After a published report claimed the Ukraine phone call whistleblower was professionally linked to an unnamed 2020 presidential campaign, Beto O'Rourke said the unknown official's political leaning shouldn't affect the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
O'Rourke appeared on "MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson" on Wednesday, and was asked if he had any knowledge of who the leaker was, or if they were in any way tied to his campaign for president.
"No, not that I’m aware of. [I] don’t know the identity of the whistle-blower and really know what you have reported and what I’ve read in the newspapers," O'Rourke replied. "But I really think whatever political bias he or she may have is immaterial to the charge that’s been leveled against the president.
"One that has been confirmed by ... the [intelligence community] inspector general, reconfirmed in the reconstructed transcript that has been released, a transcript that initially was put on an NSC [National Security Council] server to keep it from distribution."
The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson linked the whistleblower with an unnamed 2020 presidential campaign. The report added that Atkinson also told lawmakers that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat.
"'The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates,' said one person with knowledge of what was said," the article claimed.
"'What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate,' said a third person with knowledge of what was said," the story continued.
All three sources claimed Atkinson did not identify the candidate that the whistleblower was connected to.
O'Rourke told MSNBC that Congress cannot get sidetracked and must continue to hold Trump accountable with further investigation into a second whistleblower.
"I want to make sure that we keep our focus on the crimes that have been committed and the need to hold the president accountable," he said. "The fact that there seems to be now a second whistleblower, and as you know, there’s no limit in the whistleblower statute from other whistleblowers coming forward. But I think there’s sufficient evidence to ... proceed with impeachment and make sure that Congress and through them, their constituents can reach a conclusion about this president’s criminality."