Feb 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Intelligence lawyer who blocked Ukraine whistleblower complaint to resign

Adam Schiff

Adam Schiff. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jason Klitenic, the top lawyer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), is resigning from his position, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: Klitenic wrote a letter to the top lawmakers on the Senate and House Intelligence committees in September informing them that — after consulting with the Justice Department — acting DNI Joseph Maguire would not turn over the whistleblower complaint about President Trump's now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

  • House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff's (D-Calif.) effort to obtain the complaint was ultimately successful and led to Trump's impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The big picture: Klitenic's departure comes as Maguire approaches a March 11 deadline to continue in his role, since he can only serve in an acting position for a limited period.

  • It "shrinks the pool of Senate-confirmed officials eligible to succeed Maguire as acting DNI, should his term expire without a permanent replacement," according to Politico.
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