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Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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But acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who is supposed to take such urgent complaints from the IG to Congress, has refused to turn over the documents after consulting with the Justice Department about the matter. DNI General Counsel, in consultation with the DOJ, told Schiff and the committee that the law doesn’t require “disclosure of the complaint to the intelligence committees” because it did not concern “allegations of conduct by a member of the intelligence community or involve intelligence activity under the DNI’s supervision.”

In other words, Maguire is trying to claim that he doesn’t need to hand over the whistleblower complaint because it’s out of his jurisdiction. He has also claimed that there are “privilege” concerns involved, which could be plausible given the reported content of the complaint and which may indeed prevent him from disclosing the matter if it’s outside his jurisdiction.

However, it’s precisely this key claim of jurisdiction that Inspector General Atkinson disputes. In the letter to Schiff released Thursday, which has been sent Tuesday, Atkinson flatly stated that the DOJ is wrong.

The “disclosure not only falls within the DNI’s jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibility’s to the American people,” he wrote. Because of the disagreement, Atkinson said he has asked to disclose the “general subject matter” of the complaint to Congress, but he has been denied this permission.

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He went on to say that his “unresolved differences with the Acting DNI are affecting the execution of two of my most important duties and responsibilities as the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.” These two duties are his responsibility toward the whistleblower and his duties to the congressional oversight committees.


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Elections 2016

Modi tells Xi summit will launch ‘new era’ for India and China

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that his summit with Chinese leader Xi Xinping would launch a "new era" between the neighbours who are seeking to overcome troublesome differences.

Modi and Xi strolled along a pristine Bay of Bengal beach and held one-on-one talks overlooking the ocean before their delegations sat down to official negotiations at the historic resort town of Mahbalipuram, south of Chennai.

The two leaders are meeting for the second time in a year in a bid to ease tensions over border disputes, the troubled Kashmir region and China's domination of trade between their huge economies.

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Trump calls for impeachment of Mitt Romney for criticizing him in rambling tweet

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Hours after Donald Trump attacked Sen. Mitt Romney for being critical of his call for the Chinese to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, the president was back for another round, calling for the Utah Republiocan to be impeached.

Claiming without evidence that voters in Utah are turning on their senator, Trump claimed, "I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats!" followed by:  #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY

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Elections 2016

Trump claimed ‘inequality is down’ — one day later federal data showed the exact opposite is true

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"The separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been."

Federal data released Thursday showed U.S. income inequality in 2018 reached the highest level since the Census Bureau began measuring it five decades ago, a finding that comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump said "inequality is down."

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