The whistleblower who triggered the impeachment investigation into Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has offered to answer written questions from Republican members of Congress.
Days after Republican representatives stormed a closed door impeachment session, the whistleblower, via his lawyer, proffered an olive branch to the GOP.
Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower, has said his client would reply directly to questions from Republican legislators – without requiring them to be submitted via the Democrat-controlled House Intelligence Committee.
Where now? | Next steps in the impeachment inquiry
The Republicans – and Mr Trump – have repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the investigation into allegations that the US president threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless it investigated Joe Biden, a potential election opponent, and his son Hunter, who was a director of Kyiv-based energy company Burisma.
In a series of tweets Mr Zaid accused Republican members of the Intelligence Committee of trying to reveal the whistleblower’s identity, denying him the anonymity to which he is entitled.
“We will ensure timely answers. We stand ready to cooperate and ensure facts – rather than partisanship – dictate any process involving the #whistleblower," Mr Zaid wrote.
"Being a whistleblower is not a partisan job nor is impeachment an objective. That is not our role," Mr Zaid added.
The complaint by the whistleblower, who is understood to be a male CIA officer who for a period worked at the White House, was made public in late September.
About | Impeachment
According to the nine-page document Mr Trump, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, abused his power as president by putting pressure on his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden in a phone call on July.
Mr Trump and his supporters on Capitol Hill have dismissed the complaint as partisan and have sought to unmask the whistleblower, with the president insisting he has the right to confront his accuser.
The presidential Twitter onslaught continued on Sunday, accusing the “Fake News Media” of trying to cover up the whistleblower’s identity.
"The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward," the President tweeted.