Does the whistleblower matter?

I’m not being sarcastic or facetious with that title. I’m seriously debating, in my head, if the whistleblower matters at this point. Republicans are saying that the process is illegitimate if the whistleblower isn’t deposed/interviewed/questioned, and Democrats seem to be saying that it’s a risk to his/her safety and that it doesn’t matter at this point anyway. I’m finding myself torn, sort of.

On the one hand, and I’m feeling stronger about this hand, I don’t think it matters who the whistleblower is or what he or she knew. The whistleblower saw troubling things, reported them through the proper channels, and this led to an investigation that revealed some bad stuff. If I’m walking down the street and I see somebody breaking into a store and call the police, who come and find the burglar in the store and arrest him, they don’t care about why or who called, because they have better evidence of a crime at that point. I might be interviewed or questioned just to make sure that they aren’t missing anything, but it’s doubtful (I think) that I’d be part of any trial about the burglary. The police officers would be, and they would say that they responded to a call. Who made the call or whether or not the person making the call knew anything wouldn’t matter once they found the burglar in the store. In that sense, I feel like the whistleblower is irrelevant at this point (although deserves a giant pat on the back for calling out the bad stuff that was happening on the inside).

But then there’s the part of me that respects process. I’m not sure how much weight to give this, but what if, instead of a burglary, we’re talking about a crime for which the evidence is a document found at a scene where the police shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place? I’m having trouble coming up with a perfect example here, but it’s along the lines of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. If the case hinges on evidence obtained illegally, then there should be no case. If all we know about the burglary is because we beat and tortured somebody who told us that the burglary was happening, then the whole thing is tainted. If the whistleblower isn’t a legal whistleblower, then that’s what we have here.

I have no reason to believe that the whistleblower is “illegal” or acted illegally. So far, I haven’t heard any claims to that, so I’m leaning toward the hand I feel stronger about, but I’m not completely off the fence yet.

I’m completely off the fence that using the power of the White House to extort a foreign country to investigate a political rival is an abuse of power and an impeachable offense, but I’m also sympathetic to the criminal who isn’t convicted because the police abused the process.

I also realize that I’m bending over backwards to give Trump every break possible, but I think it’s important to do that before making up my mind about something this important.

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