January 22, 2020, 19:20

Top intelligence official to brief Congress on whistleblower complaint

Top intelligence official to brief Congress on whistleblower complaint

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 26, after Chairman Adam Schiff accused his office of withholding an intelligence community’s whistleblower complaint from Congress.

(MORE: Trump announces his pick for DNI Rep. John Ratcliffe dropped from consideration)

Schiff, D-Calif., issued a subpoena last week for the complaint, described as “urgent” by the intelligence community’s inspector general.

The chairman said Wednesday that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson would brief the committee behind closed doors on Thursday morning regarding the handling of the complaint, but likely not the content. Next Thursday’s hearing with Maguire will be public.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks during a hearing with Robert Mueller, former special counsel for the Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C., July 24, 2019.

“The director has said essentially that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint. This is deeply troubling,” Schiff said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“Ignoring the subpoena, ignoring our request. No DNI — no director of national intelligence — has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint.”

(MORE: Trump’s pick for intelligence director misrepresented role in anti-terror case)

A spokesperson for the DNI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The complaint involves conduct by someone outside the intelligence community, according to a letter to Schiff from Jason Klitenic, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was obtained Tuesday by The New York Times.

He also argued that the complaint doesn’t meet the definition of “urgent concern” that would require the DNI to forward the matter to Congress, according to the Times.

Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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