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Nunes Once Praised Anonymous Whistleblowers. Now He Wants Trump’s Exposed.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

As the impeachment inquiry moves out from closed doors and into public view, Republicans have confirmed what they’ve been hinting at for weeks: that their campaign to undermine Democrats’ case to impeach President Trump will center on outing and interrogating the anonymous whistleblower whose account launched the inquiry in the first place.

On Thursday, House Democrats formally extended to their GOP counterparts the chance to request witnesses for the open hearings that will take place in the month of November. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a leader of the GOP’s counter-impeachment push, responded by telling reporters that Republicans would request to subpoena testimony from the whistleblower— in public. 

The spectacle that would be created by the anonymous whistleblower dramatically revealing their identity as part of a historic impeachment probe is, unfortunately for the GOP, exceedingly unlikely to happen. Under impeachment rules passed last month, House Democrats retain the power to veto any witness requests from the minority, and the inquiry’s leader, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), has said the whistleblower has the right to remain anonymous and shouldn’t be subject to “vicious attacks” from Trump and his allies.

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