Special Report: Acting DNI Testifies Before Congress On Trump Ukraine Phone Call | NBC News


I THINK THE THING TO WATCH TODAY WILL BE WHAT WILL REPUBLICANS, REPUBLICANS ON THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IN PARTICULAR, HAVE TO SAY NOW THAT THIS WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT, THE REDACTED VERSION OF IT, IS NOW OUT IN THE PUBLIC RECORD. AND WE WILL — AT THAT POINT LATER THIS AFTERNOON THE MEMBERS OF THAT COMMITTEE WILL HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO ASK ALL OF THEIR QUESTIONS TO THESE TWO MEN PRIVATELY. ALREADY WE’VE HEARD FROM PEOPLE LIKE MITT ROMNEY WHO HAS TALKED ABOUT THE ALLEGATIONS BEING TROUBLING IN THE EXTREME IS THE QUOTE HE USED. PAT TOOMEY ANOTHER REPUBLICAN SAYING IT’S INAPPROPRIATE, THE PRESIDENT’S BEHAVIOR, LEANING ON A FOREIGN LEADER TO, IN EFFECT, DO THE DIRTY WORK OF HIS POLITICAL CAMPAIGN, SAVANNAH.>>ALL RIGHT, GEOFF, THANK YOU SO MUCH AND WE SEE ADAM SCHIFF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE WHO HAS NOW SAT DOWN WITH THE WITNESSES IN PLACE. IN A MOMENT WE EXPECT TO HEAR OPENING STATEMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND THE RANKING MEMBER. LET’S LISTEN IN.>>>THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRES THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO DO TWO THINGS. FAITHFULLY EXECUTE HIS OR HER OFFICE, AND PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. THAT OATH, OF COURSE, CANNOT BE HONORED IF THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT FIRST DEFEND THE COUNTRY. IF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IS JEOPARDIZED, IF OUR COUNTRY IS LEFT UNDEFENDED, THE NECESSITY TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE OFFICE BECOMES MOOT. WHERE THERE IS NO COUNTRY, THERE IS NO OFFICE TO EXECUTE. AND SO THE DUTY TO DEFEND THE NATION IS FOUNDATIONAL TO THE PRESIDENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES. BUT WHAT OF THE SECOND RESPONSIBILITY, TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN? THE FOUNDERS WERE NOT SPEAKING, OF COURSE, OF A PIECE OF PARCHMENT. THEY WERE EXPRESSING THE OBLIGATION OF THE PRESIDENT TO DEFEND THE INSTITUTIONS OF OUR DEMOCRACY, TO DEFEND OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES THAT THE CONSTITUTION ENSHRINES, TO DEFEND THE RULE OF LAW, A PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH THE IDEA OF AMERICA WAS BORN, THAT WE’RE A NATION OF LAWS, NOT MEN. IF WE DO NOT DEFEND THE NATION THERE IS NO CONSTITUTION. BUT IF WE DO NOT DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION THERE IS NO NATION WORTH DEFENDING. YESTERDAY WE WERE PRESENTED WITH A MOST GRAPHIC EVIDENCE YET THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BETRAYED HIS OATH OF OFFICE. BETRAYED HIS OATH TO DEFEND OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. AND BETRAYED HIS OATH TO DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. FOR YESTERDAY WE WERE PRESENTED WITH A RECORD OF A CALL BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE IN WHICH THE PRESIDENT, OUR PRESIDENT, SACRIFICED OUR NATIONAL SECURITY, AND OUR CONSTITUTION, FOR HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFIT. TO UNDERSTAND HOW HE DID SO WE MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND JUST HOW OVERWHELMINGLY DEPENDENT UKRAINE IS ON THE UNITED STATES, MILITARILY, FINANCIALLY, DIPLOMATICALLY, AND IN EVERY OTHER WAY. AND NOT JUST ON THE UNITED STATES BUT ON THE PERSON OF THE PRESIDENT. UKRAINE WAS INVADED BY ITS NEIGHBOR, BY OUR COMMON ADVERSARY, BY VLADIMIR PUTIN’S RUSSIA. IT REMAINS OCCUPIED BY RUSSIAN IRREGULAR FORCES IN A LONG SIMMERING WAR. UKRAINE DESPERATELY NEEDS OUR HELP AND FOR YEARS WE HAVE GIVEN IT AND ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS. THAT IS UNTIL TWO MONTHS AGO WHEN IT WAS HELD UP INEXPLICABLY BY PRESIDENT TRUMP. IT IS IN THIS CONTEXT, AFTER A BRIEF CONGRATULATORY CALL FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKY ON AUGUST 21st, AFTER RUDY GIULIANI MADE IT CLEAR TO OFFICIALS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS THAT THE PRESIDENT WANTED DIRT ON HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT IT’S IN THIS CONTEXT THAT THE NEW PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE WOULD SPEAK TO DONALD TRUMP OVER THE PHONE ON JULY 25th. PRESIDENT ZELENSKY EAGER TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF AT HOME AS A FRIEND OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE MOST POWERFUL NATION ON EARTH HAD AT LEAST TWO OBJECTIVES, GET A MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT AND GET MORE MILITARY HELP. AND SO WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT CALL? HE BEGINS BY INGRATIATES HIMSELF, EXPRESSING HIS INTEREST IN MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT AND SAYS HIS COUNTRY WANTS TO ACQUIRE MORE WEAPONS FROM US TO DEFEND ITSELF. AND WHAT IS THE PRESIDENT’S RESPONSE? WELL, IT READS LIKE A CLASSIC ORGANIZED CRIME SHAKEDOWN. RAMBLING CHARACTER, AND IN NOT SO MANY WORDS, THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT COMMUNICATES. WE’VE BEEN VERY GOOD TO YOUR COUNTRY. VERY GOOD. NO OTHER COUNTRY HAS DONE AS MUCH AS WE HAVE. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, I DON’T SEE MUCH RECIPROCITY HERE. I HEAR WHAT YOU WANT. I HAVE A FAVOR I WANT FROM YOU THOUGH. AND I’M GOING TO SAY THIS ONLY SEVEN TIMES SO YOU BETTER LISTEN GOOD. I WANT YOU TO MAKE UP DIRT ON MY POLITICAL OPPONENT, UNDERSTAND, LOTS OF IT, ON THIS, AND ON THAT, I’M GOING TO PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE, NOT JUST ANY PEOPLE, I’M GOING TO PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, MY ATTORNEY GENERAL, BILL BARR. HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WEIGHT OF THE AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT BEHIND HIM AND I’M GOING TO PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH RUDY, YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE HIM, TRUST ME. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M ASKING. SO I’M ONLY GOING TO SAY THIS A FEW MORE TIMES, IN A FEW MORE WAYS. AND BY THE WAY, DON’T CALL ME AGAIN. I’LL CALL YOU WHEN YOU’VE DONE WHAT I ASKED. THIS IS, IN SUM AND CHARACTER, WHAT THE PRESIDENT WAS TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE. IT WOULD BE FUNNY IF IT WASN’T SUCH A GRAPHIC BETRAYAL OF THE PRESIDENT’S OATH OF OFFICE. BUT AS IT DOES REPRESENT A REAL BETRAYAL THERE’S NOTHING THE PRESIDENT SAYS HERE THAT IS IN AMERICA’S INTEREST AFTER ALL. IT IS, INSTEAD, THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL FORM OF TRAGEDY, FOR IT FORCES US TO CONFRONT THE REMEDY THE FOUNDERS PROVIDED FOR SUCH A FLAGRANT ABUSE OF OFFICE, IMPEACHMENT. NOW, THIS MATTER WOULD NOT HAVE COME TO THE ATTENTION OF OUR COMMITTEE, OR THE NATION’S ATTENTION, WITHOUT THE COURAGE OF A SINGLE PERSON, THE WHISTLE-BLOWER. AS YOU KNOW DIRECTOR MAGUIRE MORE SO THAN PERHAPS ANY OTHER AREA OF GOVERNMENT SINCE WE DEAL WITH CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IS DEPENDENT ON WHISTLE-BLOWERS TO REVEAL WRONGDOING WHEN IT OCCURS, WHEN THE AGENCIES DO NOT SELF-REPORT. BECAUSE OUTSIDE PARTIES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SCRUTINIZE YOUR WORK, AND TO GUIDE US. IF THAT SYSTEM IS ALLOWED TO BREAK DOWN AS IT DID HERE, IF WHISTLE-BLOWERS COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY WILL NOT BE PROTECTED, ONE OF TWO THINGS HAPPEN, SERIOUS WRONGDOING GOES UNREPORTED OR WHISTLE-BLOWERS TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS AND DIVULGE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION TO THE PRESS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. AND PLACING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AT RISK. THIS IS WHY THE WHISTLE-BLOWER SYSTEM IS SO VITAL TO US. AND WHY YOUR HANDLING OF THIS URGENT COMPLAINT IS ALSO SO TROUBLING. TODAY WE CAN SAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE WE HAVE RELEASED THIS MORNING THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT THAT YOU HAVE MARKED UNCLASSIFIED THAT THE SUBSTANCE OF THIS CALL IS A CORE ISSUE, ALTHOUGH BY MEANS — NO MEANS THE ONLY ISSUE RAISED BY THE WHISTLE-BLOWER’S COMPLAINT, WHICH WAS SHARED WITH THE COMMITTEE FOR THE FIRST TIME ONLY LATE YESTERDAY. BY LAW THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT, WHICH BROUGHT THIS GROSS MISCONDUCT TO LIGHT, SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS COMMITTEE WEEKS AGO, AND BY YOU, MR. DIRECTOR, UNDER THE CLEAR LETTER OF THE LAW. AND YET IT WASN’T. DIRECTOR MAGUIRE I WAS VERY PLEASED WHEN YOU WERE NAMED ACTING DIRECTOR. IF SUE GORDON WAS NOT GOING TO REMAIN I WAS GRATEFUL A MAN OF YOUR SUPERB MILITARY BACKGROUND WAS CHOSEN, A NAVY SEAL FOR 36 YEARS AND DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER SINCE DECEMBER 2018. YOUR CREDENTIALS ARE IMPRESSIVE. AND IN LIMITED INTERACTIONS WE’VE HAD YOU HAVE STRUCK ME AS A GOOD AND DECENT MAN. WHICH MAKES YOUR ACTIONS OVER THE LAST MONTH ALL THE MORE BEWILDERING. WHY YOU CHOSE NOT TO PROVIDE THE COMPLAINT TO THIS COMMITTEE AS REQUIRED BY LAW, WHY YOU CHOSE TO SEEK A SECOND OPINION ON WHETHER SHALL REALLY MEANS SHALL UNDER THE STATUTE. WHY YOU CHOSE TO GO TO A DEPARTMENT LED BY A MAN BILL BARR WHO HIMSELF IS IMPLICATED IN THE COMPLAINT, AND BELIEVES THAT HE EXISTS TO SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE PRESIDENT, NOT THE OFFICE ITSELF, MIND YOU, OR THE PUBLIC INTEREST, BUT THE INTEREST OF THE PERSON OF DONALD TRUMP. WHY YOU CHOSE TO ALLOW THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT TO PLAY A ROLE IN DECIDING WHETHER CONGRESS WOULD EVER SEE THE COMPLAINT. WHY YOU STOOD SILENT WHEN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONAL UNDER YOUR CARE AND PROTECTION WAS RIDICULED BY THE PRESIDENT, WAS ACCUSED OF POTENTIALLY BETRAYING HIS OR HER COUNTRY, WHEN THAT WHISTLE-BLOWER, BY THEIR VERY ACT OF COMING FORWARD, HAS SHOWN MORE DEDICATION TO COUNTRY, MANY MORE OF AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRESIDENT’S OATH OF OFFICE, THAN THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF. WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR EXPLANATION. RANKING MEMBER NUNES. >>THANK THE GENTLEMAN. I WANT TO CONGRATULATE THE DEMOCRATS ON THE ROLLOUT OF THEIR LATEST INFORMATION WARFARE OPERATION AGAINST THE PRESIDENT AND THEIR EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY TO ONCE AGAIN ENLIST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA IN THEIR CAMPAIGN. THIS OPERATION BEGAN WITH MEDIA REPORTS FROM THE PRIME INSTIGATORS OF THE RUSSIA COLLUSION HOAX, THAT A WHISTLE-BLOWER IS CLAIMING PRESIDENT TRUMP MADE A NEFARIOUS PROMISE TO A FOREIGN LEADER. THE RELEASED TRANSCRIPT OF THAT CALL HAS ALREADY DEBUNKED THAT CENTRAL ASSERTION. BUT THAT DIDN’T MATTER. THE DEMOCRATS SIMPLY MOVED THE GOAL POST AND BEGAN CLAIMING THAT THERE DOESN’T NEED TO BE A QUID PRO QUO FOR THIS CONVERSATION TO SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT. SPEAKER PELOSI WENT FURTHER WHEN ASKED EARLIER IF SHE WOULD PUT BRAKES ON IMPEACHMENT, IF THE TRANSCRIPT TURNED OUT TO BE BENIGN. SHE RESPONDED “SO THERE YOU GO, IF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER OPERATION DOESN’T WORK OUT THE DEMOCRATS –,” QUOTE, WE HAVE MANY CANDIDATES FOR IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES. THAT WAS HER QUOTE. SO THERE YOU GO. IF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER OPERATION DOESN’T WORK OUT THE DEMOCRATS AND THEIR MEDIA ASSETS CAN ALWAYS DRUM UP SOMETHING ELSE. AND WHAT OTHER INFORMATION HAS COME TO LIGHT SINCE THE ORIGINAL FALSE REPORT OF A PROMISE BEING MADE? WE’VE LEARNED THE FOLLOWING. THE COMPLAINT RELIED ON HEARSAY EVIDENCE PROVIDED BY THE WHISTLE-BLOWER. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL DID NOT KNOW THE CONTENTS OF THE PHONE CALL AT ISSUE. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND THE WHISTLE-BLOWER DISPLAYED ARGUABLE, POLITICAL BIAS AGAINST TRUMP. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATED THE COMPLAINT AND DETERMINED NO ACTION WAS WARRANTED. THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DENIES BEING PRESSURED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP. SO ONCE AGAIN THIS SUPPOSED SCANDAL ENDS UP BEING NOTHING LIKE WHAT WE WERE TOLD, AND ONCE AGAIN THE DEMOCRATS, THEIR MEDIA MOUTHPIECES, AND LEAKERS ARE GINNING UP A FAKE STORY WITH NO REGARD TO THE MONUMENTAL DAMAGE THEY’RE CAUSING TO OUR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND TO TRUST IN GOVERNMENT. AND WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING ALL THE FALSE STORIES THEY PROPAGATED IN THE PAST, INCLUDING COUNTLESS ALLEGATIONS THAT TRUMP CAMPAIGNED, COLLUDED WITH RUSSIA TO HACK THE 2016 ELECTION. WE’RE SUPPOSED TO FORGET ABOUT ALL THOSE STORIES. BUT BELIEVE THIS ONE. IN SHORT WHAT WE HAVE WITH THIS STORY LINE IS ANOTHER STEELE DOSSIER. I’LL NOTE HERE THAT IN THE DEMOCRATS’ MANIA TO OVERTURN THE 2016 ELECTIONS EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH GETS HOPELESSLY POLITICIZED. WITH THE RUSSIA HOAX IT WAS OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES WHICH WERE TURNED INTO A POLITICAL WEAPON TO ATTACK THE PRESIDENT. AND NOW TODAY THE WHISTLE-BLOWER PROCESS IS THE CASUALTY. UNTIL ABOUT A WEEK AGO THE NEED TO PROTECT THAT PROCESS WAS A PRIMARY BIPARTISAN CONCERN OF THIS COMMITTEE. BUT IF THE DEMOCRATS WERE REALLY CONCERNED WITH DEFENDING THAT PROCESS THEY WOULD HAVE PURSUED THIS MATTER WITH A QUIET, SOBER INQUIRY AS WE DO FOR ALL WHISTLE-BLOWERS. BUT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN USELESS FOR THEM. THEY DON’T WANT ANSWERS. THEY WANT A PUBLIC SPECTACLE. AND SO WE’VE BEEN TREATED TO AN UNENDING PARADE OF PRESS RELEASES, PRESS CONFERENCES, AND FAKE NEWS STORIES. THIS HEARING ITSELF IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE, WHISTLE-BLOWER INQUIRIES SHOULD NOT BE HELD IN PUBLIC AT ALL. AS OUR SENATE COUNTERPARTS, BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, OBVIOUSLY UNDERSTAND THEIR HEARING WITH MR. MAGUIRE IS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. AGAIN, THAT ONLY MAKES SENSE WHEN YOUR GOAL IS TO GET INFORMATION, NOT TO CREATE A MEDIA FRENZY. THE CURRENT HYSTERIA HAS SOMETHING ELSE IN COMMON WITH THE RUSSIA HOAX. BACK THEN THEY ACCUSED THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OF COLLUDING WITH RUSSIANS WHEN THE DEMOCRATS THEMSELVES WERE COLLUDING WITH RUSSIANS IN PREPARING THE STEELE DOSSIER. TODAY THEY ACCUSED THE PRESIDENT OF PRESSURING UKRAINIANS TO TAKE ACTIONS THAT WOULD HELP HIMSELF OR HURT HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS. YET THERE ARE NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF DEMOCRATS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING. JOE BIDEN BRAGGED THAT HE EXTORTED THE UKRAINIANS INTO FIRING A PROSECUTOR WHO HAPPENED TO BE INVESTIGATING BIDEN’S OWN SON. THREE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WROTE A LETTER TO REOPEN THE INVESTIGATION INTO FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN OFFICIALS. ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC SENATOR WENT TO UKRAINE AND PRESSURED THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT NOT TO INVESTIGATE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS ON INVOLVING JOE BIDEN’S SON. ACCORDING TO UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CONTRACTOR ALEXANDRA CHALUPA TRIED TO GET UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS TO PROVIDE DIRT ON TRUMP ASSOCIATES AND TRIED TO GET THE FORMER UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TO COMMENT PUBLICLY ON ALLEGED TIES TO RUSSIA. UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL LESHENKO WAS A SOURCE FOR NELLIE ORR AS SHE WORKED ON THE ANTI-TRUMP OPERATION CONDUCTED BY FUSION GPS AND FUNDED BY THE DEMOCRATS. AND, OF COURSE, DEMOCRATS ON THIS VERY COMMITTEE NEGOTIATED WITH PEOPLE WHO THEY THOUGHT WERE UKRAINIANS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN NUDE PICTURES OF TRUMP. PEOPLE CAN REASONABLY ASK WHY THE DEMOCRATS ARE SO DETERMINED TO IMPEACH THIS PRESIDENT WHEN IN JUST A YEAR THEY’LL HAVE A CHANCE. IN FACT, ONE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN, ONE OF THE FIRST TO CALL FOR TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT, GAVE US THE ANSWER WHEN HE SAID “I’M CONCERNED THAT IF WE DON’T IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT HE WILL GET REELECTED.” WINNING ELECTIONS IS HARD, AND WHEN YOU COMPETE YOU HAVE NO GUARANTEE YOU’LL WIN. BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO HAVE A SAY IN THIS. AND THEY MADE THEIR VOICES HEARD IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THIS LATEST GAMUT BY THE DEMOCRATS TO OVERTURN THIS MANDATE IS UNHINGED IS DANGEROUS. THEY SHOULD END THE ENTIRE DISHONEST, GROTESQUE SPECTACLE AND GET BACK TO WORK TO SOLVING PROBLEMS, WHICH IS WHAT EVERY MEMBER OF THIS COMMITTEE WAS SENT HERE TO DO. JUDGING BY TODAY’S CHARADE THE CHANCES OF THAT HAPPENING ANYTIME SOON ARE ZERO TO NONE. I YIELD BACK. >>I THANK THE GENTLEMAN, DIRECTOR, WOULD YOU RISE FOR THE OATH AND RAISE YOUR RIGHT HAND? DO YOU SOLEMNLY SWEAR OR AFFIRM THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU WILL GIVE TODAY SHALL BE THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP YOU GOD? THANK YOU, YOU MAY BE SEATED. THE RECORD WILL REFLECT THAT THE WITNESS HAS BEEN DULY SWORN. DIRECTOR MAGUIRE, WOULD YOU AGREE THAT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT ALLEGES SERIOUS WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, THE WHISTLE-BLOWER — >>ACTUALLY, I APOLOGIZE. DIRECTOR, LET ME RECOGNIZE YOU FOR YOUR OPENING STATEMENT, AND YOU MAY TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU NEED. >>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. CHAIRMAN. CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, RANKING MEMBER NUNES AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, GOOD MORNING. I’D LIKE TO BEGIN BY THANKING THE CHAIRMAN AND THE COMMITTEE FOR AGREEING TO POSTPONE THIS HEARING FOR ONE WEEK. THIS PROVIDED SUFFICIENT TIME TO ALLOW THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE ITS CONSULTATIONS REGARDING HOW TO ACCOMMODATE THE COMMITTEE’S REQUEST. MR. CHAIRMAN I’VE TOLD YOU THIS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THIS PUBLICLY. I RESPECT YOU. I RESPECT THIS COMMITTEE. AND I WELCOME AND TAKE SERIOUSLY THE COMMITTEE’S OVERSIGHT ROLE. DURING MY CONFIRMATION PROCESS TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER I TOLD THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE AND INTELLIGENCE THAT CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF THE INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES IS CRITICAL AND ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESSFUL OPERATIONS WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. HAVING SERVED AS THE DIRECTOR FOR EIGHT MONTHS AND ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FOR THE PAST SIX WEEKS I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THE ROLE OF CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT. AS I PLEDGED TO THE SENATE I PLEDGE TO YOU TODAY THAT I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH