With President Donald Trump threatening whistleblowers, a survey of the whistleblower laws reveals serious rents in their protective shields. Whistleblowers are best protected if they go through official channels provided in the laws rather than go directly to the press. While the government may not punish a whistleblower, a president could, as Trump is doing, use his position to threaten and castigate. The Inspector General may not identify the whistleblower, but there is no barrier to a president disclosing it should he find out. (The New York Times, October 3, 2019, by Charlie Savage)
Employment lawyer Tom Spiggle, Forbes, October 1, 2019, writes that the Trump administration revealed the weaknesses of the whisteblower laws. The director of national intelligence was able to delay passing the report on the Ukrainian extortion to Congress in direct violation of the whistleblower protocol. Trump has lashed out at the whistleblower. The inspector general must not divulge the identity of the whistleblower except if necessary in the course of an investigation of possible criminal conduct.
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