Acting director of national intelligence faces Congress on Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is expected to face a grilling from members of Congress on Thursday about a whistleblower complaint that centers on President Donald Trump and his interactions with Ukraine.
The complaint, which has led to an impeachment inquiry against Trump in the House, says that White House officials, concerned about what the president said in a July call with Ukraine’s new leader, intervened to “lock down” the transcript of the phone call.
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According to a congressional source, the complaintindicates concern over the handling of a memo of a controversial phone call Trump held in late July with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which the U.S. president asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, who had business dealings in the country.
The whistleblower, whose name has not been released, says he lodged the formal complaint because he believed that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 election.
The intelligence community’s inspector general deemed the complaint an “urgent concern” that he was required by lawto provide to the congressional intelligence committees. But Maguirerefused to do so on the advice of the Justice Department, resulting in a standoff with Congress that ultimately resulted in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backing a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump.
A majority of the chamber’s 435 members now favor some kind of impeachment action against President Donald Trump, according to an NBC News tally.
Here’s what was said at the hearing minute by minute:
Maguire entered and took his seat at the witness table and was surrounded by photographers.
The hearing room is at capacity for the public. A moment later, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., gaveled in the hearing and delivered an opening statement in which he said that the transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelenskiy released Wednesday, as well as the whistleblower complaint released Thursday morning, were evidence that “the president of the United States has betrayed his oath of office.”