Politics

Brit Hume: Schiff Spreading ‘Nonsense’ That Whistleblower Has ‘Right To Anonymity’

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Fox News’ senior political analyst Brit Hume tweeted Tuesday that claiming the whistleblower has a right to remain anonymous is “nonsense.”

Hume was referring to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff’s repeated insistence that the whistleblower has a “statutory right to anonymity” and any questions that might “out” the individual must be squelched.

“Adam Schiff keeps saying the whistleblower has a ‘statutory right to anonymity.’ He said it again this morning. It is nonsense. Only the IC [intelligence community] official who receives a whistleblower complain is required to withhold the name, and not in all circumstances,” Hume wrote. (RELATED: ‘Puppets Of The Democratic Party’: Devin Nunes Criticizes Media’s Impeachment Coverage)

Republican Texas Rep. Mike Conaway asked Schiff to clarify why he was contending the whistleblower had this right. “I think that you need to put it in the record the basis for which you continue to assert the right to absolute anonymity … by the whistleblower,” the congressman said while questions impeaching hearing witnesses Tuesday.

Schiff responded by saying he would “be happy to enter into the record the whistleblower statute that allows the whistleblower to remain anonymous,” although he did not do so at that time.

Day three of the impeachment hearings featured testimony from four witnesses, including State Department official Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman who confirmed that he had spoken to someone in the intelligence community about the July 25 telephone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Before Vindman could identify that individual to Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes, Schiff intervened in the testimony. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Says Impeaching Trump Is About Saving The Democratic Party From Disaster)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts | Daily Beast Sues DOJ Over Nunes Memo

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., Feb.  24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

“But we need to protect the whistle-blower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistle-blower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistle-blower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly,” Schiff continued.

Republican Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe went after House Democrats who are attempting to shift Trump’s alleged impeachable offense to bribery. Ratcliffe noted the complete absence of the word bribery in any testimony — with the exception of an allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.