Adam Shciff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, issued a subpoena on Friday to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. It alleges that the director was unlawfully withholding from the committee a whistleblower disclosure involving an “urgent concern.”
Schiff said in a statement that more than ten days had lapsed since Maguire was obligated to hand over the complaint. It had been deemed “credible” by the inspector general of the intelligence community (IC IG).
In a letter that went along with the subpoena, the California Democrat said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) had “improperly” cited the complaint’s “confidential and potentially privileged communications” as its reason for withholding it.
“The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials,” Schiff wrote.
He continued, “This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible ‘serious or flagrant’ misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law.” The subpoena requires ODNI to produce the complaint and relevant records, including any correspondence with the White House, by September 17. If this does not happen, Maguire will be directed to appear before the committee in an open hearing on September 19.
“We received the HPSCI’s subpoena this evening. We are reviewing the request and will respond appropriately,” a senior intelligence official told CBS News. “The ODNI and Acting DNI Maguire are committed to fully complying with the law and upholding whistleblower protections and have done so here.”
A Senate Intelligence Committee aide said that that committee was aware of the issue and “is exploring options.”
President Trump named Maguire as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, acting DNI last month after former DNI Dan Coats and Principal Deputy DNI Sue Gordon offered their resignations. Maguire is a a retired vice admiral in the military.
Gordon, a career official who would by law have assumed the acting role, included a note alongside her resignation letter indicating she was not leaving by choice. “You should have your team,” she wrote to the president.