US President Donald Trump speaks during news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the East Room of the White House, October. 2, 2019, in Washington. (Photo: AP)
WASHINGTON (Xinhua) -- The legal team representing a whistleblower who filed a complaint in August alleging U.S. President Donald Trump's inappropriate interactions with Ukraine confirmed on Sunday they are representing a second whistleblower in connection to the complaint.
Mark Zaid, one of the lawyers with the legal team, confirmed on Twitter a report by ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that "he is now representing a second whistleblower who has first-hand knowledge of events."
"I can confirm this report of a second #whistleblower being represented by our legal team. They also made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against. This WBer has first hand knowledge," Zaid tweeted.
Zaid also retweeted a tweet from ABC News's John Santucci saying that the second whistleblower was described as an intelligence official who had been interviewed by Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson.
The lawyer, also retweeting a tweet from CNN anchor Jake Tapper, confirmed that the new whistleblower has not filed an own complaint because the whistleblower doesn't need to, and that the whistleblower has first-hand knowledge that supports the first whistleblower's allegations.
The first whistleblower filed the complaint on Aug. 12, alleging that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over a Ukrainian gas company related to Hunter that was accused of corruption. Trump also requested that his counterpart look into issues related to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
A rough transcript of the call and a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint have been made public. The whistleblower mostly cited "U.S. officials" and "senior White House officials" in the complaint.
"I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General," tweeted Andrew Bakaj, another member of the first whistleblower's legal team. "No further comment at this time."
Trump, who is facing an ongoing and increasingly escalating impeachment inquiry initiated by House Democrats over the controversy, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that no pressure was put on Zelensky, and that the call was "perfect."