The intelligence community inspector general (IC IG) Michael Atkinson said in a letter to the acting director of national intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire that President Donald Trump's conduct during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a serious threat to U.S. national security.
The whistleblower complaint concerns a July 25 telephone call in which Trump pressed Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked for a company drilling for gas in Ukraine.
"I look forward to the fact that the acting director of national intelligence will be with the Intel Committee tomorrow, and the inspector general. for the intelligence community will be there tomorrow", Blunt said.
"In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple USA officials that senior White House officials had intervened to "lock down" all the records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House situation room", the complaint says.
Welch also didn't agree with Maguire's assessment that an elected official - whether the president or a senator - fell outside the intelligence community's purview, especially when the matter concerned a question of election interference. Maguire and his lawyer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence offered that it was outside the purview of the intelligence community. "I was not receiving direction from anybody", Maguire said.
In its guidance, which Maguire has said was "binding", the Justice Department disputed Atkinson's determination that the complaint constituted an "urgent concern", therefore releasing the DNI from an obligation to send it to Congress.
"The way this thing was blowing out, I didn't think it was appropriate for me to be making a press statement so that we counter each other every step of the way", Maguire said, stating that he'd emphasized to the intelligence community his commitment to whistleblower protection.
The complaint's section regarding the transcript of the call is strikingly accurate when compared to the official account released yesterday. And I think it's disappointing to the American public when they read the transcript.
MYRE: So he's tried to defend his role where he is required to pass on whistleblower complaints to Congress.
"I realized full and well the importance of the allegation, and I also have to tell you, congresswoman, I anticipated having to sit in front of some committee, sometime, to discuss it", he said in reply to a question from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, started the hearing by accusing Trump of betraying his oath of office and compromising U.S. national security for Trump's "personal, political benefit".
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In the 24 hours since the explosive whistleblower complaint was released, Trump has used social media to aggressively defend himself.
FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump is seen during a phone call at the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, June 27, 2017.
Atkinson is aware of the whistleblower's identity, he wrote.
Republicans largely focused on questioning the veracity of the whistleblower's allegations, much of which is secondhand but sourced to US officials.
Trump and his surrogates have tried to prove Trump did nothing wrong by arguing the complaint is based on secondhand information and discrediting the whistleblower themselves.
A potential Senate impeachment trial is a long way away, but there is already some speculation that, if the House does wind up voting to impeach President Trump after launching an inquiry, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could deploy some stall tactics, Politico reports.
What do we know about the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call?
"This complaint should never have been withheld from Congress".
Foreign spymasters could use the secrecy surrounding the effort to uncover dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine to feed disinformation or even blackmail Trump or Giuliani, a private citizen whom Maguire was unsure even had a security clearance.
INSKEEP: That was the essence of Joseph Maguire's argument for withholding the complaint originally, rather than giving it to Congress as the law seemed to require.
The complaint is at least in part related to a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump prodded Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden. "Is he on our Country's sid", Trump asked in a tweet this week.