CONGRESS WHILE I’M SERVING EITHER IN THIS CAPACITY AS ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM OR WHEN I RETURN TO THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER TO ENSURE YOU ARE FULLY AND CURRENTLY INFORMED OF INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES TO FACILITATE YOUR ABILITY TO PERFORM YOUR OVERSIGHT OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EXPECT US TO KEEP THEM SAFE. THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CANNOT DO THAT WITHOUT THIS COMMITTEE’S SUPPORT. BEFORE I TURN TO THE MATTER AT HAND THERE ARE A FEW THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO SAY. I AM NOT PARTISAN AND I AM NOT POLITICAL. I BELIEVE IN A LIFE OF SERVICE, AND I’M HONORED TO BE A PUBLIC SERVANT. I SERVED UNDER EIGHT PRESIDENTS WHILE I WAS IN UNIFORM. I HAVE TAKEN THE OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION 11 TIMES. THE FIRST TIME WHEN I WAS SWORN IN TO THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN 1974, AND NINE TIMES THROUGH MY SUBSEQUENT PROMOTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY. MOST RECENTLY FORMER DIRECTOR DAN COATS ADMINISTERED THE OATH OF OFFICE LAST DECEMBER WHEN I BECAME THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER. I AGREE WITH YOU. THE OATH IS SACRED. IT’S A FOUNDATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION. THE OATH, TO ME, MEANS NOT ONLY THAT I SWEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THAT SACRED DOCUMENT BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I VIEW IT AS A COVENANT I HAVE WITH MY WORKFORCE, THAT I LEAD, AND EVERY AMERICAN, THAT I WILL WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF MY OFFICE. I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO HAVE STEPPED FORWARD EVEN IN THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES, IN AUSTERE TIMES, TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND OUR COUNTRY. WHEN I TOOK MY UNIFORM OFF IN JULY OF 2010 IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN 70 YEARS THAT AN IMMEDIATE MEMBER OF MY FAMILY WAS NOT WEARING THE CLOTH OF THE NATION. AS AN ABLE SPECIAL WARFARE OFFICER I HAD THE HONOR OF COMMANDING AT EVERY LEVEL IN THE SEAL COMMUNITY. IT WAS AT TIMES VERY DEMANDING. BUT THE REWARDS OF SERVING IN AMERICA’S SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMUNITY MORE THAN MAKE UP FOR THE DEMANDS. AFTER MY RETIREMENT I WAS FORTUNATE TO WORK FOR A GREAT PRIVATE SECTOR FIRM. I LEFT THE BUSINESS WORLD AFTER THREE YEARS TO LEAD A NONPROFIT CHARITY. SOME QUESTIONED WHY I WOULD LEAVE A PROMISING BUSINESS CAREER TO RUN A CHARITY. THE ANSWER WAS QUITE SIMPLE. IT WAS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE. I LED A FOUNDATION DEDICATED TO HONORING THE SACRIFICE OF SPECIAL OPERATORS. IT ENABLED HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN OF OUR FALLEN TO ATTEND COLLEGE. IT WAS EXTREMELY MEANINGFUL AND REWARDING. IN THE WINTER OF 2018 I WAS ASKED BY FORMER DIRECTOR DAN COATS TO LEAVE SERVICE TO LEAD THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER. IT WAS UNEXPECTED AND NOT A POSITION I SOUGHT BUT THEN AGAIN IT WAS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE MY COUNTRY. IN PARTICULAR, I KNEW THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG SAILORS AND JUNIOR OFFICERS I HAD TRAINED 20 YEARS EARLIER WERE NOW SENIOR COMBAT VETERANS DEPLOYING AND STILL SACRIFICING. I DECIDED THAT THEY COULD CONTINUE TO SERVE, RETURNING TO GOVERNMENT SERVICE WAS THE VERY LEAST I COULD DO. AND NOW HERE I AM, SITTING BEFORE YOU AS THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. WITH LAST MONTH’S DEPARTURE OF DAN COATS AND SUE GORDON, TWO EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS AND FRIENDS I WAS ASKED TO STEP INTO THEIR VERY BIG SHOES AND LEAD THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY UNTIL THE PRESIDENT NOMINATES AND THE SENATE CONFIRMS THE NEXT DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. I ACCEPTED THIS RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE I LOVE THIS COUNTRY. I HAVE A DEEP AND PROFOUND RESPECT FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE MISSION WE EXECUTE EVERY DAY ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THROUGHOUT MY CAREER I HAVE SERVED AND LED THROUGH TURBULENT TIMES. IT MUST BE LEGAL, IT MUST BE MORAL AND IT MUST BE ETHICAL. NO ONE CAN TAKE AN INDIVIDUAL’S INTEGRITY AWAY. IT CAN ONLY BE GIVEN AWAY. IF EVERY ACTION MEETS THOSE CRITERIA YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY. IN MY NEARLY FOUR DECADES OF PUBLIC SERVICE MY INTEGRITY HAS NEVER BEEN QUESTIONED UNTIL NOW. I’M HERE TODAY TO UNEQUIVOCALLY STATE THAT AS ACTING DNI I WILL CONTINUE THE SAME FAITHFUL AND NONPARTISAN SUPPORT IN A MATTER THAT ADHERES TO THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY AS LONG AS I SERVE IN THIS POSITION FOR WHATEVER PERIOD OF TIME THAT MAY BE. I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT I HAVE UPHELD MY RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW THE LAW EVERY STEP OF THE WAY IN THE MATTER THAT IS BEFORE US TODAY. I WANT TO ALSO STATE MY SUPPORT FOR THE WHISTLE-BLOWER AND THE RIGHTS AND THE LAWS. WHISTLE BLOWING HAS A LONG HISTORY IN OUR COUNTRY, DATING BACK TO THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. THIS IS NOT SURPRISING BECAUSE AS A NATION WE DESIRE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE WE MUST PROTECT THOSE WHO DEMONSTRATE COURAGE TO REPORT ALLEGED WRONGDOING, WHETHER ON THE BATTLEFIELD, OR IN THE WORKPLACE. INDEED, AT THE START OF ETHICS TRAINING IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH EACH YEAR WE ARE REMINDED THAT PUBLIC SERVICE IS A PUBLIC TRUST AND AS PUBLIC SERVANTS WE HAVE A SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT WHICH INCLUDES REPORTING CONCERNS OF WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE AND BRINGING SUCH MATTERS TO THE ATTENTION OF CONGRESS UNDER THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT. I APPLAUD ALL EMPLOYEES WHO COME FORWARD UNDER THIS ACT. I AM COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT ALL WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINTS ARE HANDLED APPROPRIATELY AND TO PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF WHISTLE-BLOWERS. IN THIS CASE THE COMPLAINANT RAISED A MATTER WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY INSPECTOR GENERAL. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS PROPERLY PROTECTING THE COMPLAINANT’S IDENTITY AND WILL NOT PERMIT THE COMPLAINANT TO BE SUBJECT TO ANY RETALIATION OR ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES FOR COMMUNICATING THE COMPLAINT TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL. UPHOLDING THE INTEGRITY OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE WORKFORCE IS MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. THROUGHOUT MY CAREER I RELIED ON THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TO DO THEIR JOBS SO I COULD DO MINE AND I COULD PERSONALLY ATTEST THAT THEIR EFFORTS SAVED LIVES. I WOULD NOW LIKE TO TURN TO THE COMPLAINT AND PROVIDE A GENERAL BACKGROUND ON HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY. ON AUGUST 26th THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FORWARDED THE COMPLAINT TO ME FROM AN EMPLOYEE IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL STATED THAT THE COMPLAINT RAISED AN URGENT CONCERN, A LEGALLY DEFINED TERM UNDER WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT, THAT HAS BEEN DISCUSSED AT LENGTH IN OUR LETTERS TO THE COMMITTEE ON SEPTEMBER 16 AND 17. BEFORE I TURN TO THE DISCUSSION ABOUT WHETHER THE COMPLAINT MEETS THE DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN OUR FIRST ONE TO TALK ABOUT AN EVEN MORE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE. UPON REVIEWING THE COMPLAINT WE WERE IMMEDIATELY STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT MANY OF THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT ARE BASED ON A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND ANOTHER FOREIGN LEADER. SUCH CALLS ARE TYPICALLY SUBJECT TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. AS A RESULT WE CONSULTED WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL’S OFFICE AND WERE ADVISED THAT MUCH OF THE INFORMATION IN THE COMPLAINT WAS, IN FACT, SUBJECT TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, A PRIVILEGE THAT I DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO WAIVE. BECAUSE OF THAT WE WERE UNABLE TO IMMEDIATELY SHARE THE DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT WITH THIS COMMITTEE. BUT CONTINUED TO CONSULT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSELS IN AN EFFORT TO DO SO. YESTERDAY THE PRESIDENT RELEASED THE TRANSCRIPTS OF THE CALL IN QUESTION AND THEREFORE WE ARE NOW ABLE TO DISCLOSE THE DETAILS OF BOTH COMPLAINT AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S LETTER TRANSMITTING TO US. AS A RESULT I HAVE PROVIDED THE HOUSE AND SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES WITH THE FULL, UNREDACTED COMPLAINT AS WELL AS THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S LETTER. LET ME ALSO DISCUSS THE ISSUE OF URGENT CONCERN. WHEN TRANSMITTING A COMPLAINT TO ME THE INSPECTOR GENERAL TOOK THE LEGAL POSITION THAT BECAUSE THE COMPLAINT ALLEGES MATTERS OF URGENT CONCERN AND BECAUSE HE FOUND THE ALLEGATIONS TO BE CREDIBLE I WAS REQUIRED UNDER THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT TO FORWARD THE COMPLAINT TO OUR OVERSIGHT COMMITTEES WITHIN SEVEN DAYS OF RECEIVING IT. AS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY EXPLAINED IN OUR LETTERS URGENT CONCERN IS A STATUTORILY DEFINED TERM. TO BE AN URGENT CONCERN THE ALLEGATIONS MUST, IN ADDITION TO BEING CLASSIFIED, ASSERT A FLAGRANT, SERIOUS PROBLEM, ABUSE OR VIOLATION OF LAW. AND RELATE TO THE FUNDING, ADMINISTRATION OR OPERATION OF AN INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITY WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. HOWEVER, THIS COMPLAINT CONCERNS CONDUCT BY SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, UNRELATED TO FUNDING, ADMINISTRATION OR OPERATION OF AN INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITY UNDER MY SUPERVISION. BECAUSE THE ALLEGATION ON THE FACE DID NOT APPEAR TO FALL IN THE STATUTORY FRAMEWORK, MY OFFICE CONSULTED WITH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AND INCLUDED — WE INCLUDED THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IN THOSE CONSULTATIONS. AFTER REVIEWING THE COMPLAINT, AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S TRANSMITTAL LETTER THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL DETERMINED IT DOES NOT MEET THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT, LEGAL DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN AND FOUND I WAS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED TO TRANSMIT TO THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE UNDER THE WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT. AND A CLASSIFIED VERSION OF THAT MEMO WAS PUBLICLY RELEASED. AS YOU KNOW FOR THOSE OF US IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL OPINIONS ARE BINDING ON ALL OF US. IN PARTICULAR THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL OPINION STATES THAT THE PRESIDENT IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNICATION WITH A FOREIGN LEADER INVOLVED NO INTELLIGENCE OPERATION OR ACTIVITY AIMED AT COLLECTING OR ANALYZING FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE. WHILE WILL OLC OPINION DID NOT REQUIRE TRANSMISSION OF THE COMPLAINT TO THE COMMITTEES IT DID LEAVE ME WITH THE DISCRETION TO FORWARD THE COMPLAINT TO THE COMMITTEE. HOWEVER, GIVEN THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ISSUES I DISCUSSED, NEITHER THE INSPECTOR GENERAL NOR I WERE ABLE TO SHARE THE DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT AT THE TIME. WHEN THE INSPECTOR GENERAL INFORMED ME THAT HE STILL INTENDED TO NOTIFY THE COMMITTEES OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE COMPLAINT, MR. CHAIRMAN, I SUPPORTED THAT DECISION. TO ENSURE THE COMMITTEES WERE KEPT AS INFORMED AS POSSIBLE OF THIS PROCESS MOVING FORWARD. I WANT TO RAISE A FEW OTHER POINTS ABOUT THE SITUATION WE FIND OURSELVES IN. FIRST, I WANT TO STRESS THAT I BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HAVE ACTED IN GOOD FAITH THROUGHOUT. I HAVE EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE DONE EVERYTHING BY THE BOOK AND FOLLOWED THE LAW. RESPECTING THE PRIVILEGED NATURE OF THE INFORMATION AND PATIENTLY WAITING WHILE THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ISSUES WERE RESOLVED. WHEREVER POSSIBLE WE HAVE WORKED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ON THIS MATTER. WHILE WE HAVE DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONS ON THE ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT IT’S URGENT CONCERN I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN THE ROLE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL. I GREATLY VALUE THE INDEPENDENCE HE BRINGS AND HIS DEDICATION AND HIS ROLE IN KEEPING ME AND THE COMMITTEES INFORMED OF MATTERS WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE. SECOND, ALTHOUGH EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE PREVENTED US FROM SHARING THE DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT WITH THE COMMITTEES UNTIL RECENTLY THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE COMPLAINT WAS IGNORED. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IN CONSULTATION WITH MY OFFICE REFERRED THIS MATTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR INVESTIGATION. FINALLY I APPRECIATE THAT IN THE PAST WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINTS MAY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO CONGRESS REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY WERE DEEMED CREDIBLE OR SATISFIED THE URGENT CONCERN REQUIREMENT. HOWEVER, I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH ANY PRIOR INSTANCES WHERE A WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT TOUCHED ON SUCH COMPLICATED AND SENSITIVE ISSUES, INCLUDING EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. I BELIEVE THAT THIS MATTER IS UNPRECEDENTED. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT I HANDLED THIS MATTER IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW AT ALL TIMES. AND I AM COMMITTED TO DOING SO, SIR. I APPRECIATE THE COMMITTEE PROVIDING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER, THE ONGOING COMMITMENT TO WORK WITH THE CONGRESS ON YOUR IMPORTANT OVERSIGHT ROLE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SIR. >>THANK YOU, DIRECTOR. WOULD YOU AGREE THAT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT ALLEGES SERIOUS WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?>>THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT INVOLVED THE ALLEGATION OF THAT. BUT IT IS NOT FOR ME IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TO DECIDE HOW THE PRESIDENT CONDUCTS HIS FOREIGN POLICY OR HIS INTERACTION WITH LEADERS OF OTHER COUNTRIES, SIR. >>WELL, I’M NOT ASKING YOU TO OPINE ON HOW THE PRESIDENT CONDUCTS FOREIGN POLICY. I’M ASKING YOU WHETHER, AS THE STATUTE REQUIRES, THIS COMPLAINT INVOLVED SERIOUS WRONGDOING IN THIS CASE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? AN ALLEGATION OF SERIOUS WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. IS THAT NOT THE SUBJECT OF THIS COMPLAINT?>>THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE ALLEGATION OF THE COMPLAINT. AND TWO THINGS, MR. CHAIRMAN — >>AND LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THAT. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND THAT SERIOUS ALLEGATION OF MISCONDUCT BY THE PRESIDENT CREDIBLE. DID YOU ALSO FIND THAT CREDIBLE?>>I DID NOT CRITICIZE THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S DECISION ON WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS CREDIBLE. MY QUESTION WAS WHETHER IT NOT — IT MEETS THE URGENT CONCERN IN THE SEVEN-DAY TIME FRAME THAT WOULD FOLLOW — I HAVE NO QUESTION IN HIS JUDGMENT THAT HE CONSIDERS IT A SERIOUS MATTER. THE ISSUE THAT I DEALT WITH — >>AND YOU WOULD CONCUR, WOULD YOU NOT, DIRECTOR, THAT THIS COMPLAINT ALLEGING SERIOUS WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT WAS CREDIBLE?>>IT’S NOT FOR ME TO JUDGE, SIR. WHAT MY — >>IT IS FOR YOU TO JUDGE, APPARENTLY. I AGREE IT’S NOT FOR YOU TO JUDGE, YOU SHALL PROVIDE IT TO CONGRESS. BUT INDEED YOU DID JUDGE WHETHER THIS COMPLAINT SHOULD BE PROVIDED TO CONGRESS. CAN WE AT LEAST AGREE THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL MADE A SOUND CONCLUSION THAT THIS WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT WAS CREDIBLE?>>THAT IS CORRECT, THAT IS IN THE COVER LETTER THAT’S BEEN PROVIDED TO THE COMMITTEE. I BELIEVE THAT’S ALSO MADE PUBLIC, THE DECISION AND THE RECOMMENDATION BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL THAT, IN FACT, THE ALLEGATION WAS CREDIBLE. >>CAN WE ALSO AGREE THAT IT WAS URGENT, THAT IF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS WITHHOLDING MILITARY AID TO AN ALLY, EVEN AS YOU RECEIVED THE COMPLAINT, AND WAS DOING SO FOR A NEFARIOUS REASON, TO EXERCISE LEVERAGE OVER THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE TO DIG UP MANUFACTURED DIRT ON HIS OPPONENT, CAN WE AGREE THAT IT WAS URGENT WHILE THAT AID WAS BEING WITHHELD?>>THERE’S TWO THINGS — >>I’M TALKING ABOUT THE LAY — THE COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT URGENT MEANS. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL SAID THIS WAS URGENT, NOT ONLY IN THE STATUTORY MEANING, THIS WAS URGENT AS EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT TERM. CAN WE AGREE THAT IT WAS URGENT?>>IT WAS URGENT AND IMPORTANT. BUT MY JOB AS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE WAS TO COMPLY WITH THE WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT AND ADHERE TO THE DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN, WHICH IS A LEGAL TERM. >>AND TO ADHERE TO THE MEANING OF THE TERM SHALL?>>YES, SIR. >>IN THIS CASE YOU SOUGHT A SECOND OPINION ON WHETHER SHALL REALLY MEANS SHALL, BY GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE. >>NO, SIR. THERE WERE TWO THINGS. AS I SAID IN MY STATEMENT, ONE, IT APPEARED THAT IT ALSO HAD MATTERS OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. I AM NOT AUTHORIZED AS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO WAIVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >>AND AT ANY TIME OVER THE LAST MONTH THAT YOU HELD THIS COMPLAINT DID THE WHITE HOUSE ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, I HAVE ENDEAVORED TO — >>I THINK THAT’S A YES OR NO QUESTION. DID THEY EVER ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE?>>THEY WERE WORKING THROUGH THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE PROCEDURES IN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO ASSERT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. >>THEY NEVER ASSERTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IS THAT THE ANSWER?