A top aide of one of President Donald Trump’s most ardent defenders in Congress reportedly has provided conservative journalists and Republican politicians with the identity of the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.
According to knowledgeable sources who spoke with The Daily Beast, Derek Harvey — a senior aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who is the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee — “has provided notes for House Republicans identifying the whistleblower’s name ahead of the high-profile depositions of Trump administration appointees and civil servants in the impeachment inquiry.”
One source said Harvey’s goal is to have the whistleblower’s name entered into the record of the impeachment proceedings, which The Daily Beast noted will eventually be made public.
Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s attorneys, said outing his client has no bearing on the validity of the whistleblower’s claims.
“Exposing the identity of the whistleblower and attacking our client would do nothing to undercut the validity of the complaint’s allegations,” Zaid said. “What it would do, however, is put that individual and their family at risk of harm. Perhaps more important, it would deter future whistleblowers from coming forward in subsequent administrations, Democratic or Republican.”
Along with the whistleblower, the two sources said, Harvey is targeting a staffer of House Intelligence Committee Democrats, about whom he has “spread a false story alleging that the whistleblower contacted the staffer ahead of raising internal alarm about President Trump’s July 25 phone call attempting to get a “favor” from Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to damage Trump’s rival Joe Biden.”
The Daily Beast noted that Harvey has a long history of public service that would put him squarely in the “Deep State” category if such a thing were real.
The publication wrote of Harvey: “As a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, he played an important role in the 2007-8 troop surge in Iraq. David Petraeus kept Harvey aboard for an intelligence billet at U.S. Central Command. Harvey aligned with another member of the counterinsurgency coterie, DIA Director Mike Flynn, and followed Flynn onto Trump’s White NSC. From there, Harvey became a crucial aide to Nunes, a pivotal Flynn and Trump ally. There is no reasonable definition of Deep State that excludes Derek Harvey from elite membership.”