The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, refused to meet the deadline by the House Intelligence Committee which had subpoenaed him seeking the contents of a whistleblower complaint and relevant correspondence with the White House, the committee’s chairman, Adam Schiff, said on Tuesday.
He added that he now expects Maguire to appear in open session this Thursday. Schiff noted that if need be, Maguire would be subpoenaed to appear, as the chairman believes he is refusing to provide the complaint in order to protect an even higher-ranking official, possibly a top administration official or even President Donald Trump, CBS News writes.
In a letter accompanying the subpoena, Schiff said Maguire was unlawfully withholding the whistleblower complaint, arguing it contained “confidential and potentially privileged communications,” which could only mean it involved a very small group of people.
Schiff added that the Intelligence Community inspector general deemed the complaint credible and of “urgent concern,” which is more the reason why the committee must act quickly, he stressed. But Maguire disagrees, saying that the whistleblower complaint was far from “urgent.”
“This complaint … concerned conduct by someone outside the Intelligence Community and did not relate to any ‘intelligence activity’ under the DNI’s supervision … the law did not require that the DNI forward the complaint to the Intelligence Committees,” Jason Klitenic, Office of the Director of National Intelligence Counsel, wrote to Schiff.
The committee chairman said Tuesday that Maguire “will be required to come before the Committee to tell the public why he is not following the clear letter of the law, including whether the White House or the Attorney General are directing him” not to comply with the subpoena.
Klitenic stressed that this, too, will not happen.
“Given the pressing responsibilities to which the DNI is devoted this week, he is not available on such short notice. We also believe that a hearing would not be a productive exercise while the ODNI remains engaged in deliberations over the appropriate response,” his letter said.