Meet the Lawyers Representing Ukraine Whistleblower
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Both attorneys work for a group that offers whistleblowers cash for leaking against Trump. (Washington Examiner)
The anonymous U.S. intelligence official accusing President Trump of improperly pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is represented by two lawyers who run a group that offers financial help to fired whistleblowers.
Whistleblower Aid was launched in September 2017 — eight months after Trump's inauguration — with an advertising blitz that involved mobile billboards being driven close to the White House, Congress, outside the Pentagon, and around the headquarters of the CIA and National Security Agency.
The group's pledge of support, in addition to free legal representation including rent and mortgage assistance, media coaching, and doctor's bills and counseling, is controversial among lawyers. Critics say it violates attorney ethics.
Whistleblower Aid was founded by veteran national security defense attorney Mark Zaid and John Tye, a whistleblower who worked to promote internet freedom at the State Department before warning of mass surveillance during the Obama administration. Andrew Bakaj, a former CIA officer who is associated with Zaid's firm, is also a lawyer for Whistleblower Aid.
Zaid is known in Washington, D.C. as a fierce Trump critic. Bakaj has previously worked for then-Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).