Schumer Says That Disclosing Source’s Identity Would Be ‘Crossing a Legal Line’

On Saturday we reported that President Trump may be trying to get a U.S. intelligence source killed by publicly releasing his secret identity. We said:

“Donald Trump and Devin Nunes are working together to discover the name of a secret U.S. intelligence source so they can disclose his identity.  Their goal is to undercut the credibility of the Mueller investigation. The practical effect of disclosing the name of a secret intelligence source, however, is that it may get him killed.  It also may completely destroy the viability of other ongoing U.S. intelligence operations.”

And we weren’t the only ones to comment negatively about what was going on. The most powerful Democratic Senator, Chuck Schumer of New York, also made his opinion known.  He said that publicly identifying a U.S. intelligence source was “close to crossing a legal line.” 

When Schumer posted his statement on Twitter he was expressing support for earlier statements from Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Warner had warned Republican lawmakers against exposing the identity of the informant who gave investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Warner said in a separate Twitter thread on Friday,

“It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election.”

He then sent a second tweet, adding:

“Anyone who is entrusted with our nation’s highest secrets should act with the gravity and seriousness of purpose that knowledge deserves.”

Schumer decided that letting Warner be the only Senator publicly decrying the threats and actions of the president was not right.  So he posted the following tweet in support of Warner:

@MarkWarner’s statement here is on the money and a severe warning to right wing Republican Congressmen who are trying to obstruct Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation and could be coming close to crossing a legal line.”

Schumer and Warner’s Twitter postings were made in response to a report from the Washington Post which said that Trump was trying to expose the identity and the role of the U.S. intelligence source.  The New York Times had also reported last week that an FBI source met with former Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

Earlier in May House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had demanded that the Department of Justice (DOJ) give him detailed information concerning the intelligence source. The DOJ had refused to do this, however, saying that publicly disclosing such information would endanger lives and national security.

On Saturday Trump also chimed in, tweeting, “if the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal.” Trump also called on the Justice Department to release the documents which Nunes had previously requested.

When we have a president who is trying to turn our government into a dictatorship, and is being supported by Republicans in Congress, it is important that members of the opposition party have the courage to stand up for democracy and for the American people. And Senators Schumer and Warner have shown they have the courage to do that. Let us hope that they will continue their fight and be joined by many others in Congress.