The acting director of national intelligence has agreed to testify before the House intelligence committee after refusing to comply with the panel’s subpoena to provide the contents of a whistleblower complaint.
Committee Chairman Adam Schiff subpoenaed Joseph Maguire on Sept. 13, accusing Maguire of withholding the complaint from Congress, even after the intelligence community’s inspector general characterized it as credible and of “urgent concern.”
“This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice, or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct,” Schiff said in a statement.
He added that the confluence of factors led him to believe the complaint is “being withheld to protect the president or other administration officials.”
In a letter Tuesday, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Jason Klitenic insisted that Maguire had followed the letter of the law in restricting the transmission of the complaint to Congress.
He said the agency is protecting the whistleblower and determined the complaint did not qualify as an “urgent” concern after consulting with the Justice Department, reported Politico.
“We will not permit the complainant to be subject to any retaliation or adverse consequence based upon his or her communication the complaint to the” inspector general, Klitenic wrote.
“We also believe at this juncture that it would be premature for the DNI to appear on Thursday at a congressional hearing,” he added.
Acting intelligence chief will testify publicly about the still-secret whistleblower complaint on Sept. 26, and the committee will also hear from the intelligence community’s inspector general on Thursday in a closed-door hearing, according to the The Associated Press.