In my most recent post, I mentioned that I wouldn’t be following the exhausting hourly antics of our President any longer, but there are still stories alarming enough to merit following. This is just one such story.
The whistleblower lodged a “credible and urgent” complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community. We do not know the exact details of the complaint (and so far, neither do Democratic leaders), except that it involved a “promise” that President Trump made to a foreign leader, which bothered the intelligence community member so much that he or she felt compelled to report it. The complaint was made on August 12th, and in the preceding five weeks, Trump spoke to a number of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
What’s even more concerning is that, so far, the acting director of national intelligence refuses to disclose the details of that complaint to Congress. The acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, cited a “higher authority” and “privileged communications” in refusing to hand the report over to Congress, although under whistleblowing legislation, it is within Congress’ jurisdiction to investigate complaints that “rise to a high level of wrongdoing defined as ‘urgent and credible.’”
The intelligence community inspector general will brief the House today behind closed doors, while Maguire will appear before the House Intelligence Committee next week, although officials in the Trump Administration have been less than forthcoming in previous appearances before Congressional oversight committees.
The thing is, it is not customary for a senior intelligence official to whistleblow on the President of the United States, who has a lot of latitude when it comes to how he conducts affairs with foreign leaders. Promises are not unusual. An intelligence official would only lodge a complaint if he or she felt that the President’s actions were “antithetical to the interests of United States or [if he carried] out illegal or unconstitutional acts that contravened his oath of office.”
I mean, who knows? This could all be nothing. We do not know what promise Trump made nor to whom. But, it stands to reason that it was an alarming enough promise to trigger a complaint from a senior intelligence official and damaging enough to the President that the acting DNI would want to cover it up.