2nd whistleblower comes forward in Trump-Ukraine scandal

Politics

(CNN) — A second whistleblower has spoken to the intelligence community’s internal watchdog and has information that supports an original whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

That’s according to a lawyer for the original whistleblower, who filed a formal complaint with the inspector general last month that’s triggered the impeachment inquiry.

Lawyer Mark Zaid tells The Associated Press in a text message that the second whistleblower, who also works in intelligence, hasn’t filed a complaint with the inspector general but has “firsthand knowledge that supported” the original whistleblower.

The original whistleblower complained that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 U.S. election.

Trump and his supporters have rejected the accusations that he did anything improper.

The second intelligence official with concerns and more direct knowledge regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is considering filing a whistleblower complaint, The New York Times reported Friday.

The Times is citing two people briefed on the matter.

The impeachment inquiry by House Democrats centers on Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when Trump pressed him to investigate the activities in Ukraine of former President joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The second official is one of the people interviewed by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson in his efforts to confirm the initial complaint, one of the sources told the Times.

Trump criticized the second whistleblower on Twitter who he said was coming with “second-hand information.”

“The first so-called second-hand information “Whistleblower” got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another “Whistleblower” is coming in from the Deep State, also with second-hand info. Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming!,” Trump tweeted.

Trump said he wants to meet the Whistleblower “who presented second and third-hand information.”

In a statement released Monday, Atkinson made clear that the whistleblower was not simply communicating secondhand knowledge.

Trump has openly called on Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens, asserting on Thursday that he was the “absolute right” to ask other “countries” to investigate corruption, amid escalating scrutiny over his interactions with foreign leaders.  

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