September 26, 2019

Maguire says he was not directed to withhold whistleblower complaint from Congress
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified Thursday he went to the White House first after receiving the whistleblower complaint about President Trump but said he was never directed to withhold it from Congress. During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Maguire clarified the timeline of events under questioning by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who asked if the "first party" his office went to after receiving the whistleblower complaint was the White House. Maguire confirmed his team first went to the White House's Office of Legal Counsel before going to the Department of Justice's Department of Legal Counsel. This, Magurie said, was to determine whether the complaint would be subject to executive privilege, saying he didn't have authority to share the complaint with Congress until that was determined. Schiff objected to Maguire going "to the subject of the complaint for advice first about whether you should provide the complaint to Congress." Later in the testimony, Maguire would not say whether he spoke with Trump about the whistleblower complaint. He did testify, however, that he was not directed to withhold the complaint and that it was not his "intent" to keep it from Congress. "I was endeavoring to get the executive privilege concerns addressed so that it can then be forwarded," he said. "It was not stonewalling. I did not receive direction from anybody." Schiff took issue with this, saying whistleblower complaints are "always given to our committee," but Maguire argued that seeing as this complaint involved the president and not a member of the intelligence community, this situation was "unprecedented."

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