Director of National Intelligence Provides Whistleblower Complaint to Congress

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
September 25, 2019 Updated: September 25, 2019

The whistleblower complaint that sparked a controversy in Washington has been provided to Congress for lawmakers to review on Sept. 25.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) confirmed that the complaint has been delivered to the Senate Intelligence Committee and that he had begun reviewing it.

At 3 p.m. today, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told Congress that the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) will be providing to the House Intelligence Committee at 4 p.m.

“At 4 o’clock this afternoon, in fact, the [Director of National Intelligence] is going to transmit the complaint to the Intelligence Committee spaces where all the intelligence committee members will have an opportunity to read it,” Nunes told the House chamber.

“So, therefore, we have to ask ourselves why are we voting on a resolution that is asking for the very documents that are being sent over.”

Similarly, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told CNN that the complaint would be delivered to Congress on Sept. 25.

This comes a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House is “moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” alleging that Trump “seriously violated the Constitution.”

The House speaker had previously resisted pressure from other Democrats to bring impeachment inquiries on numerous occasions. Calls by Democrats to impeach the president were stalled after former special counsel Robert Mueller was unable to back up claims of Russian collusion.

But recent claims published in the Wall Street Journal that Trump allegedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, were seen by some as a new opportunity for impeachment.

The White House released the transcript of the call between the two leaders earlier today. The Trump-Zelensky call is the subject of an anonymous whistleblower complaint sent to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG). The handling of the complaint sparked controversy on Capitol Hill after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) failed to comply with demands from the House Intelligence committee to hand over the complaint to Congress.

The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel released an opinion (pdf) that found that Joseph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence (DNI), did not have to send the complaint to Congress. Moreover, the inspector general also found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.”

The transcript showed that although Trump did ask Zelensky to look into Biden, he did not exert pressure or offer any payment when making that request—which is a core allegation of the political controversy.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on Sept. 24 that the whistleblower’s attorney had informed him that his client would like to speak to his committee.

“We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so. We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week,” he wrote.

Trump wrote on Twitter at 4:17 p.m. that he had expressed to House Republican lawmakers his support for “transparency on so-called whistleblower information.”

I have informed @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy and all Republicans in the House that I fully support transparency on so-called whistleblower information but also insist on transparency from Joe Biden and his son Hunter, on the millions of dollars that have been quickly and easily taken out of Ukraine and China,” he wrote. “Additionally, I demand transparency from Democrats that went to Ukraine and attempted to force the new President to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat.”

Epoch Times Reporters Ivan Pentchoukov and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.