Acting intelligence chief agrees to testify after subpoena

Politics
Adam Schiff

FILE – In this July 24, 2019, file photo, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairman of the House intelligence committee has issued a subpoena to the acting Director of National Intelligence, saying that he is withholding a whistleblower complaint from Congress. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting director of national intelligence has agreed to testify next week to the House intelligence committee after balking at the panel’s demand to turn over a secret whistleblower complaint.

Committee Chairman Adam Schiff subpoenaed Joseph Maguire last week, saying he was withholding a whistleblower complaint from Congress and questioning whether he had been directed to do so by the White House or the attorney general. Schiff did not divulge the subject of the complaint, but said the committee has been told that the intelligence community’s inspector general determined it to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern.”

Maguire will testify publicly about the whistleblower complaint on Sept. 26, and the committee will also hear from the intelligence community’s inspector general on Thursday in a closed-door hearing, Schiff announced.

“The Committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress,” Schiff said.

In a letter Tuesday, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jason Klitenic, wrote that the agency is protecting the whistleblower and argued the allegation does not meet the definition of “urgent concern.” He said the complaint “concerned conduct from someone outside the intelligence community and did not relate to ‘intelligence activity’ under the DNI’s supervision.”

Schiff said last week that Maguire is required to share the complaint with Congress and said the attempt to hold it back “raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct.”

He added that he was concerned that administration officials “are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect” President Donald Trump.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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