Sep 19, 2019

Read: Intelligence watchdog's letters about "urgent" whistleblower complaint

Joseph Maguire. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) released Thursday 2 letters he received from Intelligence Community inspector general Michael Atkinson detailing why he believes a whistleblower complaint is a matter of "urgent concern."

Why it matters: Acting director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has blocked Atkinson from turning the complaint over to Congress — as is normally required by law — by arguing that the allegations do not meet the definition of "urgent concern" under the whistleblower statue. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the complaint involves a conversation between President Trump and a foreign leader.

  • In a letter dated Sept. 9, Atkinson stated that the complaint — which he found credible — consists of a "serious or flagrant problem, abuse or violation of the law" that involves classified information, but "does not include differences of opinion concerning public policy matters."
  • In a second letter dated Sept. 17, Atkinson expressed dismay at the acting DNI and the Justice Department's decision to withhold the whistleblower complaint from Congress because they believed it does not concern an intelligence activity within the DNI's authority. Atkinson countered:
"I set forth the reasons for my concluding that the subject matter involved in the Complainant's disclosure not only falls within the DNI's jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI's responsibilities to the American people."

Read the letters:

Go deeper ... Schiff: DNI's refusal to turn over whistleblower complaint is "unprecedented"

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WaPo: Trump "promise" reported by whistleblower involves Ukraine

President Trump. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

An alleged promise made between a foreign leader and President Trump recently reported by a whistleblower is said to involve Ukraine, 2 people familiar with the issue said, per a Washington Post report confirmed by the New York Times.

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