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, IF THEY DID, WE WOULD NOT HAVE RELEASED THE LETTERS YESTERDAY AND ALL THE INFORMATION THAT’S BEEN FORTHCOMING. >>NOW, THE FIRST PLACE YOU WENT WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE. AM I TO UNDERSTAND THAT FROM YOUR OPENING STATEMENT, IT WASN’T TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE FIRST PLACE YOU WENT FOR A SECOND OPINION WAS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?>>I DID NOT GO FOR A SECOND OPINION. THE QUESTION WAS, IS THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE SUBJECT TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE? NOT WHETHER IT NOT IT MEANT URGENT CONCERN. >>AND SO THE FIRST PLACE YOU WENT FOR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER YOU SHOULD PROVIDE THE COMPLAINT AS THE STATUTE REQUIRES TO CONGRESS WAS THE WHITE HOUSE?>>I AM NOT AUTHORIZED, AS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, TO PROVIDE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGED INFORMATION. I THINK IT IS PRUDENT, AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, TO CHECK TO ENSURE THAT, IN FACT, IT DOES NOT. >>I’M JUST ASKING ABOUT THE SEQUENCING HERE. DID YOU FIRST GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU SHOULD PROVIDE A COMPLAINT TO CONGRESS?>>NO, SIR. THAT WAS NOT THE QUESTION. THE QUESTION WAS WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, NOT WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD SEND IT ON TO CONGRESS. >>OKAY. IS THE FIRST PARTY YOU WENT TO OUTSIDE OF YOUR OFFICE TO SEEK ADVICE, COUNSEL, DIRECTION THE WHITE HOUSE?>>I HAVE CONSULTED WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL. AND EVENTUALLY WE ALSO CONSULTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL. >>AND MY QUESTION IS, DID YOU GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE FIRST?>>I WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FOR ADVICE, YES, SIR. >>THAT — WELL, I’M ASKING WHICH YOU WENT TO FIRST, DID YOU GO TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FIRST OR DID YOU GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE FIRST?>>I WENT TO THE OFFICE — EXCUSE ME. MY TEAM, MY OFFICE, WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FIRST TO RECEIVE WHETHER OR NOT THE MATTER IN THE LETTER AND IN THE COMPLAINT MIGHT MEET THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. THEY VIEWED IT AND SAID WE’VE DETERMINED THAT IT APPEARS TO BE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, AND UNTIL EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS DETERMINED AND CLEARED I DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO BE ABLE TO SEND THAT FORWARD TO THE COMMITTEE. I WORKED WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS TO GET RESOLUTION ON THIS. IT’S A VERY DELIBERATE PROCESS. >>WELL, DIRECTOR, I’M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE CHRONOLOGY. YOU FIRST WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AND THEN YOU WENT TO WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL?>>WE WENT — EXCUSE ME, AND THEN TO THE — REPEAT THAT, PLEASE, SIR. >>I’M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE CHRONOLOGY. YOU FIRST WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AND THEN YOU WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL?>>NO, NO, NO, SIR, NO, SIR, NO, WE WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE FIRST TO DETERMINE TO ASK THE QUESTION — >>THAT’S ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS THE CHRONOLOGY. YOU WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE FIRST. SO YOU WENT TO THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT FOR ADVICE FIRST ABOUT WHETHER YOU SHOULD PROVIDE THE COMPLAINT TO CONGRESS?>>THERE WERE ISSUES WITHIN THIS, A COUPLE OF THINGS. ONE, IT DID APPEAR THAT IT HAS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. IF IT DOES HAVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IT IS THE WHITE HOUSE THAT DETERMINES THAT. I CANNOT DETERMINE THAT AS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. >>BUT IN THIS CASE THE WHITE HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT, IS THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT. HE’S THE SUBJECT OF THE WRONGDOING. WERE YOU AWARE WHEN YOU WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR ADVICE ABOUT WHETHER EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING BY THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD BE PROVIDED TO THE CONGRESS, WERE YOU AWARE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL HAS TAKEN THE UNPRECEDENTED POSITION THAT THE PRIVILEGE APPLIES TO COMMUNICATIONS INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT, WHEN HE WAS PRESIDENT, INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE WASN’T PRESIDENT, INVOLVING PEOPLE WHO NEVER SERVED IN THE ADMINISTRATION, INVOLVING PEOPLE WHO NEVER SERVED IN THE ADMINISTRATION EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT EVEN TALKING TO THE PRESIDENT WERE YOU AWARE THAT WAS UNPRECEDENTED POSITION OF THE WHITE HOUSE, THE WHITE HOUSE YOU WENT TO FOR ADVICE ABOUT WHETHER YOU SHOULD TURN OVER A COMPLAINT INVOLVING THE WHITE HOUSE?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, AS I SAID IN MY OPENING STATEMENT, I BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING HERE IN THIS MATTER IS TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED. AND THAT IS WHY MY FORMER DIRECTORS OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORWARDED THEM TO YOU WHETHER OR NOT IT MEANT URGENT CONCERN OR WHETHER IT WAS SERIOUS. THIS WAS DIFFERENT. AND TO ME IT JUST SEEMED PRUDENT TO BE ABLE TO CHECK AND ENSURE, AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, BEFORE I SENT IT FORWARD. >>I HAVE A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS AND I’LL TURN OVER TO THE RANKING MEMBER AND HE MACON — MAY CONSUME AS MUCH TIME AS I DID. THE SECOND PLACE YOU WENT TO WAS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. AND YOU WENT TO THAT DEPARTMENT HEADED BY A MAN BILL BARR WHO WAS ALSO IMPLICATED IN THE COMPLAINT. AND YOU KNEW THAT WHEN YOU WENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR AN OPINION, CORRECT, THAT BILL BARR WAS MENTIONED IN THE COMPLAINT?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, I WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL IN CONSULTATION WITH THE ICIG. HE WAS A PART OF THAT, TO RECEIVE WHETHER OR NOT THIS MET THE CRITERIA — >>BUT THAT ICIG VEHEMENTLY DISAGREED WITH THE OPINION OF THE BILL BARR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, DID HE NOT?>>HE STILL CONSIDERED IT A MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN. HOWEVER, AS YOU KNOW, OPINIONS FROM DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL ARE BINDING ON ALL OF US IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. >>WELL, LET ME ASK YOU THIS. DO YOU THINK IT’S APPROPRIATE THAT YOU GO TO A DEPARTMENT RUN BY SOMEONE WHO’S THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT TO GET ADVICE, OR WHO IS A SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT, OR IMPLICATED IN THE COMPLAINT, FOR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER YOU SHOULD PROVIDE THAT COMPLAINT TO CONGRESS, DID THAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERN YOU?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, WHEN I SAW THIS REPORT AND COMPLAINT IMMEDIATELY I KNEW THAT THIS WAS A SERIOUS MATTER. IT CAME TO ME, AND I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO ENSURE — >>I’M JUST ASKING IF THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERNED YOU, THAT — >>WELL, SIR, I HAVE TO WORK WITH WHAT I’VE GOT AND THAT IS THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. >>YOU ALSO HAD A STATUTE THAT SAYS SHALL AND EVEN THEN YOU SAID YOU HAD THE DISCRETION TO PROVIDE IT BUT DID NOT. >>BECAUSE IT DID NOT MEET THE MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN THAT TOOK AWAY THE SEVEN-DAY TIME LINE I HAVE ENDEAVORED TO WORK WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL IN ORDER TO GET THE MATERIAL TO YOU, WHICH HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU YESTERDAY. I HAVE TO TELL YOU, CHAIRMAN, IT IS NOT PERHAPS AT THE TIMELINE THAT I WOULD HAVE DESIRED, OR YOU, BUT THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL HAS TO MAKE SURE THEY MAKE PRUDENT DECISIONS. AND YESTERDAY WHEN THE PRESIDENT RELEASED THE TRANSCRIPTS OF HIS CALL WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE THEN THEY COULD NO LONGER — EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE NO LONGER APPLIED AND THAT IS WHEN I WAS FREE TO BE ABLE TO SEND THE COMPLAINT TO THE COMMITTEE. >>DIRECTOR YOU DON’T BELIEVE THE WHISTLE-BLOWER IS A POLITICAL HACK, DO YOU?>>I DON’T KNOW WHO THE WHISTLE-BLOWER IS, MR. CHAIRMAN, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I’VE DONE MY UTMOST TO MAKE SURE I PROTECT HIS ANONYMITY. >>THAT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A DEFENSE OF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER. YOU DON’T BELIEVE THE WHISTLE-BLOWER IS A HACK, DO YOU, DIRECTOR?>>I BELIEVE THE WHISTLE-BLOWER IS OPERATING IN GOOD FAITH. >>THEN — >>OF THE LAW — >>THEY COULDN’T BE IN GOOD FAITH IF THEY WERE ACTING AS A POLITICAL HACK, COULD THEY?>>MR. CHAIRMAN, MY JOB IS TO SUPPORT AND LEAD THE ENTIRE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. THAT INDIVIDUAL WORKS FOR ME. THEREFORE IT IS MY JOB TO MAKE SURE I SUPPORT AND DEFEND THAT PERSON. >>YOU DON’T HAVE ANY REASON TO ACCUSE THEM OF DISLOYALTY TO OUR COUNTRY OR SUGGEST THEY’RE BE-HOLDEN TO SOME OTHER COUNTRY, DO YOU?>>SIR, ABSOLUTELY NOT. I BELIEVE THE WHISTLE-BLOWER FOLLOWED THE STEPS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. HOWEVER, THE STATUTE WAS ONE, IN THIS SITUATION, INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO IS NOT IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, OR MATTERS UNDERNEATH MY SUPERVISION DID NOT MEET THE CRITERIA FOR URGENT CONCERN. >>I’M JUST ASKING ABOUT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER RIGHT NOW. >>I THINK THE WHISTLE-BLOWER DID THE RIGHT THING, I THINK HE FOLLOWED THE LAW EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. >>THEN WHY, DIRECTOR, WHEN THE PRESIDENT CALLED THE WHISTLE-BLOWER A POLITICAL HACK AND SUGGESTED THAT HE OR SHE MIGHT BE DISLOYAL TO THE COUNTRY WHY DID YOU REMAIN SILENT?>>I DID NOT REMAIN SILENT, MR. CHAIRMAN, I ISSUED A STATEMENT TO MY WORKFORCE TELLING THEM MY COMMITMENT TO THE WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION AND ENSURING THAT I WOULD PROVIDE PROTECTION TO ANYBODY WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHO COMES FORWARD. BUT THE WAY THIS THING WAS BLOWING OUT I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO BE MAKING A PRESS STATEMENT SO THAT WE COUNTER EACH OTHER EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. >>I THINK IT WAS NOT ONLY APPROPRIATE, BUT THERE’S NOTHING THAT WOULD HAVE GIVEN MORE CONFIDENCE TO THE WORKFORCE THAN HEARING YOU PUBLICLY SAY NO ONE SHOULD BE CALLING THIS PROFESSIONAL, WHO DID THE RIGHT THING A HACK OR A TRAITOR OR ANYTHING ELSE. I THINK THAT WOULD HAVE MEANT A GREAT DEAL TO THE WORKFORCE. MR. NUNES, YOU’RE RECOGNIZED.>>>WELCOME, MR. DIRECTOR. IT’S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU HERE. AND YOU’RE GOING TO BE PART OF A CHARADE OF LEGAL WORD GAMES. THEY’RE GOING TO TRY TO GET YOU TO SAY SOMETHING THAT CAN BE REPEATED BY THE MEDIA THAT IS HERE THAT WANTS TO REPORT THIS STORY. YOU — I JUST WANT TO GET ONE THING STRAIGHT BECAUSE ONE OF THE QUOTES THEY’RE GOING TO USE FROM YOU IS YOU SAYING THAT THIS WAS A CREDIBLE COMPLAINT. THAT WILL BE USED AND SPUN AS YOU’RE SAYING THAT IT WAS TRUE. AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO — YOU DO NOT — YOU HAVE NOT INVESTIGATED THE VORACITY OR THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THIS COMPLAINT?>>THAT’S CORRECT, RANKING MEMBER. THE DETERMINATION ON CREDIBLE WAS MADE BY THE IC INSPECTOR GENERAL. HE MADE THE DETERMINATION THAT IT IS CREDIBLE. AND HE ALSO MADE THE DETERMINATION OF URGENT CONCERN. MY QUESTION WAS NOT — I DID NOT QUESTION HIS JUDGMENT THERE. THE QUESTION I HAD WAS DOES, IN FACT, THIS ALLEGATION OF WRONGDOING MEET THE CRITERIA, THE STATUTORY CRITERIA OF URGENT CONCERN? AND THE OTHER ISSUE, AS I SAID, COMPLICATED THINGS, DID IT, IN FACT, THE ALLEGATIONS WITHIN THIS WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT, INVOLVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE?>>THANK YOU FOR CLARIFYING THAT. HAVE YOU EVER — YOU MENTIONED IT A LITTLE BIT IN YOUR TESTIMONY. BUT HAVE YOU EVER, OR ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY FORMER DNIs WHO HAVE TESTIFIED ABOUT WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINTS IN THE PUBLIC?>>NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE, RANKING MEMBER, I DO NOT KNOW. >>ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY CASES LIKE THIS THAT WERE PUT INTO THE SPOTLIGHT, WOULD THIS BE THE WAY TO HANDLE IT OUT IN THE PUBLIC LIKE THIS?>>I AM NOT AWARE OF ANY, BUT I WANT TO SAY ONCE AGAIN I BELIEVE THAT THE SITUATION WE HAVE AND WHY WE’RE HERE THIS MORNING IS BECAUSE THIS CASE IS UNIQUE AND UNPRECEDENTED.>>SO WHY ARE CASES NORMALLY NOT HANDLED OUT IN THE PUBLIC? THE ?>>ALL THE OTHER CASES THAT CAME BEFORE EITHER THIS COMMITTEE OR THE SENATE COMMITTEE, WHETHER OR NOT THEY MET THE CRITERIA OF URGENT CONCERN WERE FORWARDED BECAUSE THEY INVOLVED MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE WHO ARE ORGANIZATIONS UNDER THE DNI’S AUTHORITY RESPONSIBILITY. THIS ONE DID NOT COME THAT WAY BECAUSE IT INVOLVED A MEMBER — AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE OR AN ORGANIZATION UNDERNEATH THE AUTHORITY OF THE DNI. SO THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS IN THE PAST THAT I’M AWARE OF.>>SO I WANT TO GET INTO HOW THIS ALL GOT OUT IN THE PUBLIC. THIS HAS BEEN ORCHESTRATED IFRT EFFORT OVER TWO WEEKS. IF YOU — WE WERE FIRST TOLD ABOUT IT A WEEK AND A HALF AGO AND WE WERE TOLD VERY SPECIFICALLY THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER DID NOT WANT TO GET ANY OF THIS INFORMATION OUT, THEY DIDN’T WANT TO LEAK OUT. SO THERE WERE ONLY A FEW POTENTIAL GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS COMPLAINT. YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE WITHIN YOUR OFFICE.>>YES, SIR.>>THE PEOPLE WITHIN THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE. AND THE WHISTLEBLOWER AND WHOEVER THAT WHISTLEBLOWER GAVE THIS INFORMATION TO. SO WHAT I’M TRYING TO ASCERTAIN IS, HOW WOULD IT RUN IN ALL THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS? EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT A LOT OF IT WRONG, BUT THEY HAD THE BASICS OF IT THAT IT INVOLVED THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TALKING TO A FOREIGN LEADER. SO DID ANYBODY — YOU OR ANYBODY IN YOUR OFFICE LEAK THIS TO THE “WASHINGTON POST” OR NBC NEWS?>>RANKING MEMBER, I LEAD THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. WE KNOW HOW TO KEEP A SECRET. AS FAR AS HOW THAT GOT INTO THE PRESS, I REALLY DONOT KNOW. BUT AS YOU SAID, IT HAS BEEN REPORTED BY DIFFERENT MEDIA. WHERE THEY GET THEIR INFORMATION FROM, I DON’T KNOW.>>SO THAT — >>IT WAS NOT FROM THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, FROM ME OR FROM MY OFFICE.>>THANK YOU, DIRECTOR. SO THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED TO THIS PRESIDENT. IT HAPPENED WITH A CALL BETWEEN THE MEXICAN PRESIDENT, THE AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER. SO IT HAS HAPPENED TWICE BEFORE, PIECES OF TRANSCRIPTS LEAKED OUT. AND OF COURSE THIS TIME IT WAS LIKE LEAKED OUT DEPEND AND THE PRESIDENT THANKFULLY HE WAS ABLE TO PUT THIS OUT BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS OF THIS SITUATION AS YOU SAID IS UNPRECEDENTED. IS IT NORMAL FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO HAVE THEIR CONVERSATIONS LEAK OUT? I MEAN THIS IS THE THIRD TIME.>>I WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THAT TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO RESPOND TO THAT, BUT TO ME, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, CONVERSATIONS WITH ANY OTHER HEAD OF STATE, I WOULD CONSIDER PRIVILEGED CONVERSATION.>>CLEARLY THOSE CONVERSATIONS ARE BEING CAPTURED BY THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES SO — >>NOT NECESSARILY, SIR. I MEAN, IF THE PRESIDENT — >>I SHOULD SAY THEY ARE CAPTURED AND THEN DISSEMINATED TO THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES.>>I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL IN THIS OPEN HEARING ABOUT HOW I RESPOND TO THAT. THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, THEY COLLECT THINGS TO PROTECT — >>I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE BECAUSE ARE WE JUST GOING TO — FOREIGN LEADERS, EITHER HAVE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES NOT TALK TO FOREIGN LEADERS OR JUST PUBLISH ALL THE TRANSCRIPTS. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.>>RANKING MEMBER — >>SOMEBODY IS LEAKING THIS AND IT IS LIKELY COMING FROM THE AGENCIES THAT YOU OVERSEE.>>RANKING MEMBER, NO, SIR — >>I’M NOT SAYING THAT — YOU DON’T KNOW, BUT WE HAD THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE MEXICAN PRESIDENT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER AND NOW THE CAUSE WITH THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT LEAK OUT.>>THE ALLEGATION WAS THAT THERE WERE ABOUT 12 PEOPLE LISTENED IN. MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL AND OTHERS. AND OTHERS WERE BRIEFED FROM STATE DEPARTMENT AS WELL OF THE TRANSCRIPTS BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY AND A REGION RESPONSIBILITY AND THEN THEY WOULD BE INFORMED ON THE INTERACTION. SO THERE WERE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BELIEVED ON THE CALL, THIS WOULD NOT BE SOMETHING THAT — >>I’M QUITE SURE OF THIS. THE WHITE HOUSE PROBABLY DIDN’T LEAK THIS OUT.>>I WOULDN’T SAY THE WHITE HOUSE. BUT THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT. I DON’T KNOW. BUT IT WOULD NOT BE FROM AN INTELLIGENCE INTERCEPT, I WILL SAY THAT.>>I’M JUST SAYING THE DISSEMINATION OF THESE CALLS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SACRED, RIGHT? AND IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND APPROPRIATE AGENCIES TO GET — I’M NOT SAYING IT IS ALL THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. BUT WHEN A PRESIDENT TALKS TO A FOREIGN LEADER, IT IS CONFIDENTIAL, THERE COULD BE SOME FACTS OF THAT CONVERSATION THAT YOU DO WANT TO GET TO THE APPROPRIATE AGENCIES, NOT JUST THE IC. I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT. BUT THIS IS NOW THE THIRD TIME. I’M NOT A WAY OF THIS EVER HAPPENING BEFORE. OF KEPT DEPARTMENTS — CONTENT GETTING OUT.>>IT IS UNPRECEDENTED AND I WOULD SAY THAT I THINK THAT THE DECISION BY THE PRESIDENT YESTERDAY TO RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS OF HIS CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE IS PROBABLY UNPRECEDENTED AS WELL.>>WELL, WE APPRECIATE YOU BEING HERE AND HAVE FUN — BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY BECAUSE THEY WILL USE THESE WORDS AGAINST YOU.