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The latest on the Trump whistleblower mystery

19 September 2019

Acting DNI Joseph Maguire, meanwhile, is now scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee a week from today, and as things stand, that hearing will be open to the public.

'Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially "heavily populated" call. The name of the foreign leader and the subject of the discussion is unknown. The agreement seemed to head off the latest confrontation between congressional committees, led by Democrats, that are pursuing investigations of President Donald Trump and his administration, and a White House that largely refuses to cooperate. Some current and former officials said that what an intelligence official took to be a troubling commitment could have been an innocuous comment.

In a letter Tuesday, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Jason Klitenic, wrote that the agency is protecting the whistleblower and argued the allegation does not meet the definition of "urgent concern".

One of the paper's sources said Trump made a "promise" so egregious that it prompted a submission to the intelligence community's inspector general.

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While the substance of the complaint remains unknown, the Director of National Intelligence informed Schiff it does not involve anyone or any activity tied to intelligence.

The complaint, in turn, has triggered a showdown with Congress, after acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire would not share details of it with lawmakers.

The few additional details the committee's investigative staff has learned about the whistleblower complaint without the actual document has left them shaken, according to an official familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.

Donald Trump really didn't need another presidency-rocking scandal. "The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress".

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The Post noted that the president spoke or met with at least five foreign leaders in the weeks preceding the whistleblower complaint, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Schiff has said he was told that the complaint concerned "conduct by someone outside of the Intelligence Community".

Maguire's refusal to hand over the complaint to Congress, at the apparent advice of the Justice Department, sparked concerns that the acting intelligence chief and DOJ are subverting the law to protect the president.

The briefing, which is behind closed doors, was described in advance by Chairman Adam Schiff as focusing on the "handling" of the complaint. The DNI has asserted that lawyers determined there was no notification requirement because the whistleblower complaint did not constitute an urgent concern that was "within the responsibility and authority" of Maguire's office.

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The latest on the Trump whistleblower mystery