Doug Bedell — December 11, 2019, 12:17 pm

Background on Whistleblowing, a Protected Security Role


What does a “whistleblower” risk by providing information to government agencies? The standing of whistleblowers is explained in a post on In Homeland Security by David E. Hubler.

“Who is a whistleblower?” it begins, “Should a whistleblower remain anonymous? Are their actions legal or illegal?” The current House impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump was triggered by a whistleblower’s privileged complaint, so it’s important that their role is understood and, many would argue, protected.

To recap the setting in the current whistleblower-initiated security crisis:

“In early September,” writes Jonathan Ernst, of Reuters, “an anonymous whistleblower complaint lodged by a member of the intelligence community said that in a series of events culminating in a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

“The complaint detailed concerns that Trump, days after withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package, used the call with Zelensky to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.”

There’s a lot more to the impeachment controversy than is contained in this summary, but a protected whistleblower’s complaint sparked it all.

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