Our National Security in Peril: Trump Flouts Law and Won’t Release to Congress “Urgent” Whistleblower Report Allegedly About Him Making a “Troubling” Promise to a Foreign Leader
September 19, 2019
BUZZFLASH NEWS UPDATE
Since the story first broke about how the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to release an “urgent” whistleblower report filed on August 12 with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson (but not disclosed until this month), there has been speculation about its contents.
The complaint was deemed of “urgent concern” by Atkinson. By law, this meant that the whistleblower’s filing should have been turned over to the appropriate Congressional oversight committees within seven days. But Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was only recently notified of the information that could impact the US national security.
According to a September 18 Washington Post article, “Schiff responded to the delay with almost immediate indignation, firing off a letter demanding a copy of the complaint and warning that he was prepared to subpoena senior U.S. intelligence officials.”
Post reporters investigated and discovered that the “urgent concern” relates to alleged promises that Trump made to as yet undisclosed foreign leader. The national intelligence community has long been concerned about Trump’s leaking of classified intel to foreign nations, including Russia. Trump’s carelessness with intelligence vital to the national security was most recently revealed when he tweeted a highly classified photo of an Iranian missile launching site. In this case, the implication is that the whistleblower was deeply troubled by the promise made by Trump.
The Wednesday Post article discloses that Maguire is refusing to release the whistleblower document, most likely because it would be highly embarrassing to Trump:
The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president’s handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies.
Maguire is scheduled to appear before Schiff’s Intelligence Committee next week, but Schiff is continuing to try and pry loose the report under a law that mandates it be released to Congressional overseers.
One of the foreign leaders Trump talked with shortly before the whistleblower filing was Vladimir Putin.
In the meantime, Trump is again brazenly flouting the law and putting our national security at risk without any accountability or oversight.
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