Did intel officials refer Trump to DOJ for possible criminal probe?
Did intel officials refer Trump to DOJ for possible criminal probe?
AP Describe Alex Brandon
26 September, 2019, 09:12
The officials said that Joseph Maguire, who was thrust into the top intelligence post last month, warned the White House that he was not willing to withhold information from Congress, where he is scheduled to testify in open and closed hearings on Thursday.
The complaint showed the whistleblower learned details of the call from White House officials, according to one person familiar with the complaint who was granted anonymity to discuss it.
Also, the transcript of the July 25 call with the leader of Ukraine was released Wednesday, showing President Donald Trump did ask Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into potential corruption complaints of former Vice President Joe Biden and/or his son Hunter.
Chairman Adam Schiff said the complaint exposed a "serious wrongdoing".
A Democratic member of the panel, Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, said the whistleblower "lays out the situation very logically" and 'is both acknowledging the things that he or she knows and doesn't know, which is a hallmark of a credible document'.
He said he is "committed to protecting whistleblowers and ensuring every complaint is handled appropriately" and that he would "work with the Administration and Congress to find a resolution regarding this important matter".
Although Schiff stands behind the so-called "whistleblower's" crediblity, the Department of Justice on Wednesday confirmed that the Office of Intelligence Community Inspector General found the individual who made the complaint possessed a "political bias" that was "in favor of a rival political candidate".
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The NYT reports: "Mr. Trump's suggestion that American law enforcement be directly involved and in contact with Ukraine's government marks the first evidence that the president personally sought to harness the power of the United States government to further a politically motivated investigation".
It was unclear whether Maguire's threat had forced the White House to acquiesce and allow him to testify without constraint.
The White House released notes from the phone call Wednesday. "The referral suggested that Trump's comments to Ukraine President Zelensky potentially violated campaign finance law, the Justice Department said".
The unidentified whistleblower submitted a complaint to Michael Atkinson, the US government's intelligence inspector general, in August. That whistleblower complaint has not yet been released.
In a sharply worded statement, Maguire pushed back on an assertion by Pelosi that he had acted illegally by withholding the whistleblower complaint from Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Trump of violating the Constitution in announcing the inquiry Tuesday.
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