Whistleblower Attorney Argues Treatment of Trump Whistleblower Could Have Chilling Effect
Top Whistleblower Attorney David Colapinto, a partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto explains how the treatment of the Trump whistleblower sends a message to intelligence community employees to keep quiet. Below is an excerpt from The Guardian:
David Colapinto, a prominent whistleblower lawyer who co-founded the National Whistleblower Center, said that these internal provisions and the lack of any external safeguards were a strong disincentive to anyone thinking about coming forward. “The system inherently has a chilling effect because it requires potential whistleblowers to identify themselves to their seniors and that can be career suicide.”
Between 2012 and 2014, Barack Obama tried to stiffen protections across the federal government. But the reforms still left intelligence officials singularly exposed.
Unlike other branches of government, whistleblowers in intelligence fields cannot appeal against their treatment to the courts. In cases of retaliation, they have no recourse to independent outside arbiters but must seek the support of senior officials within the intelligence agencies who might be swayed by the political demands of their masters.
Colapinto said that Obama’s changes left would-be whistleblowers in the intelligence services still deeply vulnerable. Which is why, he said, Trump’s targeting of the current whistleblower was so cynical.
“This treatment is a completely inappropriate way to deal with a whistleblower,” he said. “It will lead to demoralization, a sense of hopelessness that you cannot blow the whistle on people who are too powerful – and it will set a terrible precedent that can only encourage further misconduct from those in high office.”
Read the full article: Donald Trump’s smears designed to silence would-be whistleblowers, experts warn