“Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff are salivating over an August 12 whistleblower complaint by an intelligence officer over a ‘troubling promise’ President Trump allegedly made to a foreign leader during a phone call.
It is not clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with, or what was promised, according to the Washington Post – however, the complaint itself has given the president’s opponents a brand new ‘gotcha’ to chase in their quest to bring Trump down.
What’s more, acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has been refusing to share details about the phone call with lawmakers.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees.
But acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers, touching off a legal and political dispute that has spilled into public view and prompted speculation that the spy chief is improperly protecting the president. –WaPo
And as NBC News reports, over the last several days “the secret whistleblower complaint has been the subject of an increasingly acrimonious standoff between the acting intelligence chief and Schiff, who has demanded Maguire’s testimony and a copy of the complaint.”
Maguire has agreed to testify publicly next week, Schiff announced Wednesday, saying in a statement that the Inspector General “determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent,” adding “The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”
The matter burst into public view Friday when Schiff disclosed that an unspecified whistleblower complaint had been filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community, but was being withheld from his committee. That independent watchdog deemed the matter an “urgent concern” that he was required by law to turn over to the congressional intelligence committees.
But Maguire, after consulting with the Justice Department, overruled him, according to a series of letters between a DNI lawyer and Schiff that have been made public. –NBC News
According to Schiff, withholding the information from the House Intelligence Committee he chairs is illegal – and has raised questions over a potential coverup.
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted on Thursday, [Sept. 19, 2019]:
CNN analyst Phil Mudd responds following a report from The Washington Post revealing President Donald Trump’s communications with a foreign leader sparked the whistleblower complaint that has led the acting director of national intelligence to agree to testify amid a showdown with Congress.