>>I TELL YOU WHAT, RANKING MEMBER, EITHER WAY I’M HONORED TO BE HERE AND HONORED TO BE LEADING THE — >>AND I APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE TO THIS COUNTRY FOR A LONG TIME AND I’M SURE WE’LL BE TALKING AGAIN SOON. HOPEFULLY NOT IN THE PUBLIC, HOPEFULLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS LIKE THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>I YIELD BACK.>>MR. HIMES.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PROFOUND SERVICE AND SERVICE OF YOUR FAMILY TO THIS COUNTRY. DIRECTOR, WHAT I FIND BEWILDERING ABOUT THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION IS THAT WE ARE NOT SITTING HERE TODAY AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS NOT AWARE OF THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT ASKING FOR A FAVOR OFFEN A INVESTIGATION INTO HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT, MR. GIULIANI’S APPARENT ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERSONAL STATE DEPARTMENT, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF A POSSIBLE RETALIATION AGAINST A U.S. AMBASSADOR, NONE OF THIS HAPPENS BUT FOR THE DECISION OF YOUR INSPECTOR GENERAL MICHAEL ATKINSON, A MAN WHO WAS APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AND CONFIRMED BY A REPUBLICAN SENATE, TO COME TO THIS COMMITTEE SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE COMPLAINT WAS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE TRANSMITTED TO US. IT WAS HIS DECISION, PERSONAL DECISION, NOT THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES THE RANKING MEMBER THINKS IS HAPPENING HERE, BUT IT WAS THE DECISION OF MICHAEL ATKINSON, AN APPOINTEE OF THIS PRESIDENT, TO COME TO THIS COMMITTEE FOLLOWING NOT ADVICE FROM YOU OR ANY LAW, BUT FOLLOWING HIS OWN CONSCIENCE. WITHOUT HIS DECISION DO THIS, NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING, CORRECT?>>I APPLAUD MICHAEL, THE WAY HE HAS DONE THIS. HE HAS ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. HE HAS FOLLOWED THE LAW EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. THE QUESTION IS, CONGRESSMAN, DID IT OR DID IT NOT MEET THE LEGAL DEFINITION — >>NO, I ASKED A VERY DIFFERENT QUESTION. WHICH WAS WITHOUT HIS DECISION — IT IS SIMPLE. WITHOUT HIS DECISION, NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING, IS THAT CORRECT?>>WE HAVE TO BACK UP TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER AS WELL.>>AND I SHOULD HAVE NOTED THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER ALSO DESERVES THE SAME ACCOLADES THAT MR. ATKINSON DOES. WERE YOU EVER ADVISED BY THE WHITE HOUSE NOT TO PROVIDE THIS COMPLAINT TO CONGRESS FOR ANY REASON?>>NO, CONGRESSMAN.>>AND AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THE OPINION WAS THAT YOU WERE NOT OBLIGATED TO CONVEY — DESPITE THE VERY CLEAR WORDING OF THE LAW — TO CONVEY THE COMPLAINT TO CONGRESS. SO THE DECISION WAS TAKEN TO DEFY A SUBPOENA OF THIS CONGRESS, THE SUBPOENA OF SEPTEMBER 17th, TO DONE OVER THE — TO TURN OVER THE COMPLAINT. WHO MADE THAT DECISION? CONGRESS. >>CONGRESSMAN, URGENT — >>I’M ASKING A SIMPLE QUESTION. WHO MADE THE DECISION TO DEFY THE CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENA. SOMEBODY SAID WE WILL NOT ABIDE BY THIS SUBPOENA AND I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHO THAT SOMEBODY WAS.>>CONGRESSMAN, NOBODY DID. I ENDEAVORED ONCE WE KNOW LONGER URGENT CONCERN WITH THE SEVEN DAYTIME LIME TO WORK TO GET THE INFORMATION TO THE COMMITTEE. WHAT I NEEDED TO DO WAS TO WORK THROUGH THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HURDLES WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL AT THE WHITE HOUSE. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE TO ME, YOU KNOW, THE WHITE HOUSE HAS QUITE GOT A FEW OTHER ISSUES THAT THEY WERE DEALT WITH. I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE HAD AS I SAID PERHAPS THIS MOVED A LITTLE FASTER THAN IT DID, BUT THIS IS A VERY DELIBERATE PROCESS AND FINALLY THIS CAME TO A HEAD YESTERDAY. SO WHEN I RECEIVED THE INFORMATION ON THE 26th OF AUGUST, WE HAD SEVEN DAYS BASED ON THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT. ALL WE DID WAS LOSE THOSE SEVEN DAYS. IT MAY HAVE TAKEN LONGER THAN YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED, BUT YOU HAVE THE INFORMATION.>>AND JUST SO I’M FOCUSED ON THE SUBPOENA. THE SUBPOENA IS ON YOUR DESK TO SUBPOENA TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, IT IS PRETTY CLEAR IN WHAT IT ASKED FOR. YOU’RE SAYING A DECISION WAS NEVER TAKEN NOT TO COMPLY WITH THAT SUBPOENA AND YET SOMEHOW IT WASN’T COMPLIED WITH. AGAIN, I’M LOOKING FOR THE DECISION MAKING PROGRESS TO IGNORE A LEGAL CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENA.>>I DID NOT IGNORE. I DEALT WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF THIS COMMITTEE AND ASKED TO HAVE ONE MORE WEEK TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT I NEEDED TO DO TO GET THIS INFORMATION RELEASED. IT WAS GRACIOUS ENOUGH AND THIS COMMITTEE ALSO WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE. IT WASN’T SOMETHING THAT IT WAS READY TO GO, BUT I WAS COMMITTED FULLY COMMTED TO THIS COMMITTEE AND TO THE CHAIRMAN TO GET THAT INFORMATION. AND I FINALLY BECAUSE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT YESTERDAY.>>OKAY. THANK YOU, DIRECTOR. DIRECTOR, DID YOU OR YOUR OFFICE EVER SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ABOUT THIS COMPLAINT?>>CONGRESSMAN, I’M THE PRESIDENT’S INTELLIGENCE OFFICER. I SPEAK WITH HIM SEVERAL TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.>>LET ME REPEAT MY QUESTION. DID YOU EVER SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THIS COMPLAINT?>>MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE I’M THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ARE PRIVILEGED AND IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME BECAUSE IT WOULD DESTROY MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESIDENT IN INTELLIGENCE MATTERS TO DIVULGE ANY OF MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.>>JUST SO WE CAN BE CLEAR FOR THE RECORD, YOU ARE NOT DENYING THAT YOU SPOKE TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THIS COMPLAINT?>>WHAT I’M SAYING, CONGRESSMAN, IS THAT I WILL NOT DIVULGE PRIVILEGED CONVERSATIONS THAT I HAVE AS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE WITH THE PRESIDENT.>>HAS THE WHITE HOUSE INSTRUCTED YOU TO ASSERT THAT PRIVILEGE?>>NO, AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL AND IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND HOMELAND COMMITTEE, I HAVE TO MAINTAIN DISCRETION AND PROTECT THE CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.>>THANK YOU, APPRECIATE THAT ANSWER. I WILL YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.>>MR. CONAWAY.>>THANKS FOR BEING HERE. YOU AND I ARE AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE BECAUSE NEITHER ONE OF US ARE LAWYERS. AND THAT MAY BE A BADGE OF HONOR FOR SOME OF US. YOU HAVE LAWYERS ON YOUR STAFF, SIR?>>I DO, CONGRESSMAN.>>AND YOUR LAWYERS HAVE LOOKED AT THIS DEFINITION THOROUGHLY AND HAVE GIVEN YOU ADVICE?>>YES, CONGRESSMAN.>>IF THE BLACKLER LAW WAS SO CLEAR, HOW IS IT THAT WE’VE GOT DIFFERENT ATTORNEYS GIVING YOU AND I DIFFERENT OPINIONS? THAT IS A RHETORICAL QUESTION WITH RESPECT TO THIS ISSUE. JUST TO CLARIFY, MIKE ATKINSON WAS IN FRONT OF US LAST WEEK, DID A VERY GOOD JOB OF TELLING US WHAT HE DID, WHAT HE DIDN’T DO. WE NOW KNOW FOR SURE WHAT IT IS THAT HE WAS ABLE TO DO. AS PART OF HIS INVESTIGATION, HE DID NOT REQUEST RECORDS OF THE CALL FROM THE PRESIDENT AND THE REASON IS HE DECIDED THE DIFFICULTY OF WORKING THROUGH ALL OF THAT WOULD PROBABLY HAVE MEANT THAT HE COULDN’T COMPLY WITH THE 14 DAYTIME FRAME. SO EVEN HE DID NOT TRY TO OVERRUN THE WHITE HOUSE OVER THE CONVERSATION THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD WITH PRESIDENT ZELENSKY. HE ALSO SAID IN HIS LETTER, I ALSO DETERMINED, QUOTING MICHAEL, IDETERMINED THERE WERE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVE THAT INFORMATION RELATING TO THE YOU ARE URGENT CONCERN APPEARED CREDIBLE. NOW, THAT IS A DIFFERENT STATEMENT THAN FLAT OUT IT IS CREDIBLE. AGAIN RHETORICAL. ANYTHING IN STATUTE THAT SAYS THAT THE DETERMINATION OF URGENT CONCERN LIES SOLELY WITH THE ICIG?>>NO, SIR, I WAS NEVER ADVISED BY LEGAL COUNSEL TO THAT EFFECT.>>TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE HAS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EVER WEIGHED INTO SAY THAT THE FACT THAT DNI CAN’T MAKE A SEPARATE DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THAT 7 DAY PROCESS, THAT THE MATTER IS NOT OF URGENT CONCERN AS YOUR TEAM DECIDED?>>THE MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN IS A LEGALLY DEFINING TERM. IT PRETTY MUCH IS EITHER YES OR NO.>>APPARENTLY THAT IS NOT THE CASE BECAUSE IG SAID IT WAS AND YOU’RE SAYING IT IS NOT UNDER THAT LEGAL DEFINITION BECAUSE IT INVOLVED THE PRESIDENT. LAST TIME I CHECKED, HE’S NOT IN YOUR CHAIN OF COMMAND, YOU ARE IN HIS. SO IT DOESN’T MEET THE STATUTE ORALLY URGENT CONCERN WITH RESPECT TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS OF THE IG AND YOUR TEAM MADE THAT CALL. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL MADE A DIFFERENT CALL.>>NO, SIR. MY TEAM WAS — IT WAS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL THAT MADE THE DETERMINATION THAT IT WAS URGENT CONCERN. ALL WE WANTED TO DO WAS JUST CHECK AND SEE AND TO ME IT SEEMED PRUDENT WITH THE MATTER AT HAND RIGHT NOW TO BE ABLE TO JUST MAKE SURE THAT IN FACT IT DID. AND I WANT TO SAY ONCE AGAIN I ENDEAVORED TO GET THAT INFORMATION TO THIS COMMITTEE. >>AND JUST TO CLARIFY THE ROLE THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HAD WITH RESPECT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, I HEARD YOU SAY THAT HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATIONS ALLOWED TO MAKE HIS CASE, BUT ALSO SAID THAT YOU GIVE THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT THE LETTER. WHAT WAS HIS EXACT INVOLVEMENT IN MAKING HIS CASE TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO HIS DECISION? WAS HE THERE PRESENT PHYSICALLY OR HIS LAWYERS?>>TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THE ICIG’S TRANSMITTAL LETTER AS WELL AS THE COMPLAINT FROM THE WHISTLEBLOWER WERE FORWARDED TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL FOR THEIR DETERMINATION. I BELIEVE THAT THAT IS WHAT THEY BASED THEIR OPINION ON.>>OKAY. SO YOU DON’T THINK — >>GOOD I’M INCORRECT, I WILL COME BACK TO THE COMMITTEE AND CORRECT THAT.>>APPRECIATE THAT. YOU’RE IN A TOUGH SPOT. APPRECIATE YOU LONG STORY YOUR D HISTORY. I APOLOGIZE IF YOUR INTEGRITY WAS INSULTED. THAT HAPPENS A LOT IN THIS ARENA, MOST OF THE TIME JUST ARE FILED, MOST NOT. THE FACT THAT WE HAVE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION WHEN WE START LOSING THOSE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, WE START TO ATTACK EACH OTHER, CALL EACH OTHER NAMES AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. SO MY EXPERIENCE IS WHEN YOU HAVE A LEGAL MATTER, I’VE GOT LAWYERS THAT I PAY, YOU GOT LAWYERS YOU PAY. I TYPICALLY STICK WITH THE LAWYERS THAT I’M PAYING. SO YOU HAD GOOD LEGAL ADVICE AND ARE IN A TOUGH SPOT WANTING TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER WAS PROTECTED BUT AT THE SAME TIME IF IN FACT THERE WAS SOMETHING AWRY HERE, THAT IT WOULD GET THE FULL HEARING THAT IT IS CLEARLY GETTING. SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND I YIELD BACK.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>>MS. TOOLE.>>THANK YOU. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. I WANT TO TURN TO WHAT I FEAR MAY BE ONE OF THE MOST DAMAGING LONG TERM EFFECTS OF THIS WHISTLEBLOWER EPISODE. AND THAT IS THE CHILLING EFFECT THAT IT WILL HAVE ON OTHERS IN GOVERNMENT WHO MAY WITNESS MISCONDUCT BUT NOW MAY BE AFRAID TO COME FORWARD TO REPORT IT. SIR, I’M WORRIED THAT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS MAY SEE HOW IMPORTANT THIS SITUATION HAS PLAYED OUT AND DECIDE IT IS NOT WORTH PUTTING THEMSELVES ON THE LINE. THE FACT THAT WHISTLEBLOWER FOLLOWED ALL OF THE PROPER PROCEDURES TO REPORT MISCONDUCT AND THEN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND WHITE HOUSE SEEMS TO HAVE WEIGHED IN TO KEEP THE COMPLAINT HIDDEN IS PROBLEMATIC, SIR. I WANT TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU SEE HOW PROBLEMATIC THIS WILL BE IN HAVING A CHILLING EFFECT ON MEMBERS OF THE IC THAT YOU ARE SWORN TO REPRESENT AND OSTENSIBLY PROTECT.>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I THINK THAT IS A FAIR ASSESSMENT. I DON’T DISAGREE WITH WHAT YOU’VE SAID. I HAVE ENDEAVORED TO TRANSMIT TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY MY SUPPORT OF WHISTLEBLOWERS AND I’M QUITE SURE THAT FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THIS MORNING THERE ARE NOT MANY PEOPLE IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THAT ARE DOING ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE BESIDES WATCHING THIS.>>AND SO MY CONCERN I THINK IS A VALID ONE, THAT IN FACT WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THIS WHISTLEBLOWER EPISODE WILL HAVE A CHILLING EFFECT. I ALSO WANT TO ASK YOU HAVE YOU GIVEN DIRECTION TO THIS WHISTLEBLOWER THAT HE CAN IN FACT, HE OR SHE, CAN IN FACT COME BEFORE CONGRESS? DIRECTOR, WHEN THE PRESIDENT CALLED THE WHISTLEBLOWER A POLITICAL HACK AND SUGGESTED THAT HE OR SHE WAS POTENTIALLY DISLOYAL TO THE COUNTRY, YOU REMAINED SILENT. I’M NOT SURE WHY, BUT I ALSO THINK THAT ADDS TO THE CHILLING EFFECT. THE STATUTE SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR THAT YOU SHALL — THE PROCESS IS PRETTY CLEAR. EVEN HAS A ROLE TO PLAY. AND PART OF IT INCLUDES YOU DIRECTING THE WHISTLEBLOWER OF HIS OR HER PROTECTED RIGHTS. CAN YOU CONFIRM THAT YOU DIRECTED THAT WHISTLEBLOWER THAT HE OR SHE CAN COME BEFORE CONGRESS?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, THERE ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS THERE. ONE, I DO NOT KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER. TWO, NOW THAT THE COMPLAINT HAS COME FORWARD, WE ARE WORKING WITH HIS COUNSEL IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO EMPLOY THEM WITH CLEARANCE — >>SIR, I THINK THAT IT IS SIMPLE. CAN YOU ASSURE THIS COMMITTEE AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS AUTHORIZED TO SPEAK TO THE COMMITTEE WITH THE FULL PROTECTIONS WHISTLEBLOWER ACT? YES OR NO QUESTION.>>RIGHT NOW I’M WORKING THROUGH THAT WITH THE CHAIR AND TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY I BELIEVE THAT THE CHAIR WAS ASKING TO HAVE THE WHISTLEBLOWER COME FORWARD AND I’M WORKING WITH COUNSEL, WITH THE COMMITTEE, TO SUPPORT THAT PROCESS.>>YOU CAN ASSURE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT THE END RESULT WILL BE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER WILL BE ABLE TO COME BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE AND CONGRESS AND HAVE THE FULL PROTECTIONS OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER — AFTER ALL, WHAT IS THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE FOR IF NOT TO PROVIDE THOSE FULL PROTECTIONS AGAINST RETALIATION, AGAINST LITIGATION?>>I’M DOING EVERYTHING TO ENDEAVOR TO SUPPORT THAT.>>DIRECTOR, DO I HAVE YOUR ASSURANCE THAT ONCE YOU WORK OUT THE SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COUNSEL, THAT THAT WHISTLEBLOWER WILL BE ABLE TO RELATE THE FULL FACTS WITHIN HIS KNOWLEDGE THAT CONCERN WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT OR ANYONE ELSE, THAT HE OR SHE WILL NOT BE INHIBITED IN WHAT THEY CAN TELL OUR COMMITTEE, THAT THERE WILL NOT BE SOMEONE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE OR ELSEWHERE TELLING THEM WHAT THEY CAN ANSWER AND NOT ANSWER? DO I HAVE YOUR ASSURANCE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER WILL BE ABLE TO TESTIFY FULLY AND FREELY AND ENJOY THE PROTECTIONS OF THE LAW?>>YES, CONGRESSMAN.>>I YIELD BACK TO THE GENTLE WOMAN.>>SO MR. DIRECTOR, I ALSO WANTED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO TO TRY TO ENSURE THE TRUST OF THE EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS THAT YOU REPRESENT, TO ASSURE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE IS IN FACT BEING PROPERLIED A HE ADHERED TO AND THAT NO FURTHER EFFORTS WOULD BE TO OBSTRUCT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A WHISTLEBLOWER WHO HAS WATCHED MISCONDUCT TO ACTUALLY GET JUSTICE.>>CONGRESSWOMAN, SUPPORTING AND LEADING THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IS MY HIGHEST PRIORITY. I DON’T CONSIDER THAT THEY WORK FOR ME. I BELIEVE THAT I SERVICE — >>I JUST WANT TO GO ON RECORD AS BEING VERY CLEAR THAT THIS WILL HAVE A CHILLING EFFECT. AND THAT IS EXACTLY NOT WHAT THE STATUTE WAS INTENDED FOR. IT WAS INTENDED FOR TRANSPARENCY. IT WAS INTENDED ALSO TO GIVE THE WHISTLEBLOWER CERTAIN PROTECTIONS. AND I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KEY SE DESERVE THAT. THANK YOU.>>MR. TURNER.>>DIRECTOR, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND CHARITY AT WHICH YOU HAVE DESCRIBED THE DELIBERATIONS THAT YOU WENT THROUGH IN APPLYING THE LAWS WITH RESPECT TO THIS COMPLAINT IS INCREDIBLY ADMIRABLE AND THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU HAVE APPROACHED THIS. NOW, I READ THE COMPLAINT. AND I’VE READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE. CONCERNING THAT CONVERSATION, I WANT TO SAY TO THE PRESIDENT THIS IS NOT OKAY. THAT CONVERSATION IS NOT OKAY AND I THINK IT IS DSZ APPOINTING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WHEN THEY READ THE TRANSCRIPT. BUT I CAN SAY WHAT ELSE IS NOT. IT IS NOT WHAT IS IN THE COMPLAINT. WE NOW HAVE THE COMPLAINT AND THE TRANSCRIPT CRYPT AND PEOPLE CAN READ THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT ARE NOT THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS CONVERSATION. WHAT ELSE IT IS NOT, IT IS NOT THE CONVERSATION THAT WAS IN THE CHAIRMAN’S OPENING STATEMENT. WHILE THE CHAIRMAN WAS SPEAKING, I HAD SOMEONE TEXT ME IS HE JUST MAKING THIS UP? AND YES, HE WAS. BECAUSE SOMETIMES FICTION IS BETTER THAN THE ACTUAL WORDS OF THE TEXT. LUCKILY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ARE SMART AND THEY HAVE THE TRANSCRIPT, THEY HAVE READ THE CONVERSATION, THEY KNOW WHEN SOMEONE IS JUST MAKING IT UP. WE’VE BEEN HERE ALL YEAR ON LIT DEBATING IMPEACHMENT LONG BEFORE THE JULY 25th CONVERSATION HAPPENED BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE AND WE’VE HEARD THE CLICKS OF THE CAMERAS IN THIS INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE’S ROOM WHERE WE’VE NOT BEEN FOCUSSING ON THE ISSUES OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS BUT INSTEAD OF THE CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT WHICH IS REALLY AN ASSAULT ON THE ELECTORATE, NOT JUST THIS PRESIDENT. THE COMPLAINT WE NOW HAVE IS BASED ON HEARSAY. THE PERSON WHO WROTE IT SAYS I TALKED TO PEOPLE AND THEY TOLD ME THESE THINGS. THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS THE COMPLAINT, SO THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO COMPARE THEM. WHAT IS CLEAR ABOUT THE COMPLAINT IS IT IS BASED ON POLITICAL ISSUES. HE IS ALLEGING OR SHE IS ALLEGING THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT WERE POLITICAL IN NATURE. NOW, THAT IS MY CONCERN ABOUT HOW THIS IS APPLIED TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE. THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE IS INTENDED TO BETTER PROVIDE THOSE IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AN OPPORTUNITY TO COME TO CONGRESS WHEN THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT ABUSES OF POWERS AND LAWS, BUT IT IS ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, ABUSE OF SURVEILLANCE, ABOUT THE ABUSE OF THE SPY MECHANISMS THAT WE HAVE. THIS IS ABOUT ACTUALLY THE PRODUCT OF SURVEILLANCE. SOMEONE HAS BEEN — HAD ACCESS TO SURVEILLANCE THAT RELATED THE PRESIDENT’S BROUGHT IT FORWARD TO US. I’D LIKE FOR YOU TO TURN FOR A MOMENT AND TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROCESS AND CONCERNS AS TO WHY IT HAS TO BE THERE SO THAT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND WE CAN HAVE OVERSIGHT. BECAUSE IT CERTAINLY WASN’T THERE FOR OVERSIGHT OF THE PRESIDENT. IT WAS THERE FOR OVERSIGHT FOR THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. SO IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT. AND THEN I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR DISCUSSION ON THE ISSUE OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN MUCH MADE OF THE FACT THAT THE LAW SAYS ON THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE IT THAT YOU SHALL. CLEARLY YOU HAVE A CONFLICT LAWS WHEN YOU HAVE THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ISSUE AND THE ISSUE OF SHALL. SO FIRST TELL US ABOUT THE RESPECT OF ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND OUR ROLEOF OVERSIGHT AND THEN YOUR PROCESS, THE EFFECTS OF BEING STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WHERE YOU HAVE THESE CONFLICTS OF LAW.