which he pressed Zelenskiy to investigate Trump's political rivals. That call became the catalyst for the impeachment inquiry. (Meanwhile, Republicans say they've named the whistleblower.)