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DNI Chief Blocks 'Urgent' Report That Trump Made Promise To Foreign Leader

"What the president promised this foreign leader was of such urgent concern that Congress and the oversight committees had to know about it, and yet it is being killed," Joe Scarborough said.
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In a normal world, news that the president* of the United States made a promise to the leader of a foreign nation that was so troubling, one of his own appointees made a whistleblower complaint to the intelligence agency's inspector general, it would be wall-to-wall news.

But this is no longer a normal world.

Here's some background. Under the applicable statute's definition of "urgent concern," it must be a flagrant abuse of presidential power. The complaint can't be grounded in a difference in policy opinion. The IG is an independent entity, and made the determination that it is serious enough to require the attention of Congress.

Now remember, the Inspector General who is fighting Acting DNI Joseph Maguire to transmit this info to Congress is a Trump appointee. If this alarms him, imagine how bad it is.

The Morning Joe panel talked about it this morning.

Scarborough reminded viewers of Trump previously hosting two high-level Russians in the Oval Office.

"This case though, I mean this has gone -- again, this has gone to the inspector general in this whistleblower case and he said it is of urgent concern, what the president said to this foreign leader, what the president promised this foreign leader was of such foreign concern that congress and the oversight committees had to know about it and yet it is being killed. Do you have an idea what the nature of the conversation was, David?

"This involves a promise that allegedly was made by President Trump to some foreign national that was so worrisome to somebody in the intelligence community that became aware of it that it seems in early August, they made a report to inspector general Michael Atkinson. That troubled Atkinson so much that within a month later, he reported that allegation, that IG issue that was of urgent concern to the head of the House Intelligence committee, Adam Schiff. So there are a couple of things to focus on. What was it that was said, that was taken as a promise that was so upsetting? I'll let Shane (Harris) go through the list of possibilities, but they are the ones you would think, Putin, Kim Jong-Un are the top of the list. What was it that made Michael Atkinson, the inspector general, so troubled that he felt he absolutely had a reporting allegation? What happened to intervene to prevent discussion by Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence before the congressional committee?"


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As Scarborough pointed out, it's not as if we can expect Moscow Mitch to stand up for America.

Meanwhile, the DNI says he was ordered to stand down on the complaint by the DOJ.

EXCLUSIVE: The whistleblower complaint that has caused rupture between DNI and Congress involves Trump call with foreign leader and a troubling "promise." @shaneharris @nakashimae https://t.co/t39p7tmzVD

— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) September 19, 2019

Keep in mind, this isn't just a single person being concerned by Trump's call. The ICIG independently concluded that this was a credible and urgent concern within the definition of the law. And when the DNI tried to overrule him, the IG felt compelled to warn Congress about it.

— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) September 19, 2019

In light of today’s reporting, really good analysis on DNI’s options and actions. “Unpacking the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Complaint” https://t.co/Zhdf3WhDVP

— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) September 19, 2019

This news puts into (deeply alarming) context the unprecedented refusal of the Acting DNI to comply with his obligation under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C)—to forward this complaint to the congressional intelligence committees. https://t.co/QAH3ZCfgfe

— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) September 19, 2019

This news puts into (deeply alarming) context the unprecedented refusal of the Acting DNI to comply with his obligation under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C)—to forward this complaint to the congressional intelligence committees. https://t.co/QAH3ZCfgfe

— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) September 19, 2019

Perhaps telling that the DNI consulted with DOJ before making that determination. Barr’s role in trying to keep this all secret is going to merit a lot of scrutiny. https://t.co/ywfp17MrGT

— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 19, 2019

This new reporting from WaPo moves the ball bigly. Not only did the whistleblower complaint concern Trump himself (surprise!), it turns out DOJ told the DNI not to transmit the complaint to Congress. And the DNI has complained to DOJ and the WH:https://t.co/gB696tk48F pic..com/eh8p7Z5Q9R

— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) September 19, 2019

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