Law firm says Trump Jr. should be arrested for naming whistleblower in tweet

November 7, 2019

Donald Trump, Jr. is facing backlash and even calls for his arrest after he named the anti-Trump “whistleblower” in a tweet on Wednesday — but the president’s son isn’t backing down.

In a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr, a law firm that protects whistleblowers suggested that Trump Jr. should be arrested over the tweet, which named the CIA officer whose complaint has formed the center of the House’s impeachment inquiry as Eric Ciaramella, Law & Crime reported.

“If the whistleblower’s name is revealed by any person, including Donald Trump Jr., we hereby request that the persons engaging in this obstruction of justice be immediately arrested,” wrote the partners at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP.

Don Jr. behind bars?

For weeks, Democrats, their allies in the mainstream media, and the whistleblower’s lawyers have sought to shield the anonymous CIA officer from scrutiny by claiming that identifying him would endanger his life. President Trump has repeatedly called on the whistleblower to be unmasked, tweeting Monday that the whistleblower is a “someone with an agenda against” him, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has joined President Trump in calling for the media to identify the official.

But the left appears to think that the whistleblower is entitled to permanent anonymity. In a tweet Wednesday, Donald Trump, Jr. rattled Democrats, according to the New York Post, by including a link to a Breitbart article that named the whistleblower as Eric Ciaramella, a CIA analyst with possible ties to Joe Biden and John Brennan.

The whistleblower’s lawyers refused to confirm the name and fired back, saying that Trump Jr. was encouraging harm to the whistleblower and his family. But one law firm went a step further, asking Bill Barr to arrest any person who names the whistleblower and investigate “leaks” identifying him.

The firm construed naming the whistleblower as a form of retaliation that falls under a criminal obstruction of justice statute, writing:

Given the high-profile nature of this case, and the “chilling effect” the disclosure of the whistleblower’s identity will have on other potential confidential informants to the United States, we request that you immediately open a criminal obstruction of justice investigation to root out who is responsible for any potential leak of the identity of the whistleblower.

For his part, Donald Trump, Jr. has defended outing the whistleblower, according to the Washington Examiner, noting that his alleged name has been in the public domain for weeks and that the statute protecting whistleblowers from retaliation does not prohibit private citizens or the media from naming them. RealClearInvestigations was the first to name Ciaramella as the whistleblower.

Trump Jr. remains defiant

In a fiery appearance on The View Thursday, Trump Jr. again pushed back against criticism, which came from the show’s co-hosts, and said that the extreme hostility his family faces is evidence of a double standard in the media.

Trump Jr. pointed out that there was “no outrage” when his ex-wife Vanessa opened a threatening letter containing a white powdery substance and that the media’s “whistleblower” outrage is selective, since ABC news pursued a whistleblower this week who leaked footage of one of its anchors talking about how ABC “quashed” the Jeffrey Epstein story.

“I think the reality of the answer is the whistleblower’s name was on a little website called the Drudge Report a couple of days ago. I literally quote tweeted an article that had the guy’s name in the title of the article,” Trump Jr. said.

Allies of President Trump have also argued that the whistleblower isn’t really a whistleblower, but a career bureaucrat with an ax to grind against President Trump. Ironically, the controversy over the whistleblower’s identity helped uncover tweets from his lawyer Mark Zaid, who boasted in 2017 that the “coup has started” and that “impeachment will follow immediately,” according to Fox News.

As the left sees it, an anonymous CIA officer with unclear motives must be allowed to remain anonymous forever, despite the fact that the grievances of this “whistleblower” lie at the basis of an impeachment inquiry that could end by removing a sitting president from office. Anyone who so much as names the whistleblower or questions the fairness of the Democrats’ impeachment trial is an enemy of the Republic who should probably go to jail.

The punchline, though, is that they’re defending all of this in the name of democracy.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.