By James Reinl
NEW YORK (AA) - A second whistleblower has come forward about U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to persuade his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, ABC News reported on Sunday.
Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the first whistleblower in a case that saw Democrats launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, told ABC News that the second person was also an intelligence official.
“I can confirm this report of a second #whistleblower being represented by our legal team,” Zaid, who handles security and freedom of information cases, said via Twitter on Sunday.
“They also made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against.”
Zaid said the official had “first-hand knowledge” of allegations linked to a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe Biden, a former U.S. Vice President, and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated corruption allegations.
The White House has not yet commented on the development. Trump, a Republican, has repeatedly rejected the original complaint, denied any wrongdoing and said his call with Zelensky was “perfect”.
The Democrat-run House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump on Sept. 24, following the original whistleblower complaint and the release by the White House of a summary of the phone call with Zelensky.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump was undermining U.S. elections and national security by securing foreign interference. Trump has since railed against “do-nothing” Democrats and called on China to investigate Biden’s son, who had business dealings in Ukraine and China.
The elder Biden is a leading candidate in the race to win the Democratic nomination and challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.