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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"

Go deeper

Educators face fines, harassment over critical race theory

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Elementary school teachers, administrators and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing because of an organized push from the right to remove classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Why it matters: Moves to ban critical race theory are raising free speech concerns amid an absence of consistent parameters about what teachings are in or out of bounds.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.