Trump’s intelligence director sparks legal showdown by refusing House Democrats’ subpoena to turn over mysterious whistleblower complaint
- Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that DNI Joseph Maguire rejected his subpoena
- Maguire refused to send Schiff intelligence community whistleblower complaint
- Schiff implies the complaint will make the Trump administration look bad
- Maguire says the complain involves privileged communications
- DNI is expected to testify before the House Intel Committee on Thursday
The acting director of national intelligence has refused a House subpoena to turn over a mysterious whistleblower complaint, sparking a legal showdown.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Tuesday that Acting DNI Joseph Maguire has refused to comply with the subpoena issued on September 13, according to The Hill.
Schiff demanded the document, implying that it was being concealed by White House to avoid making administration officials look bad — but Maguire refused, saying that the complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications.
The subject of the whistleblower complaint, which was made on August 12 to Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson, has not been made public.
Acting DNI Joseph Maguire (left) has refused to comply with the subpoena issued on September 13, says Rep. Adam Schiff (right), the chairman of the House Intel Committee
Maguire is now expected to appear before the Intel Committee on Thursday to address the matter, according to Schiff.
Federal law directs the DNI to transmit a wistleblower complaint to the Congressional intelligence committees within seven days if it is deemed ‘an urgent concern’ by the ICIG.
According to Schiff, the ICIG deemed the complaint ‘not only credible, but urgent’ on August 26, but Maguire failed to transmit the complaint to Congress within the requisite time frame.
Jason Klitenic, Maguire’s general counsel, said the whistleblower statute applies only if a complaint involves a member of the intelligence community and maintained that the specific complaint in question did not.
The House intelligence panel is conducting a review of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice by the White House.
The committee is also investigating President Donald Trump’s finances.
Schiff says no intelligence director has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint to Congress.
Schiff says the committee will ‘do everything necessary’ to get the complaint.