Sep 17, 2019

Top intelligence official rejects whistleblower subpoena from Congress

Joseph Maguire, looks on during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 25, 2018.

Joseph Maguire. Photo: Marcus Tappan/AFP/Getty Images

Acting National Intelligence director Joseph Maguire refused on Tuesday to testify before Congress this week — and he won't immediately hand over a whistleblower complaint to lawmakers, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: Per the Wall Street Journal, the rejection of the subpoena from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) "escalates an unusual confrontation between the House panel and [Maguire’s office], which oversees all 17 U.S. spy agencies."

  • Schiff said in a statement he was concerned the agency might be acting to conceal high-level wrongdoing by President Trump or his immediate advisers over the complaint, which a government watchdog deemed "urgent" and credible, per Politico.

The big picture: The nature of the whistleblower’s complaint isn’t known. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence defended its decision to withhold details of the whistleblower’s complaint in a letter to Schiff, obtained by WSJ.

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