House

Schiff says Trump intel chief won't comply with subpoena over whistleblower

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to comply with a subpoena regarding a whistleblower complaint. 

"The [Intelligence Community Inspector General] determined that the complaint is both credible and urgent, which is why the Committee must move quickly. The Committee's position is clear - the Acting DNI can either provide the complaint as required under the law, or he will be required to come before the Committee to tell the public why he is not following the clear letter of the law, including whether the White House or the Attorney General are directing him to do so," Schiff said in a statement to The Hill. 

"He has yet to provide the complaint in response to the Committee's subpoena, so I expect him to appear on Thursday, under subpoena if necessary," Schiff added.

Politico was the first to report that Maguire declined to comply with the subpoena.

Schiff first filed the subpoena to Maguire last week, saying he illegally held the "credible" whistleblower complaint that he said regarded a matter of "urgent concern" from the intelligence panel.

"As Acting Director of National Intelligence, you have neither the legal authority nor the discretion to overrule a determination by the [Intelligence Community Inspector General]. Moreover, you do not possess the authority to withhold from the Committee a whistleblower disclosure from within the Intelligence Community that is intended for Congress," he wrote in a letter to Maguire. 

Schiff said last week that Maguire's apparent unwillingness to provide the complaint violated a law requiring him to provide Congress with any whistleblower complaint considered urgent by the intelligence community's inspector general and hinted that the complaint could involve President Trump or other top administration officials.

"The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials," Schiff wrote. 

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. 

"We will not permit the complainant to be subject to any retaliation or adverse consequence based upon his or her communication the complaint to the [inspector general]," Klitenic wrote, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by Politico. "We also believe at this juncture that it would be premature for the DNI to appear on Thursday at a congressional hearing."

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