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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday after reviewing the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint behind closed doors that the materials he viewed "exposed serious wrongdoing" and provided the committee with information to follow up on.

The big picture: The Democratic members who were willing to speak to reporters after leaving the room expressed alarm at the contents of the complaint. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) called the complaint "troubling and disturbing," while Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said that the materials he read "only corroborate the concerns that this is credible and urgent."

What they're saying: Schiff added that "the idea that the Department of Justice would have intervened to prevent it from getting to Congress, throws the leadership of the department into further ill repute."

  • Both Swalwell and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a loyal defender of President Trump, called on the whistleblower to testify.
  • Ratcliffe said he didn't think the report was that damaging, and that the information in it doesn't justify impeachment. He did say the report provided information that went beyond the transcript.
  • Ratcliffe also said lawmakers don't know who the whistleblower is. Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) did not comment to reporters.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse called out Democrats for rushing to use the word "impeach," but added: "Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons to say there’s no there there when there’s obviously lots that’s very troubling there."
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro described the whistleblower report as "bigger than I thought."

Worth noting: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was seen entering the restricted area where the report is being reviewed. She told reporters that she couldn't discuss the whistleblower complaint in detail because it had been "retroactively classified" by the Trump administration.

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who as a member of the Gang of 8 was also permitted to view the complaint, said: “I’m even more worried about what happened than when I read the memorandum of the conversation. There are so many facts that have to be examined. It’s very troubling."

What to watch: Swalwell told reporters the committee did not receive the full inspector general report that accompanies the whistleblower complaint, but said the whistleblower "invokes other witnesses to the disturbing conduct." Acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire is expected to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in open session on Thursday.

Go deeper: Schiff calls Trump-Ukraine call a "classic Mafia-like shakedown"

This story has been updated with additional comments from Schiff and Ratcliffe.

Go deeper

Read: Former Vice President Walter Mondale's last message

Photo courtesy of Mondale.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote a farewell letter to his staff, sent upon his death on Monday, thanking them for years working together.

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side!

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

Fritz

Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Walter Mondale, left, with former President Jimmy Carter in Jan. 2018 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota's campus in Minneapolis. Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Walter Mondale, who transformed the role of U.S. vice president while serving under Jimmy Carter and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984, died Monday at 93, according to a family spokesperson.

The big picture: President Biden, who was mentored by Mondale through the years, said in 2015 that the former vice president gave him a "roadmap" to successfully take on the job.

Scoop: U.S. ambassador refuses Kremlin push to leave Russia

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The United States ambassador to Russia is refusing to leave the country after the Kremlin "advised" him to return home following new Biden administration sanctions, two sources briefed on the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Sullivan, a respected diplomat who President Biden has, so far, retained from the Trump era, is at the center of one of the most important early tests of Biden's resolve.