Republicans will now officially request a public testimony from the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.
According to CNN Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told reporters that Republicans will request that the House Intelligence Committee force the whistleblower to testify publicly.
It remains unlikely the whistleblower would ever actually appear in a public forum.
CNN reported that Jordan mentioned that Republicans have until Saturday to request witnesses, and they’ll include the whistleblower.
A Jordan aide told CNN that although Republicans would accept a public or private testimony from the whistleblower, their request will be filed under House rules for the public phase of the impeachment proceedings.
On Wednesday, the whistleblower’s lawyers Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid said in a statement that they refuse to confirm or deny any alleged names floated by Trump allies and conservative media. Last weekend, Zaid said that his client has offered to answer Republicans’ questions under oath.
President Trump and his GOP allies have ramped up their calls for the whistleblower to publicly testify in the past week. On Sunday, Trump prodded White House reporters to investigate and release the person’s identity. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) backed Trump’s whistleblower crusade the next day during a campaign rally in Kentucky Monday evening. Donald Trump Jr. joined the GOP chorus Wednesday by promoting an attempt to name the government official.
Major news organizations — which include CNN, NBC News and even the Trump-friendly Fox News — have issued guidance to their staffers to refrain from identifying the whistleblower.