According to a popular global media, a source familiar with the whistleblower's contacts reportedly told a news agency that the whistleblower whose complaint led to Trump's impeachment inquiry never met or spoke with congressman Adam Schiff. However, earlier Republicans on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and other Trump supporters have suggested that Schiff personally met with the whistleblower. US Representative Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the committee said during the televised hearing held on November 13, that everything started with the chairman of the Intelligence Committee meeting with the whistleblower, and then the whistleblower going forward and hiring an attorney and then moving on from there. Nunes was reported to be more cautious at the Intelligence Committee's hearing on Wednesday in which he claimed he knew committee staff had held direct discussions with the whistleblower before the official's complaint was submitted to the intelligence community inspector general. He questioned the interactions and involvement of the Democrats to the whistleblower.
Responding to Nune's doubts and allegations, committee Chairman Schiff denied even knowing the whistleblower's identity. The same was reiterated by a source close to the whistleblower who claimed in a statement that Schiff did not meet or had any other contact with the whistleblower and that Nune's doubts were completely false. He added that the whistleblower met with an Intelligence Committee staff member once late in July but not Schiff. The source's statement also mentioned that the whistleblower and the committee staff member had known each other from prior work but the interaction based on impeachment inquiry was impersonal and that they were not friends. The said committee staffer or member had back then asked the whistleblower to hire a lawyer and speak to the intelligence community inspector general.
Following the interaction with the committee member, the whistleblower subsequently filed a complaint with the spy agency watchdog alleging that Trump pressured Ukraine's president in a July 25 phone call to investigate Joe Biden, over his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine. On August 12, 2019, the whistleblower filed the complaint and the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, determined it was credible. The complaint was supported with evidence from US government officials who dealt with issues related to Ukraine which fuelled moves by congressional Democrats to open the impeachment inquiry. On Wednesday's first public hearing, the Intelligence Committee's Democratic majority voted down a proposal by Republicans that the panel subpoena the whistleblower to give closed-door testimony.