Speed Reads

in the dark

Adam Schiff slams 'unprecedented' decision to withhold whistleblower complaint from Congress

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) still doesn't know the contents of the whistleblower complaint reportedly about President Trump's communications with a foreign leader, and he's slamming the decision to withhold it from Congress.

Schiff and other members of the House Intelligence Committee met Thursday with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson after reports that an intelligence community whistleblower filed a complaint in August about Trump making a troubling "promise" to a foreign leader; Atkinson marked the complaint of "urgent concern" before submitting it to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. Maguire didn't send the complaint to Congress after consulting with Justice Department officials, though; the House and Senate intelligence committees only learned of the complaint after Atkinson notified them.

But Schiff explained Thursday that they still don't actually know what's in the complaint or whether the recent reports about it are accurate, as Atkinson did not provide that information to Congress.

The director of national intelligence, Schiff said Thursday, "has made the unprecedented decision not to share the complaint with Congress," going on to say the Justice Department has been involved in the decision to withhold the information. Schiff, who said "there is no privilege to be corrupt," told reporters he doesn't know if the White House is also involved, although CNN reports it is.

"We can't get an answer because the Department of Justice, and the director of national intelligence, will not authorize the [inspector general] to tell us," Schiff said. "Someone is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress."