There are various whistle blower statutes that apply to federal and state employees. The federal intelligence community has a unique statute. A whsitle blower in the intelligence community can make an anonymous complaint. A whistle blower in the intelligence community has complaiend that Pres. Trump has committed certain acts. Those acts, if committed by an average mid-level manager type federal worker would have resulted in the loss of his security clearance. One of the requirements in the security clearance world is that if you see a person committing some act which imperils his security clearance, you as a co-worker must report that breach. That person who has committed some unlawful act becomes subject to manipulation by a hostile government. The President, in offering a quid pro quo to Mr. Zelensky, engaged in behavior which is unlawful or potentially unlawful. A hostile foreign power could use that quid pro quo against the President. If he were a mid-level manager, he would surely lose his security clearance for that act.
In the Army, it occurs rarely, but it does occur that an Intelligence officer or NCO will report some perceived breach of security protocol. The whistle blower who has complained about Pres. Trump has done what any person with a security clearance is required to do.
But, the President does not like that. He has suggested publicly that the whistle blower is “like a spy” and should suffer the consequences of a spy. He has threatened “big consequences” to any person who provided information to the whistle blower. That threat alone violates the pertinent whistle blower statute.
The President has also insisted he has a right to confront his accuser. No, he does not. The statute that applies to the federal intelligence community was passed soon after the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s. The point of the statute is to provide a way for members of the intelligence community to voice concerns without exposing himself to reprisal.
David Gergen, counselor to Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton, has pointed out that Pres. Trump has placed the well-being of the whistle blower in some danger. Some crazy person could over-react to Pres. Trump’s threats. Too, as Mr. Gergen mentions, it is just nuts to spout off like this. See CNN news report here.
Regardless of the President’s instincts, we are a nation of laws. The law currently in place prevents him from confronting his accuser, for the near-term. . . . . So long as we remain a nation of laws.
Even on Pres. Nixon’s worst day, he did not threaten Alexander Butterfield, who revealed the existence of the taping system in the Oval Office, or John Dean, who revealed many illegal activities by the Nixon administration. Let us hope we remain a nation of laws.