The White House defended President Trump on Sunday after reports emerged of a second whistleblower said to have firsthand knowledge of some of the allegations detailed in a complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
“It doesn’t matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers about the same telephone call — a call the president already made public — it doesn’t change the fact that he’s has done nothing wrong,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The remarks comes shortly after Mark Zaid, an attorney at the firm that represents the whistleblower who filed the original complaint regarding Trump’s alleged interactions with Ukraine, told ABC News on Sunday that he was representing a second whistleblower.
Zaid said the second whistleblower is also an intelligence official and has direct knowledge of some of the allegations detailed in the original complaint.
A declassified version of the original complaint said that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” told the whistleblower that Trump “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid” on a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The whistleblower, whose identity remains unknown, said government officials told them the president was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign government in the 2020 U.S. election” by encouraging Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic contender, and Biden’s son.
The complaint prompted House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against the president.
According to Zaid, the second whistleblower has already spoken to the head of the intelligence community’s internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson. They have not yet spoken with congressional committees investigating Trump’s communications with Ukraine.