Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of the president, Donald Trump, spread on Wednesday through the social network Twitter, which has four million readers, the alleged identity of the secret informant whose complaint unleashed the political trial (impeachment, in English) against his father.
In his message, Donald Jr. links to an article on the ultraconservative Breitbart website, founded among others by Steve Bannon, who later served as campaign director and chief advisor to the president in the White House.
The article in question gives the supposed name of the informant and indicates that he worked “closely” with people opposed to the president during the 2016 election campaign.
Telemundo News has decided not to name the informant for security reasons until he or she does not make his identity public. Other media, such as the newspaper The Washington Post and the CNN chain, have also done everything possible to hide his name, revealing only, as he did The New York Times, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was assigned to the White House.
However, the president has insisted almost daily that his identity should be known. After his son allegedly made public who he is, the White House rushed to explain that neither the president nor any senior administration officer knew in advance that he would do such a thing.
For his part, the president's son explained, also through Twitter: “The whole press is altered because I (a private citizen) tweets a story in which the alleged complainant is named. Are you going to pretend that your name has not been public for weeks now? Numerous people and news media, including Real Clear Politics, have already identified it. ”
The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn’t been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID’d him. https://t.co/bcamyTaXP3
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 6, 2019
Trump Jr. used a word in his message (triggered, translated here as altered) that also serves as a title to the book whose sale you are promoting these days.
Is it illegal to publish the identity of the complainant?
What the president's son has done is not illegal, as ex-government officials have indicated to the public radio station (NPR). But his father had participated in it could activate another article to expel him from the White House for intimidation of witnesses and obstruction of justice. In the case of your child, you are exposed to be sued by the complainant's lawyers, according to these experts.
The supporters of the president in the House of Representatives, such as Jim Jordan or Matt Gaetz, have assured that keeping the identity of the informant secret (whistleblower, in English) it is unfair because it prevents the president from defending himself.
However, that a defendant in front of the person who accuses him is usually reserved for criminal cases, and the political trial of a president does not fall into this category.
Until now, ensuring the safety of the complainant is the priority, said Adam Schiff, the highest-ranking Democratic representative who has led the political trial.
Mark Zaid, one of the complainant's lawyers, told NBC News in September: “Publishing details about the informant will only lead to the identification of someone, be it our client or the wrong person. This will place this individual in a much more dangerous situation.