House intelligence briefing on worldwide threat assessment delayed

House intelligence briefing on worldwide threat assessment delayed
© Greg Nash

A House Intelligence Committee public hearing scheduled for next week has been canceled, pushing back the U.S. intelligence community's presentation on the top threats facing America.

"We are still having productive discussions with the committees on the timing of the Worldwide Threat Assessment hearings," a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told CBS News on Friday.

Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE (D-Calif.) had initially requested both public and closed-door hearings for Wednesday, Feb. 12, but a committee member confirmed to the network that the proceedings had been put on hold.

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In a Jan. 15 letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireCongressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones Hillicon Valley: Pompeo floats TikTok ban | Civil rights groups slam Facebook after call | Election security funding included in proposal MORE, Schiff described the hearing as a chance for the his committee "to provide an unclassified, yet important broad understanding of how threats have evolved and what the nation can expect in the year to come."

Historically, the annual hearing takes place during the first half of the year. Since it includes the convening of the director of national intelligence and the heads of the CIA, National Security Agency, FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency, scheduling of the hearing can sometimes take a while.

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO MORE (D-Calif.), who is also a member of the Intelligence Committee, told CBS earlier in the week that it was important for the public hearing to happen this year.

"We need the American people to know what the threats are and then justify why we're investing in protecting people from those threats," Swalwell said. "They need to answer to congress and we're going to keep pressing."