The whistleblower whose complaint launched the impeachment inquiry had given the House Intelligence Committee a vague preview of his concerns while seeking information on how to file his complaint.
"The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials," The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The newspaper referred to the whistleblower using male pronouns in the report.
"The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election," The Times explained. "It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it."
"The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and file a whistle-blower complaint," the newspaper noted.
The House Intelligence Committee says what happened was not out of the ordinary.
“Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,” said Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Mr. Schiff.
But the early preview gave Schiff an advantage that caught acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire off guard.
"Mr. Schiff’s intense push took Mr. Maguire and his aides by surprise, current and former intelligence officials said," The Times reported "Officials in Mr. Maguire’s office, who did not know the details of the complaint, were puzzled why Mr. Schiff went public right away, eschewing the usual closed-door negotiations."
Read the full report.