U.S. Intelligence Official to Brief Lawmakers Over Mystery Complaint

Clay Curtis
September 19, 2019

According to the Post and other media outlets, an intelligence community official surveilling Trump's call with a foreign leader was so bothered by a "promise" Trump reportedly made on the call that the official filed a formal complaint with the inspector general. It's unknown which leader Trump was speaking to and it's the first time his direct involvement in the complaint has been reported, according to the Post.

Late Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported that the whistleblower complaint involves President Trump's communications with a foreign leader, according to two former US officials familiar with the matter.

One of the paper's sources said Trump made a "promise" so egregious that it prompted a submission to the intelligence community's inspector general.

The matter was brought to the attention of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who, by law, was supposed to alert the congressional Intelligence committees.

Maguire has defended his refusal by asserting that the subject of the complaint is beyond his jurisdiction.

The acting Director of National Intelligence failed to comply with a House subpoena to turn over a mysterious whistleblower complaint.

Mr Maguire will testify publicly about the whistleblower complaint on Sept 26, and the committee will also hear from the intelligence community's inspector-general on Thursday (Sept 19) in a closed-door hearing, Mr Schiff announced.

"By law, Maguire is required to transmit such complaints to Congress within seven days", the Post reported.

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"We're determined to make sure that the whistleblower is able to provide his complaint to Congress, or her complaint to Congress, and that this urgent matter is addressed", Schiff said Tuesday.

Maguire said he determined the allegations did not merit "urgent concern", and since they relate to a person outside the intelligence community, he is not required to pass them along to Capitol Hill.

Such disclosures have piqued Schiff's suspicions, however, about why Maguire is loath to give the panel either the complaint or a fuller, public reckoning - and "whether the White House or Attorney General" William P. Barr are ordering him not to comply with their demands, the congressman said. There is, however, a limited number of foreign leaders Trump spoke to around the relevant dates, and the Post's article noted a July 31 phone conversation the Republican had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Klitenic did write to Schiff that the DNI was committed to working out a acceptable accommodation with the committee.

The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the US intelligence community and Congress involves US President Donald Trump's communications with a foreign leader, according to two former US officials familiar with the matter.

On September 13, Schiff issued a subpoena demanding a copy of the complaint, giving a September 17 deadline. But the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) overruled the IC IG after consulting with the Justice Department and concluding that the complaint does not fit the definition of "urgent concern" under federal law.

It was unclear whether the whistleblower witnessed Trump's communication with the foreign leader or learned of it through other means.

The complaint was filed about a month ago, Schiff has said.

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