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Outgoing Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) has long been seen as a moderate voice in the Republican Party. Hurd’s tendencies were on display again on Sunday when he broke with his party to defend shielding the whistleblower’s identity.
Despite that, Hurd agreed with the Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Member, Rep. Devin Nunes’ calls to have Hunter Biden testify in this week’s public impeachment inquiry hearings.
Politico’s Caitlin Oprysko reports:
Hurd, a retiring Texas Republican who spent years in the CIA, told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that outing the whistleblower by compelling their testimony in a public hearing would send a chilling message to potential whistleblowers in the future.
“I think we should be protecting the identity of the whistleblower. I’ve said that from the very beginning because how we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future,” Hurd argued. “Having this whistleblower law on the books is important; it’s important checks and balance are not only in the intelligence committee, but in our government.”
Some allies of President Donald Trump have agitated for the whistleblower, whose complaint this summer sparked the series of events leading to the ongoing impeachment inquiry, to come forward publicly, arguing the president deserves the chance to confront his accuser. They also argue the identity of the whistleblower is necessary to ascertain whether they have any political bias against the president, though the inspector general for the intelligence community found that despite an “arguable” bias, the whistleblower was still credible.
The whistleblower is on a list of witnesses Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee want to see testify this week and submitted to Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) this weekend, though Schiff has veto power over those requests and shut that notion down late Saturday.