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Democrats warned: if associates of Rudy Giuliani deny requests for documents they will be compelled to comply

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is due to give a closed-door deposition and will become the latest official or witness to the President’s dealings with Ukraine to tell his story.
New Democratic subpoenas are flying across Washington with demands for documents on Ukraine hitting the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget. Democrats also warned that if associates of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani deny requests for documents and depositions they will be compelled to comply.
The President complained on Monday that the Democratic investigation was making it impossible to do his job. But his belligerence and unrestrained conduct in reality is making it hard for Congress to fulfill its constitutional role.
The House Intelligence Committee is discussing extraordinary measures to protect the identity of the whistleblower who set off the impeachment circus by accusing Trump of pressuring Ukraine’s President to investigate Biden in a call.
Among possible measures are the use of an off-site location for any testimony — potentially including highly secure sites at the CIA or at Fort Meade base outside Washington, the home of US Cyber Command. There could also be limits on the number of Capitol Hill staff and members who could attend and the voice of the yet-to-be named whistleblower could be disguised.
That such measures are needed is unusual in itself. What makes this scenario stunning is that they are being discussed as a direct result of threats made by the President. Trump demanded to meet his “accuser,” suggested the person was “spying on the US President” and appeared to suggest the whistleblower’s sources should be executed like “in the old days.”
Lawyers for the whistleblower warned last week that their client was in danger. There is so far no agreement for he or she to testify but talks are continuing.
“We cannot allow the President to somehow get to the whistleblower, or threaten him or discourage him or her form telling their side of the story,” Illinois Democratic Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
The measures that could be taken to protect the whistleblower are also a commentary on the bitter schism between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. The unstated fear of Democrats is that some of Trump’s close allies on the Intelligence panel could reveal the name of the whistleblower to the White House if the person is identified. Republicans meanwhile may seize on extreme precautions by Democrats to suggest they are deepening antagonism between the parties in a symptom of what the GOP says is a partisan impeachment process.