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Pelosi warns of 'new stage of investigation' if Trump administration blocks whistleblower

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump seeks to freeze .4 billion of programs in final week of presidency Dozens on FBI's terrorist watchlist were in DC day of Capitol riot Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector MORE (D-Calif.) said the complaint over President Trump’s call with a foreign leader “must be addressed immediately” and warned of a "new stage of investigation" if the administration blocks the whistleblower. 

“This violation is about our national security. The Inspector General determined that the matter is ‘urgent’ and therefore we face an emergency that must be addressed immediately,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to members of Congress released Sunday. 

The anonymous complaint, the existence of which was made public last week, reportedly includes allegations that Trump asked Ukrainian leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed Biden's Sunday inauguration rehearsal postponed due to security concerns: report Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again MORE and his family. No evidence has emerged to suggest Biden acted with his son’s interests in mind with regard to his dealings with Ukraine.

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Trump denies he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden, but the White House has not released the complaint or transcript of the call. 

Members of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday received a briefing from the intelligence community's inspector general but did not receive information about the complaint's contents. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to provide the information to the committee.

Trump told reporters Sunday he would consider releasing the transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

“If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi said. 

Pelosi also called on congressional Republicans “to join us” in asking the acting director of national intelligence to “obey the law as we seek the truth to protect the American people and our Constitution.”

In her letter, Pelosi, who has been cautious of calling for impeachment, fails go as far as some of her fellow Democrats who have said the allegations of Trump using the presidency to bully foreign leaders into digging up information on his political opponents calls for an impeachment inquiry. 

More than half of House Democrats have backed an impeachment inquiry over Trump’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, according to The Hill’s whip list.  

Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s report alleged the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help during the election against his Democratic opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCan Biden encompass the opposition he embodied? Disney silent on Trump status in Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom Biden has an opportunity to win over conservative Christians MORE

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Democrats, GOP face defining moments after Capitol riot Wall Street Journal: 'Best case' is for Trump to resign amid calls for his removal MORE (D-Calif.) has been similarly cautious to back impeachment, but said Sunday that if allegations over Trump reaching out to Ukraine are true, impeachment “may be the only remedy.”

--This report was last updated on Sept. 23 at 5:30 a.m.