House Democrats are considering extreme measures to protect the identity of the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president during their potential testimony, including hosting the hearing outside Capitol Hill and obscuring their appearance. According to The Washington Post, Democrats are concerned that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee could learn and leak the identity of the whistleblower. Some of the special precautions reportedly being considered include: a staff-only session to prevent lawmakers from entering and asking questions, having the whistleblower testify remotely via a video feed that would obscure their face and voice, and having the whistleblower sit behind a screen. CNN reports that secure locations for the testimony could include Langley or Ft. Meade.
The whistleblower’s legal team has also been in discussions about testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a separate meeting, though staffers are reportedly not considering taking measures to mask the whistleblower’s identity. According to CNN, a group of retired Navy SEALs have volunteered to offer assistance to protect the whistleblower’s personal safety. This comes after Trump has publicly stated that he wants to “meet” his “accuser,” and the individual who “illegally gave this information” to the whistleblower. The whistleblower raised concerns about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which involved a request to the Ukrainian president to investigate corruption allegations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.