The Current

Author of NYT op-ed critical of Trump was right to stay anonymous, says lawyer

The author of a New York Times op-ed has been criticized for not putting their name to their criticism of President Donald Trump, but a constitutional lawyer who represents whistleblowers says staying anonymous could help their efforts at "resistance."

High-level resignations haven't accomplished anything, says Mark Zaid

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that, for national security purposes, the New York Times should turn the anonymous author of an op-ed 'over to government at once!' (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

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The author of a New York Times op-ed about a resistance within the White House was right to stay anonymous, according to a constitutional lawyer who represents government whistleblowers.

"I think if the individual had put their name on it, at this point we'd be talking about who this person is, what their history was, where'd they go to school, what work that they do prior, how did they get to this point?" said Mark Zaid, a lawyer who handles cases involving national security.

"Whereas right now we're talking about the substance of what's in the op-ed," he said.

Anonymous Trump official publicizes 'resistance' inside White House


2 years agoVideo
U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested the opinion piece in the New York Times may be 'treason' and is calling for the newspaper to identify its source. 5:04

The opinion piece was penned by an anonymous senior administration official, claiming to be part of a "resistance" working "from within" to thwart U.S. President Donald Trump's "worst inclinations."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying that "this coward should do the right thing and resign."

Zaid argued that if the author really intends to curb Trump, there was "greater value" in maintaining their position.

"There have been a number of high-level resignations, mostly in the State Department at the ambassadorial level," he said.

"But it didn't accomplish anything, because Trump's base could care less, the president could care less."

Listen to the full conversation near the top of this page.

Produced by Howard Goldenthal, Willow Smith and John Chipman.


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