Trump rejects whistleblower offer to respond to written GOP questions

President Trump rejected the intelligence whistleblower’s offer to answer Republican questions in writing — and again demanded the person’s identity be exposed.

“He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!” Trump angrily tweeted.

Repeating unfounded claims that the whistleblower lied, Trump signaled that he is more interested in seeking to discredit the whistleblower than to get answers about the explosive claim that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

Trump’s rejection came after lawyers for the whistleblower vowed to work with GOP lawmakers as long as they did not seek to reveal the person’s identity. Federal law explicitly protects whistleblowers’ right to remain anonymous and bars retaliation against them.

It’s not clear whether Republicans really have questions about the whistleblower’s complaint. Virtually all of the claims made by the whistleblower have been verified by the rough transcript of Trump’s infamous call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky or other officials with firsthand knowledge of the actions taken by Trump.

Trump’s rejection of written answers is particularly ironic since he refused to be questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller and insisted on responding to questions in writing.

The fresh sign that Trump is badly rattled by the impeachment probe came as Democrats moved ahead with the inquiry and the White House sought to recover from weeks of devastating allegations of presidential abuse of power.

RELATED: National Security Adviser Alexander Vindman

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National Security Council member Alexander Vindman
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National Security Council member Alexander Vindman
National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman arrives for a closed-door deposition at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019. - Vindman plans to tell Congress Tuesday that he witnessed efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate President Donald Trump's rival Joe Biden, and that he reported it as a national security risk. Vindman will be the first White House official to testify to the House impeachment inquiry that Trump and allied diplomats improperly pressured the Ukraine government to open investigations designed to help Trump politically. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 29: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, arrives in the Capitol Visitor Center for his deposition related to the House's impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images),
In this photo posted on the U.S. Embassy Kiev Twitter account on May 31, 2019, National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman prepares to lay flowers in honor of fallen Ukrainian soldiers. (U.S. Embassy Kiev Twitter account via AP)
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Several witnesses were due to testify Monday but they reportedly plan to boycott the session out of loyalty to Trump.

National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg was the highest profile witness set to appear. Several previous witnesses have fingered him as the one who made the questionable decision to keep Trump’s call to Zelensky under wraps by moving the transcript to a super top secret server.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top White House expert on Ukraine, told the congressional panel that he reported what he believed to be Trump’s improper actions to Eisenberg.

In response, the lawyer ordered the transcript locked down in the server that only a few people have access to. It’s supposed to be reserved for keeping sensitive national security information secret, not to whitewash embarrassing or illegal actions.

Other witnesses include two White House budget officials who were expected to be quizzed about Trump’s decision to suspend defense aid to Ukraine as he sought to pressure Zelensky to open bogus investigations into Trump’s Democratic rivals.

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