Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has denied an explosive Washington Post report claiming that he threatened to resign his position because he feared the Trump White House would try to prevent him from freely testifying before Congress this week.
“At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019,” Maguire said in response to the report. “I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now. I am committed to leading the Intelligence Community.”
The original report claimed that Maguire believed the White House “might attempt to force him to stonewall Congress when he testifies Thursday about an explosive whistleblower complaint about the president.”
The Post’s sources claim that Maguire’s threatened resignation was a way to force the White House to make a decision over whether it wanted to assert executive privilege over the whistleblower complaint that details, among other things, President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government to launch an investigation into prospective 2020 rival Joe Biden.
Maguire did this, the Post’s sources say, because he wanted to let the Trump White House know that he planned to cooperate with Congress and would not simply refuse to answer questions unless executive privilege was invoked.
“Maguire has been caught in the middle of a fight between Congress and the executive branch over the contents of the whistleblower report since it reached his office late last month,” the Post reports. “He has at times expressed his displeasure to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others that the White House had put him in the untenable position of denying the material to Congress over a claim that it did not fall within his jurisdiction as leader of the intelligence community.”