When Congress first put together a whistleblower process for employees of the intelligence community, lawmakers probably didn’t expect that it would be used to report potential misconduct by the president, but here we are.
There’s a complaint by someone in the intelligence community that President Trump made some inappropriate promise to a foreign leader over a series of communications. So just how bizarre is this scenario and how is the whistleblower process supposed to work?
Welcome to Rabbit Hole.
Untrodden territory: The whistleblowing process to report intelligence community employee concerns to Congress is used anywhere from four to 20 times a year, according to official reports. From what little we can tell from those reports, the intelligence community has never faced an issue remotely like the one raised by a complaint against Trump. The complaint, first filed on Aug. 12, reportedly involves Trump’s conversations with an unnamed foreign leader about Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.”
It began two days ago with this:
“A whistleblower complaint that has caused a standoff between Congress and the U.S. intelligence community reportedly involves President Trump and a foreign leader, The Washington Post reports. The communications also reportedly involve a “promise” that an intelligence official found concerning enough to file a formal whistleblower complaint with intel’s inspector general. It’s reportedly not clear who the foreign leader involved in the interaction was.
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined the complaint to be credible and troubling enough to alert the congressional oversight committees. However, Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire did not transmit the complaint to Congress within seven days—as required by law—after reportedly seeking legal guidance from Justice Department officials. Atkinson notified the House and Senate intelligence committees about the complaint instead, without revealing its substance.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has since demanded the full complaint be disclosed, but Maguire reportedly argued the complaint was outside of his jurisdiction. Recent communications between the offices of the DNI and House Intel reportedly pointed to the White House without directly implicating Trump and disclosed the complaint “involves confidential and potentially privileged communications.” Atkinson is scheduled to appear before House Intel on Thursday in a closed session, and Maguire agreed to testify before the committee next week. The White House, the Office of the DNI, and a lawyer representing the whistleblower have not commented on the matter.”
read more at Daily Beast and Washington Post