House Intel Chair subpoenas acting Trump intelligence chief over whistleblower complaint

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill’s Morning Report – Can Trump save GOP in North Carolina special election? Giuliani tears into Democrats after House opens probe into whether he pressured Ukraine to target Biden House Democrats launch probe into whether Trump, Giuliani pressured Ukraine to target Biden MORE (D-Calif.) subpoenaed the Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to provide the panel with a whistleblower complaint.

Schiff said he learned Monday of a “credible” whistleblower complaint regarding a matter of “urgent concern” was filed a month ago and that he asked for a copy of the full an unredacted complaint the next day.

He accused Maguire of illegally withholding the complaint from the committee. 

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“As Acting Director of National Intelligence, you have neither the legal authority nor the discretion to overrule a determination by the [Intelligence Community Inspector General]. Moreover, you do not possess the authority to withhold from the Committee a whistleblower disclosure from within the Intelligence Community that is intended for Congress,” Schiff wrote in a letter to Maguire.

Schiff said the refusal to hand over the complaint signaled a confluence of abnormalities, which the California Democrat suggested hinted at wrongdoing at the highest echelons of the Trump administration.

“The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials,” Schiff wrote. 

“This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible ‘serious or flagrant’ misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law.” 

Schiff said the panel learned the complaint involved possibly privileged communications by people outside the Intelligence Community and that Maguire’s office did not rule out the possibility that the underlying conduct is in connection with an area under investigation by the Intelligence Committee.

The subpoena requires Maguire to appear for a public hearing in front of the intelligence panel on Sept. 19 to explain the decision to withhold the complaint. 

“The Committee – and the American people – must know why, in violation of the law, a whistleblower complaint is being concealed, whether the underlying conduct involves the President or those around him, and whether the White House is involved in trying to cover up this authorized disclosure,” Schiff wrote.