National Intelligence throttles congressional oversight on whistleblower complaint

House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff alleged that the acting head of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is covering up a whistleblower complaint that should have been provided to the committee. Schiff said the whistleblower statute did not allow Maguire to consult with the Justice Department about the matter. (Politico, September 13, 2019, by Kyle Cheney)

Schiff issued a subpoena to obtain the complaint that was of urgent concern, according to the intelligence inspector general. Schiff fears the acting intelligence chief is protecting the president or some higher administration official. (Mother Jones, September 15, 2019, by Jackie Flynn Mogensen)

Tim Cushing of techdirt, September 17, 2019, writes that there is great harm in the Intelligence Community “blowing off its obligations to its oversight.” In this case the Office of Director of National Intelligence claims the matter concerns confidential and privileged communications by persons in intelligence. Cushing says the Congressional committee should be allowed to share sensitive information, “That’s why they hold closed-door sessions and invoke national security concerns when pressed by the public to be a bit more forthcoming about the IC’s activities. If the ODNI considers its work to be too ‘sensitive’ for its oversight, we have a problem. …now the ODNI has placed itself outside the control of the government that created it. If it can reject this demand, it can reject any form of control at all. We don’t need the ODNI to be a law unto itself.”

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