Memo to the Left: It is not a crime to ‘out’ the ‘whistleblower’

by WorldTribune Staff, November 8, 2019

In a heated exchange with Donald Trump Jr., who had named the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower in a tweet, The View co-host Sunny Hosting on Thursday claimed that “it is a federal crime to out a whistleblower. … My law degree says it is.”

Hostin said to former Fox News contributor Kimberly Guilfoyle, who also appeared on the Thursday broadcast, “You’re a lawyer, we know each other, you worked for a prosecutor. I mean, did you advise your boyfriend that it is a federal crime to out a whistleblower?”

Donald Trump Jr. appeared on The View on Nov. 7. / YouTube

“Well it’s not a federal crime. It’s only a federal crime for the IG to do it, that’s in the statute,” Trump Jr. said.

Hostin and her law degree are wrong.

Trump Jr. is right.

If a member of Congress, a news outlet, or member of the public named the whistleblower, no criminal law would be violated.

“There is no overarching protection for the identity of the whistleblower under federal law,” Dan Meyer, a lawyer and the former executive director of the intelligence community whistleblower program told NPR. “Congress has never provided that protection.”

The federal whistleblower statute requires only the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential, unless the ICIG determines it necessary to disclose.

No one else is required to protect the anonymity of a whistleblower. No such statute exists.

According to Sean Davis of The Federalist, “Such a requirement would be a blatant violation of the First Amendment as it would be an unconstitutional prior restraint on the freedom of speech and the press.”

That didn’t stop Hostin or other so-called “legal analysts” in the corporate media from claiming that naming the whistleblower is a crime.

CNN “legal analyst” Jeffrey Toobin proclaimed: “Yes, unmasking a whistleblower is illegal, it’s harassment.”

RedState columnist Bonchie noted in a Nov. 7 op-ed that: “Apparently, CNN and others are just fine with lying to their audiences about this, but no worries. No one is going to jail for saying Eric Ciaramella’s name out loud.”

Leftist Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat, says he wants to pass legislation to make what Trump Jr. and all others who named the whistleblower did illegal.

“In the future, you will go to jail if you out a whistleblower. Legislation coming,” Swalwell tweeted.

During his appearance on The View, Trump Jr., author of the new book Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, noted that news organizations were pursuing a whistleblower who said that ABC had spiked an exclusive story on the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

“ABC is right now chasing down a whistleblower about all of the Epstein stuff because those stories were killed,” said Trump Jr. “What’s the difference? I’m a private citizen putting this out there.”

In another tense exchange, co-host Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, questioned Trump Jr. about his father’s lack of civility.

“A lot of Americans in politics miss character, and a lot of people miss the soul of this country. You and your family have hurt a lot of people and put a lot of people through a lot of pain, including the Khan family who was a Gold Star family who I think should be respected because of the loss of their son. Does all this make you feel good?” McCain asked, referring to Trump’s criticism of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Muslim-Americans whose son was killed in Iraq, after they appeared at the Democratic National Convention.

Trump Jr. replied by defending the president and pointing to his record in office.

“We have all done things that we regret. I don’t think any of that makes me feel good, but I think we got into this because we wanted to do what’s right for America. My father has been working tirelessly to bring back the American dream. He has brought jobs back,” he said, adding “Part of being president is having a pair that can take whatever he comes towards you. My father’s got a pair. No sitting president has taken the heat that President Trump has.”

Trump Jr. also said to Meghan McCain that President Donald Trump “was under constant attack by the same people. When he’s under attack by the establishment, but the reality is, he’s a counterpuncher, and as a conservative, I would hope you would appreciate that conservatives haven’t been known for fighting back for a very long time. We have ceded ground to the liberals and the liberal elite for decades by not actually fighting back. I understand we can keep going back to character. I think he has great character.”

Trump Jr. also caused a stir when he said: “We’ve all done things that we regret. I mean, if we’re talking about bringing the discourse down, Joy, you’ve worn blackface. Whoopi, you said that Roman Polanksi, it wasn’t ‘rape rape’ when he raped a child. So, let’s talk about serious things.”

After the show aired, Trump Jr. tweeted: “I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an interview this much in my life. Guess you could say that I just #Triggered The View!!!”


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