>>CONGRESSMAN, THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT IS TO APPLY TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. AND IT PERTAINS TO FINANCIAL, ADMINISTRATIVE OR OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY UNDER THE OVERSIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. IT DOES NOT ALLOW A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TO REPORT ANY WRONGDOING THAT COMES FROM ANYWHERE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND SO WITH THAT, I DO BELIEVE THAT THAT IS ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT WITH THE BEST VEHICLE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER HAD TO USE. THEY CAME TO ME AND DISCUSSION WITH OUR ICIG, WHO IS A COLLEAGUE, AND THE DETERMINATION WAS MADE BY THE — WELL, THAT HE VIEWED THAT IT WAS IN FACT CREDIBLE AND THAT IT WAS A MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN. AND I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO HAVE ANOTHER OPINION. I HAVE WORKED WITH LAWYERS MY WHOLE CAREER, WHETHER IT WAS THE RULE UPON CONFLICT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, OR JUST UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE. AND I HAVE FOUND THAT DIFFERENT LAWYERS HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON THE SAME SUBJECT. WE HAVE NINE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE OPINIONS ARE 5-4. IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT FIVE ARE RIGHT AND FOUR ARE WRONG, THEY ARE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION. BUT WHEN THIS MATTER CAME FOR ME, I HAVE A LOT OF LIFE EXPERIENCE AND I REALIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MATTER THAT IS BEFORE US THIS MORNING. AND I THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT FOR ME TO ENSURE THAT IN FACT IT MET THAT STATUTE BEFORE I SENT IT FORWARD IN DOM APPLIANCE WITH THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT. AND I HOPE THAT RESPONDS TO YOUR QUESTION.>>I YIELD BACK.>>AS AN ASIDE, I WANT TO MENTION THAT MY COLLEAGUE IS RIGHT ON BOTH COUNTS, IT IS NOT OKAY, BUT ALSO MY SUMMARY OF THE PRESIDENT’S CALL WAS MEANT TO BE AT LEAST PART IN PARODY. THE FACT THAT IS NOT CLEAR IS A SEPARATE PROBLEM IN AND OF ITSELF. OF COURSE THE PRESIDENT NEVER SAID IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, I’LL SAY IT SEVEN MORE TIMES. MY POINT IS THAT THAT IS THE MESSAGE THAT THE UKRAINE PRESIDENT WAS RECEIVING IN NOT SO MANY WORDS. MR. CARSON.>>THANK YOU, CHAIRMAN SCHIFF. THANK YOU DIRECTOR MAGUIRE FOR YOUR SERVICE. DIRECTOR, THIS APPEARS TO BE THE FIRST INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT HAS EVER, EVER BEEN WITHHELD FROM CONGRESS. IS THAT RIGHT, SIR?>>CONGRESSMAN CARSON, I BELIEVE THAT IT MIGHT BE AND ONCE AGAIN I SAID IN MY STATEMENT THAT IT IS IN FACT AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED UNPRECEDENTED.>>IT IS UNPRECEDENTED, SIR. DO YOU KNOW WHY IT IS UNPRECEDENTED? I THINK IT IS BECAUSE THE LAW THAT CONGRESS, THAT THIS VERY COMMITTEE DRAFTED, REALLY COULDN’T BE CLEARER. IT STATES THAT UPON RECEIVING SUCH AN UR IT STATES THAT UPON RECEIVING SUCH GENT COMPLAINT FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL, YOU THE TORE OF NATIONAL AL INTELLIGENCE SHALL FORWARD TO THE INTEL COMMITTEES WITHIN SEVEN DAYS NO IFs, ANDs OR BUTs. AND EVEN WHEN IT IS NOT URGENT CONCERN OR EVEN CREDIBLE, YOUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY AND UNIFORMLY STILL TRANSMITTED THOSE COMPLAINTS TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE. IS THAT RIGHT?>>CONGRESSMAN CARSON, IN THE PAST EVEN IF THEY WERE NOT A MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN OR WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE NOT CREDIBLE, THEY WERE FORWARDED. BUT EVERY INSTANCE PRIOR TO THIS IT INVOLVED MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHO WERE SERVING ORGANIZATIONS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DNI. THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE THIS DID NOT MEET THOSE TRUE CRITERIA.>>DIRECTOR, DOES EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN YOUR MIND OR LAWS THAT REGULATE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY PREEMPT OR NEGATE EVEN THE LAWS THAT SAFE GUARD THE SECURITY OF AMERICA’S DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS AND HURT DEMOCRACY ITSELF, SIR?>>NO, CHAIRMAN CARSON, IT DOES NOT.>>NOTWITHSTANDING THIS UNAMBIGUOUS MANDATES AND THE CONSISTENT PRACTICE OF YOUR OFFICE THAT YOU WITHHELD THIS URGENT COMPLAINT FROM CONGRESS AT THE DIRECTION OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, YOU FOLLOWED THEIR ORDERS INSTEAD OF THE LAW. AND IF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HAD NOT BROUGHT THIS COMPLAINT TO OUR ATTENTION, YOU AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH THIS UNPRECEDENTED ACTION. SIR, YOU RELEASED A STATEMENT YESTERDAY AFFIRMING YOUR OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION AND YOUR DEDICATION TO THE RULE OF LAW. BUT I’M HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING HOW THAT STATEMENT CAN BE TRUE IN LIGHT OF THE FAPGTS HERE. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT TO US, SIR?>>CONGRESSMAN CARSON, A COUPLE THINGS. THE WHITE HOUSE DID NOT, DID NOT, DIRECT ME TO WITHHOLD THE INFORMATION. NEITHER DID THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL. THAT OPINION HAS BEEN DISSEMINATED. THE QUESTION CAME DOWN TO URGENT CONCERN, WHICH IS A LEGAL DEFINITION. IT DOESN’T MEAN IS IT IMPORTANT, IS IT TIMELY. URGENT CONCERN MET THE CERTAIN CRITERIA THAT WE’VE DISCUSSED SEVERAL TIMES HERE. SO IT DID NOT. AND ALL THAT DID, SIR, WAS THEN JUST TAKE AWAY THE SEVEN DAYS. NOW, AS I SAID BEFORE, JUST BECAUSE IT WAS NOT FORWARDED TO THIS COMMITTEE DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT WENT UNANSWERED. THE ICIG AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REFERRED TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FOR INVESTIGATION. SO THAT WAS WORKING WHILE I WAS ENDEAVORING TO GET THE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE CONCERNS ADDRESSED. SO THAT IT CAN THEN BE FORWARDED. IT WAS NOT STONEWALLING. I DIDN’T RECEIVE DIRECTION FROM ANYBODY. I WAS JUST TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THE PROCESS AND THE LAW THE WAY THAT IT IS WRITTEN. I HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE WAY THE LAW IS, NOT WAY SOME PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO BE. AND IF I COULD DO OTHERWISE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE CONVENIENT FOR ME, CONGRESSMAN.>>AND LASTLY, DIRECTOR, AS YOU SIT HERE TODAY, SIR, DO YOU COMMIT TO PROVIDING EVERY SINGLE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT INTENDED FOR CONGRESS TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THAT IS REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE, SIR?>>IF IT IS REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE, CONGRESSMAN, YES, I WILL.>>THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW, SIR. AND I CERTAINLY HOPE SO BECAUSE I THINK THAT THE UNPRECEDENTED DECISION TO WITHHOLD THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT FROM CONGRESS, I THINK IT RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS FOR US AND FOR ME AND I THINK THAT WE NEED TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS. I YIELD THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THANK YOU.>>HOW MUCH TIME DOES THE GENTLEMAN HAVE REMAINING? OKAY. WELL, DIRECTOR, YOU WERE NOT DIRECTED TO WITHHOLD THE COMPLAINT, IS THAT YOUR SYSTEM?>>YES, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.>>SO EXERCISED YOUR DISCRETION TO WITHHOLD THE COMPLAINT FROM THE COMMITTEE.>>I DID NOT, SIR. WHAT I DID, I DELAYED IT BECAUSE IT DID NOT MEET THE STATUTORILY DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN AND I WAS WORKING THROUGH — >>DIRECTOR, YOU ARE AWARE, YOU SPENT A LOT OF TIME FOCUSING ON THE DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN, YOU ARE A WEAR THAT THE PRACTICE OF YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE COMPLAINT MEET DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND IT CREDIBLE ARE ARE ON OR NOT CREDIBLE, IT IS ALWAYS GIVEN TO THE COMMITTEE. ARE YOU AWARE THIS IS NOW A BROKEN PROMISE?>>EVERY PREVIOUS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT FORWARDED TO THE INTELLIGENCE CAN COMMITTEES INVOLVED A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND ORGANIZATION UNDER WHICH THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE HAD AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.>>BUT YOU’RE AWARE THE PAST PRACTICE, WE’RE TALKING URGENT CONCERN HERE, THAT WHETHER YOU OR THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OR ANYBODY ELSE BELIEVES IT MEETS 9 STATUTORY DEFINITION, PAST PRACTICE IS TO GIVE TO THIS COMMITTEE.>>I’M AWARE THAT THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED AND THIS NEVER — AND WITH THAT, SIR, YOU I AGREE, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. BUT AGAIN, THIS IS A UNIQUE SITUATION.>>BUT YOU DIRECTOR MADE THE DECISION. YOU MADE THE DECISION TO WITHHOLD IT FROM THE COMMITTEE FOR A MONTH WHEN THE WHITE HOUSE HAD MADE NO CLAIM OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, WHEN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SAID YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE IT TO THEM, BUT YOU CAN. YOU MADE THE DECISION NOT TO.>>NOT TRUE, SIR. WHAT THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL SAID, THAT IT DOES NOT MEET THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN.>>SO IT SAID YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED. IT DIDN’T SAY YOU CANNOT PROVIDE IT, IT SAID YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO, WE WNTS FORCE YOU, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED, BUT IT DIDN’T SAY YOU CAN’T. AM I RIGHT?>>IT ALLOWED ME AND I SAID THAT IN MY OPENING STATEMENT, BUT EVEN SO, IT WAS REVREFERRED TO FBI FOR INVESTIGATION AND I WAS ENDEAVORING TO GET THE INFORMATION TO YOU, BUT I COULD NOT FORWARD IT AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH WITHOUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGES BEING ADDRESSED. AND I FEEL THAT THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL WAS DOING THE BEST THAT THEY COULD IN ORDER TO GET THAT AND IT TOOK LONGER THAN I WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT IS FOR SURE, BUT THAT CAME TO CONCLUSION YESTERDAY WITH THE RELEASE OF THE TRANSCRIPTS AND BECAUSE THE TRANSCRIPTS WERE RELEASED, NO LONGER WAS THERE IS A SITUATION OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND I WAS THEN FREE TO SEND BOTH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S COVER LETTER AND COMPLAINT TO YOU. AT NO TIME WAS THERE ANY ATTEMPT ON MY PART SIR EVER TO WITHHOLD THE INFORMATION FROM YOU AS THE CHAIR, THIS COMMITTEE OR THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE.>>DIRECTOR, I WISH I HAD THE CONFIDENCE OF KNOWING THAT BUT FOR THIS HEARING, BUT FOR THE DEADLINE THAT WE WERE FORCED TO SET WITH THIS HEARING, THAT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN PROVIDED THAT COMPLAINT. BUT I DON’T KNOW THAT WE WOULD HAVE EVER SEEN THAT COMPLAINT.>>THANK YOU, MR. MAGUIRE, FOR BEING HERE. I THINK IT IS A SHAME THAT WE STARTED OFF THIS HEARING WITH FICTIONAL REMARKS, IMPLICATION OF A CONVERSATION THAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN A PRESIDENT AND A FOREIGN LEADER, PUTTING WORDS INTO IT THAT DID NOT EXIST, THEY ARE NOT IN THE TRANSCRIPT. AND I WILL CONTEND THAT THOSE WERE INTENTIONALLY NOT CLEAR AND THAT THE CHAIRMAN DESCRIBED IT AS PARDY AND I DON’T BELIEVE THIS IS THE TIME OR PLACE WHEN WE ARE TRYING FOR SEEK FACTS. UNFORTUNATELY TODAY, MANY INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE GOING TO TURN ON THEIR TV AND THE MEDIA IS ONLY GOING TO SHOW THAT SECTION OF WHAT THE CHAIRMAN HAD TO SAY. BUT I’M ALSO GLAD TO KNOW THAT MANY AMERICANS HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE TOO MANY TIMES AND THEY ARE TIRED OF IT. BUT LET ME GET TO SOME QUESTIONS, SIR. LET’S GO TO THE WORD CREDIBLE. CREDIBLE DOES NOT MEAN PROVEN TRUE OR FACTUAL. WOULD THAT BE CORRECT IN THIS SITUATION?>>I FIND NO FAULT IN YOUR LOGIC, CONGRESSMAN.>>SO THE INTERPRETATION THAT IT WAS CREDIBLE, BUT ALSO WAS THAT DECISION MADE BY THE IG BEFORE SEEING THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONVERSATION?>>I BELIEVE THAT THE ICIG CONDUCTED TO HIS BEST OF HIS ABILITY THE INVESTIGATION AND HE FOUND TO HIS ABILITY THAT BASED ON THE EVIDENCE AND DISCUSSING IT WITH THE WHISTLEBLOWER, THAT HE THOUGHT THAT IN FACT IT WAS CREDIBLE.>>BUT THE I GICHLT DIDN’T — I GICHLT DIDN’T HAVE THE TRANSCRIPT?>>HE DID NOT.>>SO TO ANOTHER POINT, ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT ROSE OUT OF THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION WAS A QUESTION OVER THE LATITUDE PROVIDED TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT TO CONDUCT FOREIGN AFFAIRS. IN 071, I ASKED THEN DIRECTED BRENNAN HOW HE VIEWED STATEMENTS MADE BY PRESIDENT OBAMA TO MEDVEDEV AFTER THE 2012 ELECTION AND MEDVEDEV REPLIED THAT HE WOULD TRANSMIT THE INFORMATION TO PUTIN AND THEN MEDVEDEV STOOD WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA. THAT WAS IN AN OPEN HEARING. DIRECTOR BRENNAN WOULDN’T ENTERTAIN MY QUESTION AND INSISTED ON NOT ANSWERING DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE CONVERSATION WAS BETWEEN THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT. THAT IS WHAT HE SAID. HE FURTHER CLAIMED THAT HE WAS AVOIDING GETTING INVOLVED IN POLITICAL PARTISAN ISSUES WHICH BRINGS ME TO A SIMILAR QUESTION RELATED TO THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. ONE, YOU SAID THIS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS UNWAIVERABLE. AND I THINK THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH DIRECTOR BRENNAN.>>CONGRESSMAN, ONLY THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE PRESIDENT CAN WAIVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. THE PRESIDENT EXERTS IT AND ONLY THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE PRESIDENT CAN WAIVE THAT.>>SO DIRECTOR BRENNAN GAVE MY THE IMPRESSION THAT THAT WAS THE RULE, THAT IS THE LAW. SO I’LL HAVE TO GO WITH THAT. DO YOU BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT IS ENTITLED TO WITHHOLD HIS OR HER COMMUNICATIONS FROM CONGRESS IF THE CONVERSATION IS USED IN A WHISTLEBLOWER CASE?>>I THINK THAT THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE CONDUCTS DIPLOMACY AND DEALS WITH FOREIGN HEADS OF STATE HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT INFORMATION BE HELD WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. AND YESTERDAY I THINK THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CALL IS UNPRECEDENTED AND ALSO I THINK THAT OTHER FUTURE LEADERS WHEN THEY INTERACT WITH OUR HEAD OF STATE MIGHT BE MORE CAUTIOUS IN WHAT THEY SAY AND REDUCE THE INTERACTION THAT THEY HAVE WITH THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF THAT RELEASE.>>SO WE MAY NEED TO CHANGE OUR PROCESS HERE. BECAUSE I GUESS IF A DECISION REGARDING EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, MAYBE IT SHOULD BE MADE PRIOR TO SUBMITTING THE COMMUNICATIONS TO CONGRESS.>>WELL, EITHER THAT, I BELIEVE THAT THIS COMMITTEE WROTE THE LAW, AND BASED ON WHAT WE’RE DOING TODAY, PERHAPS IT NEEDS TO BE RELOOKED. I DON’T KNOW. I LEAVE THAT TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH.>>SO ALSO IF WE MAY NEED TO CHANGE PROCESS, THE 14 DAYS, THAT MIGHT BE KIND OF TOUGH TO ADHERE TO. SO I THINK MAYBE THIS IS A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE, UNRESIDENTED, MAYBE THERE SHOULD BE SOME LEEWAY IN THE TIME FRAME. AND I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW, DID YOU FEEL OR DID THE IG EVER SAY THAT THEY FELT RUSHED IN MAKING A DECISION BECAUSE OF THE 14 DAY PROCESS?>>NO, CONGRESSMAN, I BELIEVE THAT HE IS A VERY EXPERIENCED INSPECTOR GENERAL, HE IS USED TO DEALING WITH THE 14 DAY PROCESS. AND HE WORKED WITH HIS STAFF ENDEAVORING TO THE EXTENT BECAUSE HE WAS FOLLOWING THE STATUTE AS HE BELIEVED IT WAS WRITTEN. SO I WOULD THINK THAT ANY PRUDENT LAWYER WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE TIME TO BE ABLE TO COLLECT THE FACTS AND DO OTHER THINGS. BUT MICHAEL ATKINSON WAS UNDER THE 14 DAYTIME LINE AND HE DID THE BEST OF HIS ABILITY TO COM PLIN WITH THAT. LINE AND HE DID THE BEST OF HIS ABILITY TO COM PLIN WITH THAT.>>DID YOU FEEL RUSHED IN ANY WAY, SIR?>>I DID NOT.>>THANK YOU. I YIELD BACK.>>THANK YOU DIRECTOR MAGUIRE FOR YOUR EXTRAORDINARILY LONG SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. AT ANY POINT DURING THIS PROCESS DID YOU PERSONALLY THREATEN RESIGN IF THE COMPLAINT WAS NOT PROVIDED TO THE COMMITTEE?>>NO, I DID NOT. AND I KNOW THAT THAT STORY HAS APPEARED QUITE A BIT. I ISSUED A STATEMENT YESTERDAY — >>ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU. WHEN YOU READ THE COMPLAINT, WERE YOU SHOCKED AT ALL BY WHAT YOU READ?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, AS I SAID, I HAVE A LOT OF LIFE EXPERIENCE. I JOINED THE NAVY — >>I UNDERSTAND YOUR RECORD. COULD YOU ANSWER IT?>>I REALIZED FULL AND WELL THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ALLEGATION AND I ALSO HAVE TO TELL YOU, CONGRESSWOMAN, WHEN I SAW THAT, I ANTICIPATED HAVING TO SIT THIS FRONT OF SOME COMMITTEE SOMETIME TO DISCUSS IT.