According to Representative Adam Schiff, the Director of National Intelligence has told the Intel Committee that he was instructed not to turn over a whistleblower’s complaint by a “higher authority.” As Seth Abramson, a columnist from Newsweek, noted the only direct superior to the the Director of National Intelligence is the President of the United States.
MAJOR BREAKING NEWS: The DNI of the United States—Whose Only Direct Superior Is the President of the United States—Is Now Telling Congress a "Higher Authority" Told Him to Keep From Congress an IC Whistleblower Whose Intelligence the IC Inspector General Has Confirmed Is "Urgent" https://t.co/KyQAS2QbBq
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 15, 2019
The Whistleblower Protection Act was amended in October 2012 by President Obama after he issued a policy directive that prohibits retaliation against employees serving in the Intelligence Community or employees who are eligible for access to classified information who report waste, fraud, and abuse.
According to a report on Politico, Schiff, House Intelligence Committee Chairman, issued a subpoena on Friday evening to retrieve the complaint. Schiff accused Joseph Maguire, Director of National Intelligence, of “taking extraordinary steps” to withhold the complaint from Congress, despite the intel community’s inspector general classifying the complaint as credible and “of urgent concern.”
According to Business Insider, Schiff said “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 Administration officials.”
No Director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint the IG determined to be urgent and credible.
There is no privilege to engage in misconduct; not under this president, or any other.
That’s why I issued a subpoena and will enforce it. pic.twitter.com/pWg4MsOlwD
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 15, 2019
Schiff asserts the acting DNI was legally required to turn the whistleblower’s complaint to congressional intelligence committees over ten days ago, but the DNI has refused to comply.
In response to Schiff’s request, the ODNI is withholding the complaint partly because “it involves confidentiality and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.”
Schiff also noted that Maguire communicated with the Justice Department, which is not in line with normal procedures under such circumstances.
Although the motive behind withholding this critical information is unclear, Schiff said doing so raises “serious concerns” about whether the information is to protect Trump or other administration officials.
Big Easy Magazine reached out to Representative Adam Schiff for additional comment. We have not received a response.
Scott Ploof is Publisher and Founder of Big Easy Magazine.