The Washington Post editorial board on Thursday explained how President Donald Trump’s attacks and threats to name the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal posed “a grave threat to the integrity of the government.”

The newspaper’s board noted in its opinion piece — titled “Trump’s whistleblower attacks set a dangerous precedent” — that “the facts of the Ukraine scandal are clear and damning, so it is not surprising that President Trump and his minions search desperately for scapegoats and distraction.”

Trump really wants “a target,” it said, pointing out how other government officials’ later testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, on Trump’s request that Ukraine’s president dig up dirt on potential Democratic 2020 rival Joe Biden allegedly in exchange for withheld military aid, had now superseded the complaint of the whistleblower who first reported Trump’s behavior.

“Permanently upending the whistleblower’s life, as the president and his allies want, would serve no purpose beyond distraction and revenge,” the editorial said, warning it could also destroy bipartisan consensus regarding whistleblowers’ protection and have far-reaching consequences.

“The next time a patriotic civil servant witnesses misconduct, the craven campaign against today’s whistleblower may affect whether that misconduct is reported,” it added. “If it is not, the public will be poorer for it.”

Read the full editorial here.

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