The lawyers representing a whistleblower whose complaint has plunged President Donald Trump into impeachment proceedings describe the person as a civil servant who has never worked for or advised any political candidate, campaign or party.
The statement, released late Wednesday, was an unusual step by lawyers Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid who have been reluctant to provide any information that might identify their client. The person is protected from retaliation under anti-corruption laws, but Trump has said he has the right to meet his accuser.
"The Whistleblower has ties to one of my DEMOCRAT OPPONENTS," Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "Why does the ICIG allow this scam to continue?
The whistleblower's lawyers say that is not true.
"Our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch," the lawyers stated.
While the lawyers' statement did not address the following issues directly, the person has previously been identified as an intelligence official and a registered Democrat. As a career civil servant though, it's very possible the person could have served under then-Vice President Joe Biden, but that the role would not have been considered political.
"In these positions our client has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials -- not as candidates," they added.
According to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, the person was screened for any potential bias during an interview and identified "some indicia of an arguable political bias." Still, the IG said it found that the allegations appeared credible.
The lawyers said the whistleblower voluntarily provided "relevant career information" to the IG "to facilitate an assessment of the credibility of the complaint."
"Finally," the lawyers added in their statement, "the whistleblower is not the story. To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant."