Congress and the White House are presently embroiled in a standoff, brought on by the administration’s refusal thus far to produce a whistleblower complaint from within the intelligence community that alleges President Donald Trump may have made concerning comments to a foreign leader worthy of further scrutiny.
As detailed in prior reporting from HillReporter.com, the complaint was deemed “urgent” by the Inspector General of the intelligence community. Typically, when such determinations are made, the Director of National Intelligence is supposed to reveal that information to select members of Congress. So far, that has not happened.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), in a letter to House colleagues, expressed deepening worries about the matter. In her letter, she wrote that she and other members of Congress expect “Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire [to] appear before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing.”
“At that time, we expect him to obey the law and turn over the whistleblower’s full complaint to the Committee,” she said.
Potentially significant. In new letter to lawmakers, PELOSI says if the admin fails to turn over whistleblower complaint, the investigation will enter “a whole new stage” pic.twitter.com/nsY8qbDtAo
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 22, 2019
Failure to produce that information, or to allow the actual whistleblower to meet with members of Congress, could result in a shift toward a new direction regarding inquiries presently involving the president in the legislative branch.
“If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi concluded.
The whistleblower complaint, portions of which became public last week through reporting from the Washington Post, alleged that the president may have engaged in questionable conversations with a leader from Ukraine, and a “promise” that Trump may have made to that individual.
Specific details are not yet known about the complaint, but it’s widely believed that the president may have spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, allegedly withholding military aid funts to him unless Ukraine agrees to open up a formal investigation regarding an oil business Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a part of within that nation. Many have said the allegations, if true, are enough to warrant congressional action on the matter, including possibly impeachment.
“If the President is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit that is providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then [impeachment] may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) said, per reporting from CNN.
Some have even suggested the trade-off isn’t necessary for Trump’s actions to warrant consideration for impeachment.
If Trump was pressing Ukraine to go after Biden’s family at the same time that Trump was withholding aid from Ukraine to defend itself from Russian aggression, that’s enough. No explicit quid pro quo is needed to make this a betrayal of his oath and a “high Crime and Misdemeanor”
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 22, 2019
“If Trump was pressing Ukraine to go after Biden’s family at the same time that Trump was withholding aid from Ukraine to defend itself from Russian aggression, that’s enough,” Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe explained in a tweet on Sunday. “No explicit quid pro quo is needed to make this a betrayal of his oath and a “high Crime and Misdemeanor.'”