Last Thursday Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff asked him about the now famous whistleblower complaint, and why Maguire had not sent the complaint up to Congress within seven days, as required by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.1
Maguire — who, to be fair, had just started the job on August 16 as the Acting Director — went to both the White House and the Justice Department first to make sure that the complaint did not violate executive privilege.
But that was not what he was supposed to do.
And instead of just saying, yes, that’s where I went first, he tried to avoid answering the question by talking about the importance of executive privilege.
If you compare that to Hillary Clinton’s 11 hours of testimony before the Benghazi Committee back in 2015, one can see the difference between forthright answers and evasive answers.
To his credit, Maguire at least admitted that he believed that the (still unnamed) whistleblower acted “honorably” and without any obvious political intent.2
- The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 amended the authorizing statute for the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 and the Inspector General Act of 1978, and sets forth a procedure for federal employees of intelligence agencies to report complaints to Congress that involve matters of “urgent concern” regarding an intelligence activity. Under the Act the Inspector General must determine “whether the complaint or information appears credible,” within 14 days, and forward the complaint to the Director of National Intelligence, who must in turn over the complaint to the Congressional Intelligence Committees within an additional seven days.
- This is contrast to President Trump, who has accused the whistleblower of being a treasonous “political hack” without having any idea of who the whistleblower actually is.