>>THE COMPLAINT REFERS TO WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE JULY 25th CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE UKRAINE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND THE WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS ORDERED OTHER STAFF TO MOVE THE TRANSCRIPT FROM ITS TYPICAL REPOSITORY TO A MORE SECURE LOCATION IN ORDER TO LOCK DOWN, AND THAT WAS THE TERM USED IN THE COMPLAINT, ALL RECORDS OF THE PHONE CALL. THAT REACTION TO THE TRANSCRIPT SEEM TO YOU RECOGNITION WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT THE CALL WAS COMPLETELY IMPROPER?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I HAVE NO FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THAT. ALL I HAVE IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES IN HIS ALLEGATION OR COMPLAINT. I DON’T KNOW WHETHER THAT IS TRUE OR NOT. MY ONLY AWARENESS OF THAT IS FROM THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S LETTER.>>SO KNOWING THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER APPEARED TO BE CREDIBLE BASED ON THE EVALUATION BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL AND KNOWING THAT THAT EFFORT WAS UNDERTAKEN BY THE WHITE HOUSE TO COVER IT UP, WHY WOULD YOU THEN AS YOUR FIRST ACTION OUTSIDE OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY GO DIRECTLY TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE VERY ENTITY THAT WAS BEING SCRUTINIZED AND COMPLAINED ABOUT IN THE COMPLAINT, WHY WOULD YOU GO THERE TO ASK THEIR ADVICE AS TO WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, THE ALLEGATION THAT IS MADE BY THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS SECONDHAND INFORMATION. NOT KNOWN TO HIM OR HER FIRSTHAND.>>EXCEPT MR. MAGUIRE, IT WAS DETERMINED TO BE CREDIBLE, THERE WAS AN INVESTIGATION DONE BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL. LET ME GO ON TO ANOTHER ISSUE. PRESIDENT TRUMP OVER THE WEEKEND TWEETED IT APPEARS THAT AN AMERICAN SPY IN ONE OF OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES MAY HAVE BEEN SPYING ON OUR OWN PRESIDENT. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER WAS SPYING ON ONE OF OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES OR SPYING ON THE PRESIDENT?>>AS I SAID SEVERAL TIMES SO FAR THIS MORNING, I BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLIED WITH THE LAW AND DID EVERYTHING THAT THEY THOUGHT HE OR SHE THOUGHT WAS RESPONSIBLE UNDER THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ABILITY.>>BUT YOU DID NOT SPEAK OUT TO PROTECT THE WHISTLEBLOWER, DID YOU?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I — >>YES OR NO, SIR.>>I DID, YES. I DID WITHIN MY OWN WORKFORCE. I THOUGHT THERE WAS ENOUGH STUFF THAT WAS APPEARING OUT IN THE PRESS THAT WAS ERRONEOUS, THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT, AND I DIDN’T THINK THAT I NEEDED TO RESPOND TO EVERY SINGLE STATEMENT THAT WAS OUT THERE THAT WAS INCORRECT. SO WHAT I DID IS I — >>THANK YOU.>>I USED MY WORKFORCE — >>I APPRECIATE THAT. THANK YOU. THE PRESIDENT ON MONDAY SAID WHO IS THIS SO-CALLED WHISTLEBLOWER, WHO THOSE THE CORRECT FACTS. IS HE ON OUR COUNTRY’S SIDE. DO YOU BELIEVE THE LIST IS ON OUR COUNTRY’S SIDE?>>I BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER AND ALL EMPLOYEES WHO COME FORWARD IN THE ICIG TO RAISE CONCERNS OF FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE ARE DOING WHAT THEY PERCEIVE TO BE THE RIGHT THING.>>ON WORKING ON BEHALF OF OUR COUNTRY. ARE YOU AWARE OF THE FACT THAT WHISTLEBLOWERS WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE IDENTIFIED WASTE FRAUD AND ABUSE OF OVER 59 BILLION THAT HAS HAD THE EFFECT OF BENEFITING THE TAXPAYERS AND KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE AS WELL?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I’M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE DOLLAR VALUE, BUT HAVING BEEN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR NEARLY FOUR DECADES, I’M VERY MUCH AWARE OF THE VALUE OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM.>>ONE FINAL QUESTION. DID THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ASK YOU TO FIND OUT THE IDENTITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER?>>I CAN SAY ALTHOUGH I WOULD NOT NORMALLY DISCUSS MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT, I CAN TELL YOU EMPHATICALLY NO.>>HAS ANYBODY ELSE WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE OR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ASKED YOU?>>NO, CONGRESSWOMAN.>>I YIELD.>>MR. STEWART.>>MR. MAGUIRE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THE GOOD NEWS IS I’M NOT GOING TO TREAT YOU LIKE A CHILD. AND I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS IF I ASK YOU SOMETHING. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. I’D LIKE YOU TO REMIND ME, YOU SAID IT EARLIER, HOW MANY YEARS OF SERVICE, MILITARY SERVICE, DO YOU HAVE?>>I HAVE 36 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY, 34 OF THOSE AS NAVY S.E.A.L.>>THAT IS GREAT. 36 YEARS, 34 YEARS AS A NAVY S.E.A.L. I HAD A MERE 14 YEARS AS AN AIR FORCE PILOT, I PROUDLY WEAR THESE AIR FORCE WINGS. THESE ARE ACTUALLY MY FATHER HE’S AIR FORCE WINGS. HE SERVED IN THE MILITARY AS WELL AS DID FIVE OF HIS SONS. FOR SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SERVED IN THE MILITARY, I DON’T THINK THAT THEY REALIZE HOW DEEPLY OFFENSIVE IT IS TO HAVE YOUR HONOR AND YOUR INTEGRITY QUESTIONED. SOME ON THIS COMMITTEE HAVE DONE EXACTLY THAT. THEY HAVE ACCUSED YOU OF BREAKING THE LAW AND I’LL READ JUST ONE PART OF MANY THAT I COULD FROM THE CHAIRMAN. THIS RAISES GRAVE CONCERNS THAT YOUR OFFICE TOGETHER WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND POSSIBLY THE WHITE HOUSE HAVE ENGAGED IN UNLAWFUL EFFORT TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENTARE OTHERS READ. SO I’LL GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER VERY CLEARLY, ARE YOU MOTIVIATED BY POLITICS IN YOUR WORK OR PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR?>>EXCUSE ME, SIR?>>ARE YOU MOTIVATED BY POLITICS IN YOUR WORK OR YOUR PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR?>>NO, CONGRESSMAN. NOT AT ALL. I AM NOT. I AM NOT POLITICAL. I AM NOT PARTISAN. AND I DID NOT LOOK TO BE SITTING HERE AS ACTING DIRECOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. I THOUGHT THERE WERE OTHER PEOPLE WHO WERE MORE QUALIFIED BUT THE PRESIDENT ASKED ME TO DO THAT AND IT WAS MY HONOR TO STEP UP AND LEAD AND SUPPORT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.>>DO YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE FOLLOWED THE LAWS IN THE WAY YOU FOLLOWED THIS COMPLAINT IN. >>I KNOW I HAVE.>>HAVE YOU IN ANY WAY SOUGHT PROPER-TO-PROTECT THE PRESIDENT OR ANYONE ELSE FROM ANY WROCHK DOING IN. >>I HAVE NOT. WHAT I HAVE DONE IS ENDEAVOR TO FOLLOW THE LAW.>>THANK YOU. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU HAD A LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW THE GUIDE ANSWER OF THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL?>>THE OPINION OF THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL IS BINDING ON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.>>THANK YOU. NOW, THERE IS A BIG DEAL ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS IS THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT WITHHELD THERE CONGRESS, BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE ISN’T IT THAT IT IS THE FIRST WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT HAS POTENTIALLY FALLS UNDER EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND IT IS ALSO THE FIRST TIME THAT IT INCLUDED INFORMATION THAT WAS POTENTIALLY OUTSIDE OF THE AUTHORITIES OF THE DNI, IS THAT TRUE?>>TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THAT IS CORRECT.>>AND I WILL SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES SITTING HERE, I THINK YOU ARE NUTS IF YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO CONVINCE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT YOUR CAUSE IS JUST BY ATTACKING THIS MAN. AND BY IMPUGNING HIS CHARACTER WHEN IT IS CLEAR THAT HE FELT THERE IS A DISCREPANCY, POTENTIALLY DEFICIENCY IN THE LAW AND HE WAS TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. HE FELT COMPELLED BY THE LAW TO DO EXACTLY WHAT HE DID. AND YET THE ENTIRE TONE HERE IS THAT SOMEHOW YOU ARE A POLITICAL STOOGE WHO HAS DONE NOTHING BUT TRY TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT AND I THINK THAT IS NUTS. ANYONE WATCHING THIS HERE HEARING WILL SURELY WALK AWAY WITH THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU ARE A MAN OF INTEGRITY WHO DID WHAT YOU FELT WAS RIGHT REGARDLESS OF THE QUESTIONS AND INNUENDO THAT IS CAST BY SOME OF MY. >>Caller: — COLLEAGUES SITTING HERE DAY. AND ONE MORE THING BEFORE I YIELD MY TIME. I THINK THAT WE CAN AGREE THAT LEAKS ARE UNLAWFUL AND THAT LEAKS ARE DAMAGING. AND FOR HEAVEN SAKES, WE’VE SEEN PLENTY OF THAT OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS. AND THERE IS A LONG LIST OF LEAKS THAT HAVE HAD CLEAR INCH BRING INDICATIONS FOR OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. MEANINGFUL IMPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY. I WANT TO KNOW, DO YOU KNOW WHO IS FEEDING THE PRESS INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CASE AND HAVE YOU MADE ANY REFERRALS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR UNLAWFUL DISCLOSURES? DO YOU KNOW WHO IS FEEDING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CASE?>>NO.>>DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO MAKE A REFERRAL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO TRY TO DETERMINE THAT?>>I BELIEVE THAT ANYBODY WHO WITNESSES OR SEES ANY WRONGDOING SHOULD REFER ANY WRONGDOING OR COMPLAINT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR INVESTIGATION.>>INCLUDING INVESTIGATION ABOUT LEAKS.>>THAT IS CORRECT. YES, CONGRESSMAN, ANY WRONGDOING.>>ALL RIGHT. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS BECAUSE OUR CLOCK ISN’T WORKING. I SUPPOSE MY TIME IS UP. BUT I WOULD CONCLUDE BY EMPHASIZING ONCE AGAIN GOOD LUCK CONVINCING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THIS IS A DISHONORABLE MAN SITTING HERE. GOOD LUCK CONVINCING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT HE HAS DONE ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT HE C THINKS IT RIGHT. AND IF YOU THINK IT SCORES POLITICAL POINTS WITH YOUR FRIENDS WHO WANTED TO IMPEACH THIS PRESIDENT SINCE THE DAY HE WAS ELECTED, KEEP GOING DOWN THAT ROAD.>>THANK YOU, CONGRESSMAN.>>I WOULD ONLY SAY, DIRECTOR, NO ONE HAS ACCUSED YOU OF BEING A POLITICAL STOOGE OR DISHONORABLE, NO ONE HAS SAID SO, NO ONE HAS SUGGESTED THAT. BUT IT IS CERTAINLY OUR STRONG VIEW AND WE WOULD HOPE THAT IT WOULD BE SHARED BY THE MINORITY THAT WHEN THE CONGRESS SAYS THAT SOMETHING SHALL BE DONE, IT SHALL BE DONE. AND WHEN THAT INVOLVES THE WRONGDOING OF THE PRESIDENT, IT IS NOT AN EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE. AND THE FACT THAT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER HAS BEEN LEFT TWISTING IN THE WIND NOW, ATTACKED BY THE PRESIDENT, SHOULD CONCERN ALL OF US DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. THAT THIS WAS EVER ALLOWED TO COME TO BE, THAT ALLEGATIONS THIS SAYS AND URGENT WERE WITHHELD AS LONG AS THEY WERE, THAT SHOULD CONCERN ALL OF US. BUT NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THAT THERE IS A DISHONOR HERE. BUT NONETHELESS, WE WILL INSIST THAT THE LAW BE FOLLOWED.>>MR. CHAIRMAN, WILL YOU YIELD — >>MR. QUIGLEY.>>THANK YOU, SIR, FOR YOUR SERVICE AND FOR BEING HERE. AS YOU KNOW, THOSE WHO N. PUBLIC LIFE WHO WORK AND DEAL WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, THEY ARE VETTED, THEY GO BEFORE THE SENATE, THEY HAVE TO GET CLEAR AFTERNOONS. AND YOU UNDERSTAND THE POLICY REASONS FOR THAT, CORRECT?>>YES, CONGRESSMAN.>>DO YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES WITH CIVILIANS WITHOUT APPROVAL, WITHOUT VETTING, WITHOUT CLEARANCE TAKING ON THOSE ROLES?>>YES, I DO, CONGRESSMAN.>>AND WHY WOULD YOU HAVE THOSE CONCERNS?>>WELL, IN ORDER TO BE — IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE SENSITIVE INFORMATION, WHETHER IT BE DIPLOMATIC OR CERTAINLY INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION, ONE MUST BE VETTED. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART OF PROTECTING NATIONAL SECURITY. AND WE JUST CAN’T BRING PEOPLE IN AND AUTOMATICALLY WAVE A MAGIC WAND OR PUT HOLY WATER ON THEM TO GET SECURITY CLEARANCE. IT IS A MATTER OF VETTING. FOR ME TO COME BACK INTO GOVERNMENT, THE FBI WENT FOR 15 YEARS, EXAMINED ALL MY FINANCIAL RECORDS TO MAKE SURE THAT I WAS IN FACT WORTHY OF HAVING AN INTELLIGENCE CLEARANCE. AND WE DO THE SAME THING WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. EVERYBODY WHO IS SUBJECT OR EVERYBODY WHO IS PRIVILEGED TO HAVE ACCESS TO INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION IS A SACRED TRUST. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EXPECT US TO KEEP THEM SAFE AS I SAID EARLIER. IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT ANY PERSON WHO HAS ACCESS TO THIS SENSITIVE INFORMATION OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY VETTED TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO NORTHAM THAT INFORMATION.>>AND IT IS NOT JUST THE INTEL ISSUES, THE ISSUES OF NATIONAL POLICY THAT PEOPLE HAVE AN OFFICIAL ROLE THAT THEY CARRY OUT ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES AND WE KNOW WHAT THEIR ROLE IS, CORRECT?>>YES, CONGRESSMAN, I WOULD — >>WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING RIGHT NOW OF WHAT MR. GIULIANI’S ROLE IS?>>MR. CONGRESSMAN, I RESPECTFULLY REFER YOU TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO COMMENT ON THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL LAWYER.>>OKAY. SO SO FAR WHAT I’VE GLEANED IS YOU SEE THAT HE IS HIS PERSONAL LAWYER. WE READ IN THE COMPLAINT, WE READ IN THIS MODIFIED TRANSCRIPT, HE IS MENTIONED FIVE TIMES. YOUR REACTION TO THE FACT THAT THIS CIVILIAN WITHOUT ANY OF THIS VETTING HAS PLAYED THIS ROLE.>>NO, SIR, ALL I’M SAYING IS THAT I KNOW WHAT THE ALLEGATIONS ARE. I’M NOT SAYING THAT THE ALLEGATIONS ARE TRUE AND THAT IS WHERE THE COMMITTEE — >>I DON’T THINK THAT THERE IS ANY QUESTION THE CREDIBILITY OF THE COMPLAINT IN THE TRANSCRIPT THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS HIGHLY OF MR. GIULIANI, HIGHLY RESPECTED MAN, HE WAS THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK, I WOULD LIKE HIM TO CALL YOU, I WILL ASK HIM TO CALL YOU ALONG WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. YOUR REACTION OF A CIVIL I CAN’T BE — CIVILIAN DEALING WITH THESE. THE COMPLAINT TALKS ABOUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. INSPECTOR GENERAL TALKS ABOUT THIS AS THE HIGHEST RESPONSIBILITY AMONG THOSE THAT THE DNI HAS AND OBVIOUSLY MR. GIULIANI IS PLAYING THIS ROLE. TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE DOES HE HAVE SECURITY CLEARANCE?>>I DON’T KNOW. CONGRESSMAN QUIGLEY, I’M NEITHER AWARE NOR UNAWARE WHETHER OR NOT MR. GIULIANI HAS A SECURITY CLEARANCE.>>BEFORE THIS ALL HAPPENED, WERE YOU AWARE OF HIS ROLE OR UNDERSTANDING WHAT HIS ROLE WAS DOING WHAT YOU DO?>>CONGRESSMAN QUIGLEY, MY ONLY KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT MR. GIULIANI DOES, I HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I GET FROM TV AND FROM THE NEWS MEDIA. I’M NOT AWARE OF WHAT HE DOES IN FACT FOR THE PRESIDENT.>>ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY COMMUNICATION BY MR. GIULIANI AND YOUR OFFICE ABOUT HOW HE SHOULD PROCEED WITH THIS ROLE GIVEN THE CLASSIFIED NATURE, THE NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS THAT ARE IN THE COMPLAINT THAT ARE IN THE TRANSCRIPT AND THE ROLE THAT HE IS PLAYING?>>I HAVE READ THE TRANSCRIPTS JUST AS YOU HAVE. SO MY KNOWLEDGE OF HIS ACTIVITY IN THERE IS JUST LIMITED TO THE CONVERSATION THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE.>>SO WE RESPECT YOUR ROLE AND WHILE WE HAVE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, WE CONTINUE TOTEGRITY . BUT WE HAVE ALL THIS VAST AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE AND WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW IT PLAYS JUXTAPOSITION WITH THE COMPLAINT. I’M READING, OMB OFFICIAL INFORMED DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES THAT THE PRESIDENT EARLIER THAT MONTH HAD ISSUED INSTRUCTION TO SUSPEND ALL U.S. SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE. YOUR REACTION TO THAT.>>CONGRESSMAN QUIGLEY, I THINK THAT ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE PRESIDENT’S LAWYER AND THESE MATTERS SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE PRESIDENT FOR THAT.>>I’M JUST READING THE COMPLAINT.>>I READ AND I SUPPORT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE 17 DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES UNDERNEATH MY LEADERSHIP. I DO NOT LEAD THE PRESIDENT. AND I HAVE NO AUTHORITY OR RESPONSIBILITY OVER THE WHITE HOUSE.>>BUT YOU ARE A WEAR THAT THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP WITH UKRAINE THAT THEY ARE DEPENDENT UPON US AND THAT THIS COMPLAINT DOESN’T CONCERN YOU, YOU CAN’T SAY THAT PUBLICLY THAT IT CONCERNS YOU?>>THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS THAT CONCERN ME. I’M DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. AND THIS ONE HERE THOUGH, I JUST HAVE TO DEFER BACK THAT THE CONVERSATIONS THE PRESIDENT HAD IS HIS CONVERSATION. HOW THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO TALK DIPLOMACY IS HIS BUSINESS. AND IT IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT I APPROVE IT OR DISAPPROVE OF IT. THAT IS THE PRESIDENT’S BUSINESS ON HOW HE WANTS TO CONDUCT THAT, SIR.>>THE ISSUE IS WHETHER IT COMMITS A CRIME AND THAT BOTHERS YOU — >>THE TIME HAS EXPIRED. DIRECTOR, YOU MAY COMPLETE YOUR ANSWER IF YOU WANTED TO RESPOND.>>NO, I’M FINE. THANK YOU, CHAIRMAN.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. WE APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE. MY QUESTION RELATES TO PRIOR TO THE TRANSMISSION ON AUGUST 26th FROM THE IG TO THE DNI, WERE THERE ANY CONVERSATIONS THAT YOU HAD WITH THE IG PRIOR TO AUGUST 26 RELATED TO THIS MATTER?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS. AS FAR AS THE TIME LINE IS CONCERNED, I THINK THAT — I’D LIKE TO TAKE THAT AND GET BACK TO YOU AND GIVE YOU A FULL CHRONOLOGY IF I MAY ON THE ACTUAL TIME LINE OF EVENTS.