Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Tuesday defended the whistleblower who brought the complaint against President Donald Trump over his Ukrainian telephone call, saying the individual deserved to be "heard out and protected."
"This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected," Grassley, chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, said in a statement. "We should always work to respect whistleblowers' requests for confidentiality."
President Trump and several allies are attacking the whistleblower on many fronts, including that the complaint was based on second-hand knowledge.
The president told reporters Monday that he was "trying to find out" the whistleblower's identity.
Grassley, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the last congressional term, also knocked "uninformed speculation" about the whistleblower and warned against further news reports on the person's identity after The New York Times disclosed last week that the complainant is a male CIA officer.
"No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts," Grassley said. "Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country."
He added that "complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim's credibility."
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