The FBI wants to question the whistleblower whose complaint about President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sparked the impeachment investigation, but no interview has been scheduled, according to sources close to the situation.
An agent at Washington’s field office first reached out to one of the whistleblower’s attorneys back in October, asking then to question the person, described as a CIA analyst, Yahoo News first reported Wednesday. According to the unidentified source, the move to question the whistleblower came after a strong internal debate about how to respond to some of the allegations contained in the report and if they merited further investigation.
Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s attorneys, said he and his co-counsel would have no comment about the request, and it is not clear what the scope of the interview would contain.
The FBI has also refused to comment on the matter.
The request comes as House Intelligence Committee Republicans push to unveil the whistleblower while suggesting the report came for political reasons in opposition to the president. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., meanwhile, has blocked questions that can reveal the whistleblower’s identity.
Zaid has claimed that the whistleblower and his legal representation has been threatened, but Yahoo’s sources said the agent who wants to question the whistleblower did not refer to the threats, even though they’ve been reported to the FBI.
Meanwhile, FBI counterintelligence officials were said to be especially concerned about claims in the report that Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and associates Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas may have been manipulated by Russian interests, according to a former senior U.S intelligence official who has discussed the matter with current FBI counterintelligence agents.
Fruman and Parnas were indicted on federal charges of conspiring to bring foreign money into the United States’ elections.
“There were guys within the [intelligence community] who believe this is another Russian attempt,” the former official said. “People think Giuliani is being led down the primrose path.”