>>THAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL TO THIS COMMITTEE IN TERMS OF IF THERE WERE ANY PRELIMINARY CONVERSATIONS, WHAT WAS DISCUSSED, AND IF THERE WAS ANY ACTION TAKEN AS A RESULT OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS. I WANT TO TURN TO THE COMPLAINT ITSELF WHICH IS MADE PUBLIC FOR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO READ. AND LET ME PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT I GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU BELIEVE THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS OPERATING IN GOOD FAITH. I THINK THAT THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR AMERICANS TO HEAR. BUT ON PAGE ONE, AND I’M NOT GOING TO IMPROVISE FOR PARITY PURPOSES LIKE THE CHAIRMAN DID, I’M GOING TO QUOTE IT DIRECTLY. ON PAGE ONE, THE COMPLAINT READS, QUOTE, I WAS NOT A DIRECT WITNESS TO MOST OF THE EVENTS DESCRIBED. THIS SEEMS LIKE A VERY IMPORTANT LINE TO LOOK INTO. AND I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WILL HAVE QUESTIONS IN PARTICULAR ABOUT THAT LINE. SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, FOR THE RECORD, DID THE IG FULLY INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGATIONS INTO THIS COMPLAINT AT THIS TIME? HAS THE IG FULLY INVESTIGATED THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT WILL. >>AS I SAID EARLIER, I BELIEVE THAT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY INSPECTOR GENERAL DID A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION WITH THE 14 DAYTIME FRAME THAT HE HAD. AND UNDER THAT TIME TO THE BEST OF HIS ABILITY MADE THE DETERMINATION THAT IT WAS BOTH CREDIBLE AND URGENT. I HAVE NO REASON TO DOUBT THAT MICHAEL ATKINSON DID ANYTHING BUT HIS JOB.>>SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT A FULL INVESTIGATION, WERE THE VERACITY OF THE ALLEGATIONS LOOKED INTO? THERE WERE MANY REFERENCES TO WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS. DO YOU KNOW IF THE IG SPOKE WITH THOSE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS, DO YOU KNOW IF HE INVESTIGATED AGAIN THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THESE ALLEGATIONS, OR WAS IT A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, I’D HAVE TO DEFER TO THE IG TO RESPOND TO YOU ON THAT. BUT ALL I DO KNOW, ALTHOUGH I DO NOT KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER, I DO KNOW THAT MICHAEL ATKINSON HAD IN FACT DISCUSSED THIS WITH THE WHISTLEBLOWER AND FOUND HIS COMPLAINT TO BE CREDIBLE. AS FAR AS WHO ELSE HE SPOKE WITH, I AM UNAWARE OF WHAT WENT ON IN MICHAEL ATKINSON’S INVESTIGATION IN THIS MATTER. >>SO AS OF TODAY, THE ONLY INDIVIDUAL THAT WE KNOW THAT THE IG SPOKE WITH IS THE COMPLAINANT, THE AUTHOR AND WHISTLEBLOWER?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, WHAT I’M SAYING IS I’M UNAWARE WHO ELSE MICHAEL ATKINSON MAY HAVE SPOKEN TO. I’M JUST UNFAMILIAR WITH HIS INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS AND EVEN THAT HE SPOKE TO IN THIS REGARD.>>THANK YOU FOR THE ANSWER ON THE RECORD. AGAIN, FOR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, THEY WILL HAVE MANY QUESTIONS AS THEY READ THIS COMPLAINT TODAY. AND BECAUSE ON PAGE ONE IT SAYS NO DIRECT KNOWLEDGE, I THINK IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE CONDUCT — THAT WE HAVE QUESTIONS ANSWERED FOR INDIVIDUALS THAT DO HAVE DIRECT KNOWLEDGE. WITH THAT I YIELD BACK.>>THANK YOU, CONGRESSWOMAN.>>MR. SWALWELL.>>MR. MAGUIRE, DO YOU AGREE THE DEFINITION OF A COVERUP IS AN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT PEOPLE DISCOVERING A CRIME?>>I’D SAY THAT IS CLOSE. I’M SURE THERE ARE OTHERS, BUT I DON’T DISAGREE WITH THAT.>>AND IN THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT, THE WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S CALL WITH THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE ON JULY 25, WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS MOVED QUICKLY TO DIRECT WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS TO MOVE ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS FROM ONE COMPUTER SYSTEM WHERE IT WAS NORMALLY STORED TO A SECRET CLASSIFIED INFORMATION SYSTEM. IS THAT RIGHT?>>CONGRESSMAN — >>IS THAT WHAT IS ALLEGED? THE COMPLAINT?>>ALL I KNOW IS THAT IS THE ALLEGATION.>>I’M ASKING YOU THAT. THAT IS WHAT IS ALLEGED.>>THAT IS THE ALLEGATION.>>AND YOU READ THAT AND THE FIRST PEOPLE THAT YOU GO TO AFTER YOU READ THAT ALLEGATION ARE THE WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS WHO ARE TELLING THE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS WHO SEE THIS TRANSCRIPT AND MOVE IT INTO A SECRET HIMIS SYSTEM, THOSE ARE THE FIRST PEOPLE THAT YOU GO TO — >>LET ME SAY A COUPLE THINGS. >>YES OR NO.>>YES.>>I’M GOING TO KEEP GOING. YOU HAVE NO I GO WHEN LEWHIGLE GO TO CONGRESS AND INSTEAD YOU SEND YOUR CONCERN TO THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT, THE WHITE HOUSE. SO DID THE WHITE HOUSE TELL YOU AFTER YOU SENT YOUR CONCERN ABOUT PRIVILEGE, DID THEY TELL YOU TO GO TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEXT?>>MY COUNSEL IN CONSULTATION WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL WENT TO THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL. WE WERE NOT DIRECTED TO DO THAT.>>AND YOU SAID THIS DID NOT INVOLVE ONGOING INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES. HOWEVER THE WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS THAT THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT THE PRESIDENT’S TRANSCRIPT S WITH FOREIGN LEADERS WERE IMPROPERLY MOVE. IS THAT PART OF THE ALLEGATION?>>I WILL LET THE LETTER SPEAK FOR ITSELF.>>AND WHAT ALSO SPEAKS FOR ITSELF, IF A TRANSCRIPT WITH A FOREIGN LEADER IS IMPROPERLY MOVED IN TO AN INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM, THAT ACTUALLY WOULD INVOLVE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES, IS THAT RIGHT?>>NOT NECESSARILY. THAT IS — I DO NOT, IT IS NOT UNDERNEATH MY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY. AND ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS AN ALLEGATION THAT HAS BEEN MADE, DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THAT IS A TRUE STATEMENT.>>AND THE ALLEGATION WAS DRMED DETERMINED TO BE URGENT AND CREDIBLE BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL.>>YES, IT WAS.>>CONSIDER TRANSCRIPTS ARE BEING MOVED INTO A SECRET INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM, WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW THAT MAYBE OTHER TRANSCRIPTS PERHAPS PHONE CALLS WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN OR MBS OF SAUDI ARABIA OR ERDOGAN OF TURKEY OR KIM JUNG-UN, WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW IF THOSE WERE ALSO BEING IMPROPERLY MOVED BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT IS TRYING TO COVER UP SOMETHING?>>CONGRESSMAN, HOW THE WHITE HOUSE, OFFICE OF THE — EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL CONDUCT THEIR BUSINESS IS THEIR BUSINESS.>>IT IS ACTUALLY YOUR BUSINESS TO PROTECT AMERICA’S SECRETS.>>IT IS ALL OF OURS. THIS COMMITTEE AS WELL.>>AND IF THERE IS COVERUP ACTIVITY BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT IS WORKING IMPROPERLY WITH A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, THAT COULD COMPROMISE AMERICA’S SECRETS, IS THAT RIGHT?>>CONGRESSMAN, THERE IS AN ALLEGATION OF A COVER UP. I’M SURE AN INVESTIGATION AND BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE MIGHT LEAD CREDENCE OR DISPROVE THAT. BUT RIGHT NOW, ALL WE HAVE IS AN ALLEGATION, SECONDHAND INFORMATION FROM A WHISTLEBLOWER. I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE ON WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS TRUE AND ACCURATE STATEMENT.>>THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OPINION YOU RELIED UPON SAID THAT YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PREVENTING FOREIGN ELECTION INTERFERENCE, IS THAT RIGHT? THAT WAS IN THE OPINION.>>WHAT THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL DID WAS OVER 11 PAGES — AN OPINION DEFINING AND EXPLAINING THEIR JUSTIFICATION FOR IT NOT COMPLYING WITH URGENT AND — >>ROUGH RESPONSIBLE FOR PREVENTING ELECTION INTERFERENCE BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT?>>CONGRESSMAN, ELECTION — >>YES OR NO.>>MY ELECTION INTERFERENCE IS — >>OR I REALLY HOPE YOU KNOW THE ANSWER. ISIT PRIORITY?>>YES.>>AND SO THIS THE ALLEGES A SHAKE DUNN BY THE PRESIDENT INVOLVING A ROGUE ACTOR WHO HAS NO CLEARANCE, NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE UNITED STATES AND AN EFFORT BY THE WHITE HOUSE TO MOVE THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS CALL TO A SECRET SYSTEM. IS THAT RIGHT? THAT IS AT LEAST WHAT IS ALLEGED.>>CONGRESSMAN, I BELIEVE THAT ELECTION SECURITY IS MY MOST FUNDAMENTAL PRIORITY. HOWEVER, THIS COMPLAINT FOCUSED ON A CONVERSATION BY THE PRESIDENT WITH ANOTHER FOREIGN LEADER, NOT ELECTION SECURITY.>>I YIELD BACK.>>IF THAT CONVERSATION INVOLVED THE PRESIDENT REQUESTING HELP IN THE FORM OF INTERVENTION IN OUR ELECTION, IS THAT NOT AN ISSUE OF INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTION?>>CHAIRMAN, ONCE AGAIN, THIS WAS SENT TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.>>I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT YOU ARE NOT SUTSUGGESTING T THE PRESIDENT IS SOMEHOW IMMUNE FROM THE LAWS THAT PRECLUDE A U.S. PERSON SEEKING FOREIGN HELP?>>WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT NONE OF US IS ABOVE THE LAW IN THIS COUNTRY.>>MR. HERD.>>THANK YOU, CHAIRMAN. I TELL MY FRIENDS ALL THE TIME THAT I’VE GOTTEN MORE SURVEILLANCE AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS AS I DID IN THE CIA. AND I THINK THAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN MORE ARROWS SHOT AT YOU SINCE YOU’VE BEEN DNI THAN YOU DID IN YOUR ALMOST FOUR DECADES ON THE BATTLEFIELD. A SPECIFIC QUESTION, LETTER THAT IS CONTAINED IN THE WHISTLEBLOWER PACKAGE, IT IS ACTUALLY DATED AUGUST 12. AND I RECOGNIZE THIS MAY BE A BETTER QUESTION TO BE ASKING THE ICIG. THAT LETTER IS DATED AUGUST 12. AND IT IS TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND CHIR CHAIRMAN OF THIS COMMITTEE. DO YOU KNOW IF THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROVIDED THAT LETTER TO THOSE TWO CHAIR MEN CONCURRENTLY WITH THE ICIG IN. >>NO, CONGRESSMAN, AS I SAID EARLIER, I BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER AND THE ICIG ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND FOLLOWED THE LAW EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.>>AND WE TALKED ABOUT THE WAY THE LAW ON THE WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE SAYS THAT YOU SHALL SHARE IF IT IS DECIDED TO BE AN URGENT CONCERN, HOWEVER BEST PRACTICES AS ALWAYS BEEN TO SHARE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THAT URGENT CONCERN. DO YOU SEE ANY REASON NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IF THAT LEGISLATION WAS CHANGED IT SAY ALL WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS SHOULD BE SHARED WITH THE COMMITTEES?>>THAT’S CORRECT. AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, CONGRESSMAN, LET’S JUST SAY THE ALLEGATION WAS MADE AGAINST A MEMBER OF THIS COMMITTEE. YOU KNOW, MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE, ALTHOUGH YOU ARE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND AS THE DNI, I HAVE NO AUTHORITY OR RESPONSIBILITY OVER THIS COMMITTEE.>>MY QUESTION IS DO YOU THINK THAT IF EVERY WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT WAS BROUGHT TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY INSPECTOR GENERAL WAS ALWAYS SHARED WITH THIS COMMITTEE, WOULD THAT HAVE ANY IMPACT ON INTELLIGENCE — I DON’T KNOW WHY THAT THE STATUTE DIDN’T SAY ALL SHOULD BE SHARED RATHER THAN ONLY URGENT CONCERNS AND AS TO MY QUESTION TO YOU, DO YOU THINK THAT WE CHANGED THAT LAW, WOULD IT HAVE IMPACT ON INTELLIGENCE EQUITIES?>>I DON’T THINK THAT LAW COULD BE CHANGED TO COVER ALL THINGS THAT MIGHT POSSIBLY HAPPEN. I THINK THAT WE HAVE A GOOD LAW. I THINK THAT IT IS WELL WRITTEN. HOWEVER, AS I SAID, THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED AND THIS IS A UNIQUE SITUATION.>>AND I HOPE WE’RE NOT IN THIS POSITION AGAIN. HOWEVER IF WE DO FIND OURSELVES HERE, I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS NOT ANY UNCERTAINTY IN WHEN INFORMATION SHOULD BE SHARED. UNDER YOU OR UNDER YOUR PREDECESSOR, AWARE OF AN OMB DECISION TO SUSPEND UKRANIAN AID AS WAS ALLEGED IN THIS COMPLAINT.>>CONGRESSMAN, NO, I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THAT. AND I’M UNAWARE IF ANYBODY WITHIN THE ODNI IS AWARE OF THAT. I JUST DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT.>>WHEN — I APOLOGIZE FOR LOT OF THESE LEGAL QUESTIONS THAT MAY BE BEST DIRECTED AT SOMEBODY ELSE, BUT I FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A PERSPECTIVE. WHEN DOES OLC OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE LEGAL COUNSEL, EXCUSE ME, GUIDANCE OVERRIDE LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS IN. >>THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL DOES NOT OVERRIDE LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS. WHAT IT DOES, IT PASSES LEGAL OPINION FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. AND THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL LEGAL OPINION IS BINDING TO EVERYONE WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.>>GOOD COPY. TWO FINAL QUESTIONS THAT I’LL ASK TOGETHER. WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF HOW INTELLIGENCE PLACES IN GENERAL ARE GOING TO BE IMPACTED BY THIS LATEST EPISODE. AND WHEN I SAY EPISODE, I’M REFERRING TO THE MEDIA CIRCUS, THE POLITICAL CIRCUS, THE TECHNICAL ISSUES THAT ARE RELATED TO THIS WHISTLEBLOWER REVELATION. YOU ALLUDED TO IT IN SOME OF YOUR PREVIOUS ANSWERS BUT I’D LIKE YOUR ASSESSMENT ON HOW IF COULD IMPACT INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS IN THE FUTURE. AND I DO BELIEVE THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME TESTIFYING TO CONGRESS IN YOUR POSITION. AND I WOULD WELCOME IN THE END — I KNOW THIS IS A LITTLE OFF TOPIC, WHAT DO YOU SEE OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES AND THREATS TO THIS COUNTRY AS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE.>>LET ME ANSWER THE LATTER PART OF THAT. I THINK THAT THE GREATEST CHALLENGE THAT WE FACE IS NOT NECESSARILY FROM A KINETIC STRIKE OR RUSSIA OR CHINA OR IRAN OR NORTH KOREA. I THINK THAT THE GREATEST CHALLENGE THAT WE DO HAVE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTION SYSTEM. WE KNOW RIGHT NOW THAT THERE ARE FOREIGN POWERS TRYING TO GET US TO QUESTION VALIDITY ON WHETHER OR NOT OUR ELECTIONS ARE VALID. SO FIRST AND FOREMOST, I THINK THAT PROTECTING THE SANCTITY OF OUR ELECTION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, WHETHER IT BE NATIONAL, CITY, STATE, LOCAL, IS PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB THAT WE HAVE WITH THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. OUTSIDE OF THAT, WE DO FACE SIGNIFICANT THREATS, I’D SAY NUMBER ONE IS NOT NECESSARILY KINETIC BUT CYBER. THIS IS A CYBER WORLD. WE TALK ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE GREAT COMPETITION IS TAKING PLACE WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA AND WE ARE BUILDING SHIPS AND WEAPONS TO DO THAT. BUT IN MY ESTIMATESTIMATION, TH COMPETITION IS TAKING PLACE IN THE CYBER — >>AND MY TIME I THINK IS RUNNING OUT. BUT THE BROADER IMPLICATIONS ON INTELLIGENCE PLACES OF IN CURRENT WHISTLEBLOWER SITUATION.>>I WILL TELL YOU IN LIGHT OF THIS, I CLEARLY HAVE A LOT OF WORK AS THE LEADER OF THIS COMMUNITY TO REASSURE THAT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, THAT IN FACT THAT I’M TOTALLY COMMITTED TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM. AND I’M ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO PROTECTING THE ANONYMITY OF THIS INDIVIDUAL AS WELL AS MAKING SURE THAT MICHAEL ATKINSON, WHO IS OUR ICIG, CONTINUES TO BE ABLE TO DO HIS JOB UNFETED. BUT WITH THAT, I CERTAINLY HAVE TO BE PROCEED ACTIVE IN MY COMMUNICATIONS WITH MY TEAM.>>I YIELD BACK THE TIME I MAY OR MAY IN THE HAVE.>>MR. CASTRO.>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU ALSO TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER COURAGE AND BRAVERY TO COME FORWARD. AND THANK YOU TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR HIS COURAGE IN COMING FORWARD. YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S REPORT IS CREDIT ONLY, THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS CREDIBLE, THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. YOU’VE HAD A CHANCE NOW AS WE HAVE AND I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW BOTH THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT AND THE TRANSCRIPT THAT WAS RELEASED OF THE PHONE CALL BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE. YOU HAVE READ BOTH DOCUMENTS BY NOW.>>YES.>>WOULD YOU SAY THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT IS REMARKABLY CONSISTENT WITH THE TRANSCRIPT THAT WAS RELEASED?>>I WOULD SAY THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT IS IN ALIGNMENT WITH WHAT WAS RELEASED YESTERDAY BY THE PRESIDENT.>>I WANT TO READ YOU A QUICK SECTION OF BOTH TO UNDER SCORE EXACTLY HOW ACCURATE AND CONSISTENT THIS COMPLAINT IS. ON PAGE TWO OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT, THE WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS ACCORDING TO THE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS WHO HAD DIRECT KNOWLEDGE OF THE CALL, THE PRESIDENT PRESSURED MR. ZELENSKY TO, AND THEN A FEW BULLET POINTS, FIRST SAYS INITIATE OR CONTINUE AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN AND HIS SON HUNTER AND THE THIRD BULLET POINT, MEET OR SPEAK WITH TWO PEOPLE THE PRESIDENT NAMED EXPLICITLY MR. GIULIANI AND ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR IT WHOM THE PRESIDENT REFERRED MULTIPLE TIMES IN TANDEM. IN THE TRANSCRIPT THAT WAS RELEASED ON PAGE ABOUT FOUR OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH INTO WHAT LOOKS LIKE THIRD SENTENCE, PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS FORMER AMBASSADOR FOR THE UNITED STATES, THE WOMAN, WAS BAD NEWS AND THE PEOPLE SHE WAS DEALING WITH IN THE UKRAINE WERE BAD NEWS. SO I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT. THE OTHER THING, THERE IS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT BIDEN’S SON, THAT BIDEN STOPPED THE PROSECUTION AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT THAT. SO WHATEVER YOU CAN DO WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WOULD BE GREAT. BIDEN WENT AROUND BRAGGING THAT HE STOPPED THE PROSECUTION, ET CETERA. DO YOU HAVE REASON TO DOUBT WHAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER HAS BROUGHT FORWARD?>>GETTING BACK INTO MICHAEL ATKINSON’S DETERMINATION ON WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS CREDIBLE OR URGENT CONCERN, AS THE DNI, IT IS NOT MY PLACE TO ENSURE THAT IT IS CREDIBLE. THAT IS THE ICIG’S JOB AS INSPECTOR. HE HAS DETERMINED THAT IT IS CREDIBLE. MY ONLY TROUBLE WAS THAT IN FACT IT INVOLVED SOMEONE WHO IS NOT IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OR IN AN ORGANIZATION UNDER WHICH I HAVE AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY. OUTSIDE OF THAT — >>BUT DIRECTOR, YOU AGREE THAT IT INVOLVED INTELLIGENCE MATTERS, IT INVOLVED AN ISSUE OF ELECTION INTERFERENCE, IT INVOLVED AN INVESTIGATION OF U.S. PERSONS INCLUDING A FORMER VICE PRESIDENT. IF YOU HAD KNOWLEDGE OR THE CIA HAD KNOWLEDGE THAT GO. — GOVERNMENT WAS GOING TO DRUM UPPEN A INVESTIGATION AGAINST A FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, THAT WOULDN’T QUALIFY AS AN INTELLIGENCE MATTER? WOULD THAT QUALIFY AS AN INTELLIGENCE MATTER, YES OR NO?>>I DON’T MEAN TO SAY — THIS IS A HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION.>>NO, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS IN THE TRANSCRIPT. THAT IS WHAT HE IS ASKING FOR.