The whistleblower who accused President Donald Trump of seeking political favors from Ukraine is reportedly a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative.
The agent had been seconded to the White House for duty, but has returned to his regular desk duty, according to three sources, The New York Times reported Thursday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited the whistleblower as a reason for her deciding to proceed with a formal inquiry into impeaching the president, when she spoke at a Monday news conference.
The anonymous intelligence agent was the subject of much comment and speculation at the Thursday morning House Intelligence Committee meeting that heard testimony from Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. He was apparently concerned about the details in a phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but had no direct knowledge of the call and relied on hearsay. (RELATED: Rep. Schiff Fabricates What Trump Said In Ukraine Telephone Call Transcript)
His complaint was released to the public Thursday.
The whistleblower’s lawyers are being coy about their client’s employment status, and will not acknowledge his status as a CIA officer, suggesting revealing any information about him could potentially put his safety in jeopardy.
“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” said Andrew Bakaj, his head attorney. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.” (RELATED: Trump Calls Whistleblower ‘Highly Partisan,’ Denies Wrongdoing)
The CIA has also offered no comment on the its connection with the whistleblower, and Maguire’s office merely reiterated its commitment to ensuring the individual’s personal security when contacted by the Times.
“We must protect those who demonstrate the courage to report alleged wrongdoing, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace,” Maguire said at the intelligence committee hearing, noting that even he was not aware of the whistleblower’s name.
It is not uncommon for members of the military, police, or intelligence community to be seconded to the White House in order for the government departments to utilize their expertise.