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
Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint because of a “higher authority.”
From Face the Nation:
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some work you’re doing here at home, which was you issued a subpoena on Friday for the acting director of Intelligence alleging he is withholding a whistleblower disclosure possibly to protect President Trump. That’s a pretty significant allegation here. We’re putting up a quote on the screen from you. Have you gotten a response to this letter?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: We’ve gotten a response and the director has said, essentially, that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint. This is deeply troubling.
Schiff issued a subpoena on Friday. He said a whistleblower in the intel community filed a complaint “regarding a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law, or deficiency within the responsibility or authority of the Director of National Intelligence.” An inspector general determined that the complaint was both credible and urgent, but the committee has yet to receive it, said Schiff.
“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 or Administration officials,” he wrote in a letter addressed to Maguire. “This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible ‘serious or flagrant’ misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law.”
If Maguire didn’t comply by Tuesday, then the committee would have him testify on Thursday, Schiff wrote.
“We received the HPSCI’s subpoena late on Friday,” a senior administration official told Law&Crime. “ODNI has not yet responded to the subpoena. We are currently reviewing the request and will respond appropriately. The ODNI and Acting DNI Maguire are committed to fully complying with the law and upholding whistleblower protections and have done so here.”
Harvard Law Professor and prolific Trump critic Laurence Tribe responded to Schiff’s interview.
A “higher authority” than the Supreme Law of the Land?! The Acting DNI must think he has divine permission to defy an indisputably constitutional Act of Congress. And that’s as scary as it is unprecedented and totally unacceptable.@RepAdamSchiff @ThePlumLineGS https://t.co/vMOA9QA8Kz
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 15, 2019
[Screengrab via CBS]