Federal Bureau of Investigation sought to interview whistleblower over complaint about Trump

The legal consequences of identifying a whistleblower

FBI Seeks Whistleblower Interview

The complaint centered on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and concerns that Trump was seeking to pressure Zelensky into opening investigations that would aid Trump's 2020 reelection effort.

The FBI has reached out to lawyers representing the whistleblower in the Ukraine investigation in order to interview the anonymous Central Intelligence Agency official, according to several reports on Wednesday.

It's also unclear what value the Federal Bureau of Investigation sees in an interview with the whistleblower, given his or her complaint was in part based on secondhand information that has since been largely corroborated by national security officials who have spoken with the House impeachment investigators.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment. Yahoo News reported that the intended scope of the interview and whether the whistleblower's lawyers will agree to the interview is yet to be worked out.

The interview never took place.

The whistleblower, reportedly a member of the intelligence community, filed a complaint on August 12 about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he asked for probes of Joe Biden, his son Hunter and Ukraine's purported role in the 2016 elections. They included investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and a debunked theory about Ukrainians meddling in the 2016 election.

The whistleblower has not yet agreed to an interview, the source said. Department of Justice attorneys reviewed the complaint and decided not to investigate the matter as a campaign finance violation by Trump, officials said. Whistleblower lawyer Mark Zaid told Yahoo News that he and his co-counsel Andrew Bakaj have no comment.

A lawyer for the whistleblower has said that they are willing to submit written answers to questions.

For a time, Republicans made bringing in the whistleblower for an interview one of their chief demands, though that call has since quieted as the impeachment inquiry moved on to a more advanced stage last week with the first set of public hearings. House Democrats have said they do not need to hear from the whistleblower as part of the impeachment inquiry and have heard now from multiple witnesses who, unlike the whistleblower, listened to the phone call between the two leaders.

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