This whistleblower story has captured my full attention and my curiosity like no story since Jeffery Epstein. Here are just a few details:
- A complaint deemed “credible and urgent” by the IG
- DNI’s refusal to share it with Congress
- Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accusing leaders of breaking the law
- A letter that states Executive Branch involvement
- Hearings scheduled
- A promise made to a foreign leader
There are so many moving parts! The trouble with a story like this is it loses its impact if someone doesn’t know a lot about how the government works. Who are the players? Who answers to who? Let’s clear things up a little.
What is the whistleblower law?
The Intelligence Community Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (ICWPA) establishing a pathway for people working in the intelligence agency to file a complaint without disclosing classified information to the public. Here are some details to know:
- Whistleblower files complaint with Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG)
- IG has 14 days to determine whether the complaint is of ‘urgent concern’ and is credible
- IG hands the full complaint along with his determination over to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI)
- DNI then hands the complaint over to the House Intelligence Committee with any comments he chooses to add within 7 days of receiving.
- House Intelligence Committee resolves the issue
It seems as though the first 3 steps were followed with regard to this whistleblower. Step 4 is when it starts to get fishy.
What is an inspector general? (IC IG – Michael Atkinson)
An IG is an internal watchdog that functions kind of like an HR department or internal affairs department at a police department. There are 72 IG offices in the federal government. Their job is to carry out audits and investigations to promote efficiency and to prevent/detect fraud or abuse within a department.
What is the Director of National Intelligence? (DNI – Joseph Maguire)
The DNI is a position that was created after the September 11th when it was determined that there needs to be more coordination between the 17 intelligence agencies. It oversees all intelligence agencies including the CIA and NSA. This position directly reports to the President of the United States.
Joseph Maguire, acting DNI, received the complaint and issued a letter to Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, telling him he’s not handing it over. Schiff’s response,
“The DNI acknowledged that this involves someone apparently outside of the authority of the DNI. Someone above the DNI — there aren’t that many in that category. And they also suggested that there may be privilege issues here, which means that it would have to involve communications of the President or people around him.”
It has since come out that the complaint involves a ‘promise’ President Trump made to a foreign leader.
What is the House Intelligence Committee? (Chairman Adam Schiff D – California)
The House Intel Committee (HPSCI) is a group of elected members of the House of Representatives that are in charge of overseeing the 17 intelligence agencies. The leader, or Chairmen of the committee, decides what issues to investigate, when to issue subpoenas and when to hold people accountable. The Committee is a mix of Democrats and Republicans. The Chairman will always be a member of the majority party.
Adam Schiff has issued a subpoena for the DNI to hand over all related materials with respect to the complaint that was made. It seems as though no one is going to comply with it.
Keeping the details straight about how the government is suppose to work will help as more details come out. This complaint is yet another example of how Trump can’t be trusted and has no business being President. Everyone please register to vote and let’s get him out of there in 2020!