Intel Chief Schiff and DNI spar over ‘urgent matter’ from whistleblower

Intel Chief Schiff and DNI spar over ‘urgent matter’ from whistleblower

Published
(House Intelligence Committee- 3/28/19)

(AUDIO: Schiff at a March House Intelligence Hearing) 3:14

CAPITOL HILL – That was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff affirming in March a patriot duty to investigate wrongdoing. Now, Schiff has written a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire concerning:

“…an urgent whistleblower disclosure involving ‘a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information.’ ”

The letter continues:

“Consistent with his obligations under the Intelligence Community’s whistleblower statute, the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s (ICIG) determined that an August 12, 2019 whistleblower disclosure intended for the congressional intelligence committees from an individual within the Intelligence Community satisfied the statutory definition of an ‘urgent concern.’ ”

Then Schiff demands: “Pursuant to the statute, this triggered a 7-day period within which you, in your capacity as Acting Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”), “shall…forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.’”

Schiff concludes: “The Committee should have therefore received this urgent whistleblower disclosure from you no later than September 2, 2019,” and that “You have also refused, in further contravention of the statute, to provide the whistleblower with required direction, through the ICIG, on how to contact the Committee directly in a secure manner.”

But DNI General Counsel Jason Klitenic says in a letter to Schiff on Tuesday that because this letter applies to a person outside the intelligence community, an “urgent” matter only applies in the statute to someone “within the responsibility and authority” of the DNI.

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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