Facebook is removing from its platform any mention of the name of the potential whistleblower who ignited the current Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Facebook is also cracking down on media outlets that post the whistleblower’s name, saying to do so is a violation of the social media giant’s community standards and policies, Breitbart reported.
The conservative news outlet said Facebook removed a post from Breitbart’s page that pointed out other respected media publications have named the whistleblower.
Breitbart said that it received a notification from Facebook that the outlet’s news page was “at risk of being unpublished,” due to publishing the alleged whistleblower’s name.
In response to an inquiry from Breitbart, Facebook released the following statement: “Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist.'”
“We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate,” the statement read.
The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also shared a Breitbart story that identified the alleged whistleblower in a tweet.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that the whistleblower statute does not protect the identity of the individual, but only shields the person from facing retribution in their employment with the federal government.
“The whistleblower statute was never meant to give you anonymity,” Graham said. “It was meant to allow you to come forward without being fired.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “The whistleblower statute was never meant to give you anonymity.” pic.twitter.com/c4B8tHerBS
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
“You can’t use anonymity in a criminal process. You can’t use anonymity in a civil process,” he added. “This is a misuse of the statute.”
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Fox News on Thursday, “What we read about now is that suddenly it is a new crime to publish the name of a whistleblower.”
“I spent this afternoon searching the statute books, I simply couldn’t find that crime,” Dershowitz said. “It is so dangerous for political opponents to invent new crimes without having them passed by the legislature.”
The legal scholar further pointed out that the Constitution prevents the legislature from creating new crimes and then applying them retroactively.
Tweets surfaced earlier this week in which one of the whistleblower’s attorneys, Mark Zaid, in the days after Trump took office in January 2017 wrote that the “coup has started,” and “impeachment will follow ultimately.”
“45 years from now we might be recalling stories regarding the impeachment of @realDonaldTrump. I’ll be old, but will be worth the wait,” Zaid wrote.
President Trump is now reading the whistleblower lawyer’s tweets on stage pic.twitter.com/wRVc2hLFwX
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 7, 2019
Trump highlighted the tweets at a rally in Monroe, Louisiana, on Wednesday night.
“It’s all a hoax. It’s a scam,” he said of the impeachment inquiry.
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