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Chief of US Intel to testify on whistle-blower report

Then-Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire, address the audience during a memorial service for five Sailors assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1), at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 11, 2005.. (U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Ryan C. McGinley)
September 26, 2019

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, will appear before U.S. lawmakers on September 26 over the administration’s handling of a whistle-blower complaint that has led to the launching of an impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump.

The complaint, whose content is still classified, is believed to refer to an account of a telephone call on July 25 between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden in coordination with the U.S. attorney general and Trump’s personal lawyer.

Biden is a top Democratic contender to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Maguire will testify to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in a public hearing and will then appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session.

Maguire appears before the lawmakers after refusing to share the complaint with Congress, despite a law that requires that it be sent to Congress after an inspector general’s determination that it was urgent and credible.

The complaint was made available to members of House and Senate intelligence committees only on September 25, the evening before Maguire was set to testify.

Maguire has been in his position for less than two months.

The formal impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 24 is led by Democrats.

However, some of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined them in calling on the administration to send the report to Congress. Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were allowed to see the complaint on September 25.

memorandum of the telephone conversation between Trump and Zelenskiy was released by the White House on September 25 just hours before the two leaders met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

According to the memorandum, Trump told Zelenskiy during the July 25 conversation that he would have U.S. Attorney General William Barr and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani call him regarding Biden’s involvement in the dismissal of Ukraine’s prosecutor-general.

Democrats are arguing that Trump pressured Zelenskiy during the call to investigate Biden in order to help his own reelection bid.