Today, federal prosecutors in Michigan charged a man with making a death threat against an attorney representing the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

“All traitors must die miserable deaths,” read the email sent to attorney Mark Zaid in early November, a day after the whistleblower’s attorney was singled out by Trump at a rally.

The email to the whistleblower’s attorney went on to read “Those who represent traitors will meet the same fate. We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are. We have nothing but time, and you are running out of it. Keep looking over your shoulder. We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with. We are all strangers in a crowd to you.”

Stephen M. Kohn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center, said, in a statement issued today, “we commend the prosecutors in the Eastern District of Michigan for taking strong action to protect an attorney for whistleblowers. But we are concerned for that attorney’s client, who was also the target of the threatening email. President Trump and some members of Congress have continuously called for the release of the anonymous Ukraine whistleblower’s identity. These calls must stop. The whistleblower had a right to confidentiality, and based on this indictment, the release of the whistleblower’s name would clearly be life threatening.”

“Whistleblowers are not traitors,” said David K. Colapinto, General Counsel of the National Whistleblower Center and a partner whistleblower law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. “It is the job of the President to protect whistleblowers, not incite violence against them,” Colapinto added.

“These threats to the whistleblower and his counsel are real. We call on all members of Congress to stand up for the rule of law, regardless of political party, and protect this whistleblower and his lawyer.” Kohn said.

For more information on the rights of federal employees to blow the whistle, please see the following FAQs:

Can Federal Employees “Blow the Whistle” Confidentially?

Can Federal Employees Blow the Whistle on the President?

A copy of the indictment is linked here.