WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The whistleblower at the centre of a growing impeachment probe of President Donald Trump provided an account of his concerns to a congressional aide, who relayed them to the committee chairman now leading the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The Times’ account, which cites a spokesman and current and former U.S. officials, said the whistleblower approached an aide to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff out of concern about how his allegations were being handled after he had a colleague pass them along to the CIA’s top lawyer.
Schiff’s aide suggested the whistleblower file a complaint, the New York Times said.
In a statement, Patrick Boland, spokesman for Schiff and the committee, said the whistleblower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within its jurisdiction.
“Consistent with the Committee’s longstanding procedures, Committee staff appropriately advised the whistleblower to contact an Inspector General and to seek legal counsel.”
He said the committee did not review or receive the complaint in advance.
Using “they” to speak of the whistleblower without revealing the person’s gender, Boland said the committee commends the whistleblower. “The Committee expects that they will be fully protected, despite the President’s threats,” the statement said. “Only through their courage did these facts about the President’s abuse of power come to light.”
He said the committee encourages all whistleblowers to come forward and seek advice on how to disclose wrongdoing.
Reporting by Tim Ahmann, additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Franklin Paul and Cynthia Osterman