Oversight Subcommittee Examined Whistleblower Qualifications and Protections

Jan 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 29, 2020)—This week, Rep. Gerry Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, held a hearing entitled “Protecting Those Who Blow the Whistle on Government Wrongdoing” to examine who qualifies as a federal whistleblower; what protections such a designation affords to those who make allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement; and whether new legal provisions would improve whistleblower protections.


  • Decades of whistleblower protections are in danger, since the President and some allies in Congress have tried to expose the identity of the whistleblower whose disclosure of abuses of power are at the center of the impeachment of Donald Trump.
  • Chairman Connolly reinforced that the government’s commitment to whistleblower protections must remain constant, regardless of which political party is in power.  Members vowed to work to clarify and bolster whistleblower protections to ensure that threats and attacks do not prevent future whistleblowers from coming forward to expose wrongdoing.
  • Project on Government Oversight Director of Public Policy Liz Hempowicz lamented the loss of the Congress’s “bipartisan consensus” to support whistleblowers.
  • Paul Rosenzweig, resident senior fellow at conservative think tank R Street, testified that whistleblowers can, and should, be able to provide information anonymously and that second-hand accounts from whistleblowers are common and valuable.


Elizabeth Hempowicz
Director of Public Policy
Project on Government Oversight  

David K. Colapinto
Founder and General Counsel
National Whistleblower Center  

Paul Rosenzweig
Resident Senior Fellow, National Security and Cybersecurity
R Street  

The Honorable Glenn A. Fine
Principal Deputy Inspector General Performing the Duties of the Inspector General
Department of Defense  

The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz
Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice


Click here to watch Chairman Connolly’s opening statement.

Click here to watch Chairman Connolly’s question line.

Click here to watch Chairwoman Maloney’s question line.

Click here to watch Rep. Lynch’s question line.


116th Congress