Administration

White House, DOJ learned about whistleblower around same time complaint was filed: report

The White House and Justice Department (DOJ) knew about a whistleblower's complaint regarding the President Trump's contacts with Ukraine's president even as the CIA official who authored it was submitting the complaint to the intelligence community's inspector general.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the CIA initially alerted the White House after the whistleblower filed a complaint with the CIA. After a second complaint was made on Aug. 12 to the intelligence community's inspector general, John Eisenberg, a White House lawyer, alerted the Justice Department to the issue.

John Demers, head of the DOJ's national security division, discussed how to handle the complaint for weeks with Justice Department officials, even before the DOJ was notified officially by the intelligence community inspector general about the complaint, a U.S. official and another person familiar with the matter told the AP.

The White House has faced criticism sharp from Congress over its attempts to block the whistleblower complaint from being made available to lawmakers. Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over the issue on Tuesday, with the issue having the support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the first time.

The complaint focuses on Trump's conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a potential investigation by Ukraine into former Vice President Joe Biden, the top-polling contender in the Democratic presidential primary.

White House officials have argued that a readout of the call released Wednesday shows that no pressure was exerted improperly by Trump during the conversation, while Democrats have argued that Trump clearly solicited assistance against a political opponent.

-Updated Monday at 5:11 p.m.

Outbrain