[ti:What 'Whistleblower' Means]
[00:01.00]A lawyer said over the weekend that the person he represents
[00:06.38]is ready to answer questions from Republicans on an American congressional committee.
[00:14.60]Lawyer Mark Zaid's comments appeared Sunday on Twitter.
[00:20.18]Zaid represents a whistleblower connected to an American intelligence element.
[00:28.12]The individual expressed concern about a discussion
[00:33.04]between American President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
[00:41.60]The leaders' telephone call in July has led to a congressional investigation.
[00:48.89]The whistleblower reported that the president had pressed Ukraine
[00:54.88]to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
[01:03.20]Joe Biden is seeking nomination to become the Democratic Party
[01:08.29]presidential candidate for the 2020 election.
[01:13.52]Zaid said that the only questions the whistleblower will refuse to answer concern his or her identity.
[01:24.24]So, what is a whistleblower?
[01:27.81]The word sounds like it means a person directing a game, or a police officer directing traffic.
[01:36.95]Those people often has a device called a whistle,
[01:41.61]which makes a loud sound when you blow air through it.
[01:46.52]The sound of the whistle is usually a sign that someone has violated a rule.
[01:54.64]But, "blow the whistle" can also mean to tell police, reporters or officials
[02:02.03]about something that has been kept secret -- like a possible crime.
[02:09.40]"Whistleblower" is an official term
[02:12.48]that means someone who exposes wrongdoing with an aim to put a stop to it.
[02:19.84]Historically, whistleblowers have done an important job in stopping government corruption and abuse.
[02:28.05]Whistleblowers enjoy legal protections under U.S. laws.
[02:35.04]Members of Congress support whistleblowing in order to limit waste,
[02:40.81]lying and abuse or misuse of power in government.
[02:47.24]Lawmakers have created ways for government workers
[02:52.16]to make official declarations of wrongdoing.
[02:57.24]Whistleblowers can take their reports to someone empowered
[03:01.92]to deal with them, or directly to a lawmaker.
[03:07.76]Congress also protects whistleblowers by making sure their supervisors
[03:13.47]do not take action against them.
[03:17.36]In the 1990s and early 2000s, Congress passed additional laws
[03:24.28]to urge people who work for intelligence groups to report issues of "urgent concern."
[03:33.48]If the issue is believed to be serious, it must be reported to Congress.
[03:41.04]The current whistleblower's identity has not been made public.
[03:45.97]But Trump has repeatedly suggested it is a man who worked for the Obama administration.
[03:55.00]Trump has called the whistleblower a "traitor" who deserves to be dealt with severely.
[04:03.36]Lawyer Mark Zaid tweeted Sunday that the top Republican
[04:08.73]on the House Intelligence Committee could ask questions,
[04:13.52]which the whistleblower would answer "in writing."
[04:18.52]The president said on social media Monday that written answers are not good enough.
[04:26.64]"What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President
[04:31.64]is ‘perfectly' stated, Trump tweeted.
[04:35.29]"There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning," he said.
[04:43.61]I'm Caty Weaver. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM