Maguire contradicts Trump: I think the whistleblower did the 'right thing'

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire contradicted President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE on Thursday, telling Congress that he believes the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump's interactions with Ukrainian officials did the "right thing" in a "unique and unprecedented" case.

"I think the whistleblower did the right thing," Maguire said to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOfficers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) during public testimony, adding that they followed the whistleblower statute every step of the way.

ADVERTISEMENT

Maguire also expressed his support of the whistleblower, deeming the complaint "credible" and "important" while stating that he does not know the identity of the individual.

Trump has claimed that the whistleblower was a "political hack job."

“I believe this case is unique and unprecedented,” Maguire said on Thursday.

He also defended his decision not to share the complaint with the committee, noting that after consulting the Justice Department, it was determined that the conversation between Trump and another foreign leader was protected by executive privilege.

"Authority I do not have the privilege to waive," he added.

Democrats have blasted Maguire for withholding the complaint, which intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined was both credible and an urgent concern.

Maguire's high-stakes testimony came roughly 30 minutes after the Intelligence panel released a minimally redacted version of the whistleblower complaint. In nine pages, it details concerns a whistleblower raised about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE and his son.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that Democrats are formally launching an impeachment inquiry after a new wave of House Democrats came out in favor of the process in the wake of the allegations.

— This report was updated at 10:54 a.m.