>>THE COMPLAINT, THE COMPLAINT — >>BUT THAT IS WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS ASKING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE IS DO, HE IS ASKING THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE A FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. DOES THAT QUALIFY AS AN INTELLIGENCE MATTER THAT THE CIA WOULD WANT TO KNOW?>>THE CONVERSATION WAS BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE AS YOU KNOW. AND IT IS HIS — I AM NOT — >>I UNDERSTAND, BUT THAT CANNOT BE AN ULTIMATE SHIELD AGAINST TRANSPARENCY, AGAINST ACCOUNTABILITY. THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW. ONE THING THAT YOU HAVEN’T TOLD US IS IF YOUR OFFICE OR IF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS NOT ABLE TO INVESTIGATE, THEN WHO IS ABLE TO INVESTIGATE?>>CONGRESSMAN CASTRO, ONCE AGAIN, SIR, AS I MENTIONED SEVERAL TIMES SO FAR, ALTHOUGH IT DID NOT COME TO THE COMMITTEE, THE COMPLAINT WAS REFERRED TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. IT WAS NOT SWEPT UNDER THE RUG.>>ONE MORE QUESTION FOR YOU. WHY DID YOUR OFFICE THINK THAT YOU SHOULD APPEAL THE IG’S DETERMINATION ABOUT QUOTE/UNQUOTE URGENT CONCERN TO THE DOJ? THAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. IT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.>>THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED IN THAT IN THE PAST THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MATTER THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HAS INVESTIGATED THAT DID NOT INVOLVE A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OR AN ORGANIZATION THAT THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL — >>ONE LAST POINT I WOULD MAKE WITH RESPECT TO YOU KEEP SAYING THE PRESIDENT IS IS NOT PART OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. I BELIEVE HE IS. THE PRESIDENT YOU AGREE HAS THE ABILITY TO DECLASSIFY ANY INTELLIGENCE DOCUMENT.>>THE PRESIDENT HAS RING CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY — >>THEN HOW IS THAT PERSON OUTSIDE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY?>>HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. ABOVE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.>>YOU COMMANDED S.E.A.L. TEAM TWO AND RETIRED FROM THE NAVY. 23 DAYS AFTER THE TRUMP/ZELENSKY CALL AND FOUR DAYS AFTER THE WHISTLEBLOWER MADE HIS OR HER COMPLAINT, YOU WERE SUBPOENAED BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE.>>YES.>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF WROTE A LETTER ON SEPTEMBER 13 ACCUSING YOU 6 BEING PART OF AN UNLAWFUL COVER UPAND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAID NOT ONCE BUT TWICE THAT YOU BROKE THE LAW, THAT YOU COMMITTED A CRIME. SHE SAID THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE BLOCKED HIM, MEANING THE ICI GICHLT, FROM DISCLOSING THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT, THIS IS A VIOLATION OF THE LAW. YOU WERE FALSELY ACCUSED OF COMMITTING A CRIME. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW NOT JUST AN OPINION OF WHAT THE LAW IS, BUT THE OPINION FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AN 11 PAGE OPINION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU WERE REQUIRED BY LAW TO REPORT THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. CORRECT?>>THAT’S CORRECT, CONGRESSMAN.>>AND THAT OPINION SAYS, THE QUESTION IS WHETHER SUCH A COMPLAINT FALLS WITHIN THE STATUTORY DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN THAT THE LAW REQUIRES THE DNI TO FORWARD TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE. WE CONCLUDE THAT IT DOES NOT. DID I READ THAT ACCURATELY? I BETTER HAVE, RIGHT? THAT IS AN OPINION NOT FROM BILL BARR. THAT IS AN OPINION FROM THE DEPARTMENTOF JUSTICE ETHICS LAWYERS THAT DETERMINED THAT YOU DID FOLLOW THE LAW. SO YOU WERE PUBLICLY ACCUSED AND FALSELY ACCUSE AND YESTERDAY HERE TODAY I HAVEN’T HEARD ANYTHING CLOSE TO AN APOLOGY WITH THAT. WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WITH DEMOCRATS IN CHARGE. LET ME TURN TO THE MATTER THAT WE’RE HERE FOR, A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. THE QUESTION IS, AT THIS POINT GIVEN WHAT WE HAVE, WHY ALL THE FOCUS ON THIS WHISTLEBLOWER, THE BEST EVIDENCE OF WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKY IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKY. NOT CASTING ASPERSIONS ON THE WIT’S GOOD FAITH OR THEIR INTENT, BUT A SECONDHAND ACCOUNT OF SOMETHING SOMEONE DID ISN’T THE BEST EVIDENCE. AND TO THAT POINT DESPITE GOOD FAITH, THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS IN FACT WRONG IN NUMEROUS RESPECTS. AND I KNOW EVERYONE WON’T HAVE TIME TO READ THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT, BUT THE WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS THAT I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED, TALKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT, THAT THERE WAS A SERIOUS OR FLAGRANT PROBLEM ABUSE OR VIOLATION OF THE LAW. WHISTLEBLOWER THEN GOES ON TO SAY I WAS NOT A DIRECT WITNESS TO THE EVENTS DESCRIBED. HOWEVER, I FOUND MY COLLEAGUES’ ACCOUNTS OF THIS TO BE CREDIBLE. AND THEN TALKING ABOUT THOSE ACCOUNTS OF WHICH THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT IS BASED ON, THE WHISTLEBLOWER TELLS US THE OFFICIALS THAT I SPOKE WITH TOLD ME AND I WAS TOLD THAT AND I LEARNED FROM MULTIPLE U.S. OFFICIALS THAT AND WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS TOLD ME THAT AND I ALSO LEARNED FROM MULTIPLE U.S. OFFICIALS THAT. IN OTHER WORDS, ALL OF THIS IS SECONDHAND INFORMATION. NONE OF IT IS FIRSTHAND INFORMATION. THE WHISTLEBLOWER THEN GOES ON TO CITE ADDITIONAL SOURCES BESIDES THOSE SEND HAND SOURCES AND THOSE SOURCES HAPPEN TO INCLUDE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, THE SOURCES THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER BASES HIS COMPLAINT ON INCLUDING “WASHINGTON POST,” “NEW YORK TIMES,” POLITICO, THE HILL,BURG, ABC AND OTHERS. SO THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT ARE BASED ON THIRD HAND MAINSTREAM MEDIA SOURCES RATHER THAN FIRSTHAND INFORMATION. THE WHISTLEBLOWER ALSO APPEARS TO ALLEGE CRIMES NOT JUST AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, BUT SAYS WITH REGARD TO THIS SCHEME TO SOLICIT INTERFERENCE FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY IN THE 2020 ELECTION, THAT, QUOTE, THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL LAWYER MR. GIULIANI IS A CENTRAL FIGURE IN THIS EFFORT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR APPEARS TO BE INVOLVED AS WELL. BUT BURIED IN A FOOTNOTE A COUPLE PAGES LATER, WHISTLEBLOWER ADMITS I DO NOT KNOW THE EXTENT TO WHICH IF AT ALL MR. GIULIANI IS DIRECTLY COORDINATING HIS EFFORTS ON THE UKRAINE WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR. ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES KNOW BECAUSE HE ISSUED A STATEMENT YESTERDAY SAYING THERE WAS NO INVOLVEMENT. MY POINT IN ALL OF THIS IS AGAIN THE TRANSCRIPT IS THE BEST EVIDENCE OF WHAT WE HAVE AND SO THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE VERY CLEAR WHAT THAT TRANSCRIPT RELATES IS LEGAL COMMUNICATIONS, THE UNITED STATES IS ALLOWED TO SOLICIT HELP FROM A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IN AN ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DID IN THAT CONVERSATION. SO IF THE DEMOCRATS ARE INTENT ON IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT FOR LAWFUL CONDUCT, THEN BE MY GUEST. I YIELD BACK.>>THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE, SIR. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE. I WANT TO STEP BACK A LITTLE BIT AND KIND OF PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE I THINK WHATIS AT STAKE HERE. OBVIOUSLY YESTERDAY THE WHITE HOUSE RELEASED THE TRANSCRIPT OF THAT JULY 25th CONVERSATION BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND PRESIDENT ZELENSKY. AND WE NOW KNOW THAT THE PHONE CALL WAS INDEED A PART OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. YESTERDAY THE CHAIR AT A PRESS CONFERENCE CHARACTERIZED THE PRESIDENT’S CONVERSATION IN THAT CALL AS A SHAKEDOWN OF THE UKRAINE LEADER. NOT FOR ARE INFORMATION OR MONEY, BUT INSTEAD A SHAKEDOWN FOR HELP TO WIN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. LET’S REWIND TO MAY 7 WHEN FBI DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY TESTIFIED BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SENATE THAT, AND I’M QUOTING NOW, ANY PUBLIC OFFICIAL OR MEMBER OF ANY CAMPAIGN SHOULD IMMEDIATELY REPORT TO THE FBI ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH FOREIGN ACTORS ABOUT, QUOTE, INFLUENCING OR INTERFERING WITH OUR ELECTION. DIRECTOR WRAY OF COURSE IS THE TOP COP IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. YOU AGREE WITH DIRECTOR WRAY, DO YOU NOT, SIR?>>CONGRESSMAN HECK, I DO NOT DISAGREE WITH DIRECTOR WRAY — >>IS THAT THE SAME THING THAT YOU AGREE WITH HIM, SIR?>>YES, AND — IN THIS REPORT, IT WAS REFERRED TO THE FBI.>>LET ME FAST FORWARD — WAS IT REFERRED TO THE FBI BY THE PRESIDENT WHO ACTUALLY ENGAGED IN THE CONVERSATION? NO, IT WAS NOT. LET ME FAST FORWARD TO JUNE 13th, FIVE WEEKS IN ADVANCE OF THAT, WHEN THE CHAIR OF THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION MADE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT. FUL FOLLOW ME, LEASE. LET ME MAKE SOMETHING 100% CLEAR TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND ANYONE RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANY PERSON TO ACCEPT, SOLICIT, OR RECEIVE ANYTHING OF VALUE FROM A FOREIGN NATIONAL IN CONNECTION WITH THE U.S. ELECTION. THIS IS NOT A NOVEL CONCEPT. ELECTION INTERVENTION FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS HAS BEEN CONSIDERED UNACCEPTABLE SINCE THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR NATION. DO YOU AGREE WITH THE CHAIR?>>I AGREE THAT OUR ELECTIONS ARE SACRED. AND ANY INTERFERENCE FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE IS NOT WHAT WE WANT.>>AND SO SOLICIT OR ACCEPT IT IS ILLEGAL?>>I’M NOT A LAWYER, SIR. I DON’T MEAN TO BE EVASIVE, BUT — >>SO YOU THINK IT IS OKAY FOR A PUBLIC OFFICIAL TO SOLICIT OR IT MAY BE OKAY, YOU DON’T KNOW THE LAW. YOU THINK IT MAY BE OKAY FOR A CANDIDATE OR AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO SOLICIT FOSH INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTION? I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU ARE SAYING THAT. YOU’RE NOT REALLY SAYING THAT, RIGHT?>>I’M NOT SAYING THAT, CONGRESSMAN, AT ALL.>>SO WE SHOULD NOTE THAT THE FEC CHAIR WAS PROMPTED TO SAY THIS BECAUSE IT WAS JUST LITERALLY THE DAY BEFORE THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAT AT THE RESOLUTE DESK IN THE MOST ICONIC ROOM IN THE UNITED STATES, THE OVAL OFFICE, AND SAID THAT FBI DIRECTOR WRAY WAS WRONG. YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY DISAGREEING WITH THAT. HE ALSO SAID THAT HE WOULD CONSIDER ACCEPTING FOREIGN HELP AND OF COURSE YESTERDAY WE LEARNED THAT THE PRESIDENT DID IN FACT, DID IN FACT, DO EXACTLY THAT. SOLICITED THAT HELP. DIRECTOR, WHETHER IT IS THIS PRESIDENT OR ANY PRESIDENT, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IT IS OKAY FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO PRESSURE A FOREIGN COUNTRY INTO HELPING HIM OR HER WIN AN ELECTION?>>CONGRESSMAN HECK, I BELIEVE THAT NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW AND EVE DISCUSSED WHAT WE THINK APPLIES FOR THE LAW.>>SO IT IS ILLEGAL TO SOLICIT — >>I CAN’T ANSWER THAT. AGAIN, SIR — >>I CAN’T RECONCILE YOUR TWO STATEMENTS. IS IT OKAY IF A PRESIDENT TO PRESSURE, ANY PRESIDENT, TO PRESSURE A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT FOR HELP TO WIN AN ELECTION?>>IT IS UNWARRANTED, IT IS UNWELCOME, IT IS BAD FOR THE NATION TO HAVE OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE FROM ANY FOREIGN POWER.>>AND BY EXTENSION IT WOULD BE EQUALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO EXTORT THAT ASSISTANCE AS WELL?>>I MEAN, ALL I KNOW IS THAT I HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS AS YOU HAVE. I HAVE THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT AS YOU HAVE. AND — >>I WASN’T REFERRING TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. BUT IF ANY PRESIDENT WERE DO THIS AND I ACCEPT YOUR ANSWER. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS UNACCEPTABLE, I THINK THAT IT IS WRONG, AND I THINK WE ALL KNOW IT, I THINK THAT WE WERE TAUGHT THIS AT A VERY YOUNG AND I THINK AND THERE IS A VOICE WITHIN MOST OF US, UNFORTUNATELY NOT ALL OF US, THAT SUGGESTS THAT IT IS WRONG. IT IS ILLEGAL AND IT IS WRONG. I THANK YOU SIR AND I YIELD BACK.>>CONGRESSMAN, IF I MAY JUST ANSWER ONCE AGAIN, I — >>I’VE RUN OUT OF TIME.>>DIRECTOR, GO AHEAD.>>ONCE AGAIN, IT WAS REFERRED TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.>>NOT BY THE PRESIDENT.>>NO, BY THIS OFFICE AND BY THE OFFICE OF — BY THE ICIGP. >>DIRECTOR WRAY SAID ANY CANDIDATE OR ELECTED OFFICIAL SHOULD IMMEDIATELY REPORT IT. HE DIDN’T SAY THAT THE DIRECTOR OF ONI SHOULD REPORT IT ALTHOUGH YOU DID AND THANK YOU. BUT THE PERSON INVOLVED DID NOT DO WHAT DIRECTOR WRAY SAID SHOULD OCCUR. PERIOD.>>THANK YOU, CONGRESSMAN.>>MR. WELCH.>>THANK YOU. DIRECTOR, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU. THERE IS NOBODY IN THIS ROOM WHO CAN CLAIM TO HAVE SERVED THEIR COUNTRY LONGER AND MORE VALUE VALIANTLY THAN YOU AND I HEARD THAT YOUR FAMILY BEFORE YOU HAS BEEN COMMITTED TO THIS COUNTRY AND I SAY THANK YOU. SECOND, I APPRECIATE YOUR CANDOR IN YOUR OPENING STATEMENT WHEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. AND THIRD, I APPRECIATED YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ALSO ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND ACCORDING TO HIS VIEW OF THE LAW. AND I WANT TO SAY THIS. WHEN YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE IN A UNIQUE POSITION, THAT IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. YOU GOT A COMPLAINT INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALSO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL. I DISAGREE WITH SOME OF THE DECISIONS THAT YOU MADE, BUT I HAVE NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER THAT THE SAME SENSE OF DUTY THAT YOU APPLIED IN YOUR LONG AND ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER GUIDED YOU AS YOU MADE THESE DECISIONS. SO THANK YOU FOR THAT. I WANT TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENT THAT CAME TO YOUR ATTENTION. THE DNI HAS JURISDICTION OVER FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS. CORRECT?>>THAT IS CORRECT.>>AND OF COURSE YOU ARE AWARE AS WE ALL ARE OF THE MUELLER REPORT AND HIS INDICTMENTS AGAINST 12 FOREIGN RUSSIANS WHO ACTIVELY INTERFERED.>>I HAVE READ THE REPORT.>>SO IT IS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY THAT YOUR AGENCY HAS. AND IN THIS CASE, BECAUSE OF THE TWO THINGS THAT YOU MENTIONED THAT THE PRESIDENT IS THE ONE PERSON THAT IS ABOVE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND YOUR SENSE ABOUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, YOU DIDN’T FORWARD THE COMPLAINT TO US, CORRECT?>>I DID NOT FORWARD — YES, CONGRESSMAN WELCH, BECAUSE I WAS STILL WORKING WITH THE WHITE HOUSE — >>I UNDERSTAND THAT. YOU’VE BEEN VERY CLEAR ON THAT. BUT LET ME ASK A HYPOTHETICAL JUST TO SHOW THE DILEMMA THAT YOU WERE IN. LET’S SAY A U.S. SENATOR WHO IS WELL CONNECTED, OR A PRIVATE CITIZEN REALLY WELL CONNECTED HAD A CONVERSATION WITH THE LEADER OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY. AND ASKED THAT PERSON FOR A FAVOR, THE U.S. SENATOR LET’S SAY, OF PROVIDING DIRT ON A POLITICAL OPPONENT. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD SEE THAT SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THIS COMMITTEE IN. >>CONGRESSMAN, I DON’T MEAN TO BE DISRESPECTFUL, BUT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO ANSWER HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS. NOT SURE — >>I WON’T MAKE IT HYPOTHETICAL. INSTEAD OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, SO A U.S. SENATOR WHO WAS LET’S SAY HEAD OF THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE AND WAS ASKING FOR THE FOREIGN LEADER — >>I UNDERSTAND.>>WOULD YOU FORWARD THAT TO OUR COMMITTEE?>>SIR, THAT WOULD NOT BE — I THINK I MENTIONED THAT EARLIER IN OUR CONVERSATION THAT THE UNITED STATES SENATOR IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. AND THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE U.S. SENATE. SO ANY WRONGDOING IN THAT REGARD SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.>>I RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE WITH YOU BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THAT WOULD BE A SOLICITATION FOR INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS AND THAT IS IN YOUR JURISDICTION, YES. >>ALTHOUGH IT IS, AS FAR AS WHAT THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DO IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INTELLIGENCE REFORM ACT, THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT, IT DOES NOT — THE STATUTE DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THAT TO BE DONE.>>I DISAGREE WITH THAT. HERE IS THE DILEMMA THAT WE’RE IN BUT NOW WE CAN FOLLOW UP BECAUSE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IF IT EXISTED WAS WAIVED. UNDER YOUR APPROACH AS YOU SAW IT, IT MEANS THAT NO ONE WOULD BE INVESTIGATING THE UNDERLYING CONDUCT BECAUSE IN THIS CASE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE APPLIES OR MAY APPLY AND NUMBER TWO, THE PRESIDENT WHO HAD THE CONVERSATION IS ABOVE THE LAW. SO THAT IS A DILEMMA FOR A DEMOCRACY. IS IT NOT?>>THE COMPLAINT WAS SENT TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TOTALLY DISREGARDING ANY CONCERN FOR EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HERE.>>BUT THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NEVER DID A FOLLOWUP INVESTIGATION, RIGHT?>>I BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE CONCLUDED THE INVESTIGATION. I’M NOT SURE. IN ADDITION TO BEING INVOLVED WITH THIS MATTER, I ALSO HAVE OTHER PRESSING MATTERS.>>AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LED BY MR. BARR, WHO WAS THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT, IS THE DEPARTMENT THAT PROVIDED THE OPINION THAT THERE IS NO ACTION TO BE TAKEN.>>I BELIEVE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS MENTIONED IN THE COMPLAINT, NOT NECESSARILY SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT, SIR.>>HE WAS MENTIONED.>>YES, SIR.>>I YIELD BACK.>>CONGRESSMAN WELCH, THANK YOU.>>MR. MALONEY.>>WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DAY ON THE JOB?>>MY FIRST DAY ON THE JOB WAS FRIDAY 16th OF AUGUST. AND I THINK I SET A NEW RECORD FOR BEING SUBPOENAED BEFORE ANY — >>YEAH, YOU HAD A HECK OF A FIRST WEEK. THE COMPLAINT IS DATED AUGUST 12th. WHATEVER ELSE YOU’VE DONE RIGHT IN YOUR CAREER, SIR, YOUR TIMING IS GOT TO BE SOMETHING THAT — >>I THINK DAN COATS’ TIMING IS BETTER THAN MINE.>>THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF TALK HERE ABOUT THE PROCESS. I JUST WANT TO SUMMARIZE A COUPLE THINGS IF THAT IS OKAY. SO IN YOUR FIRST COUPLE DAYS ON THE JOB, SIR, YOU’RE HIT WITH THIS COMPLAINT. AND IT SAYS THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES PRESSURED A FOREIGN LEADER TO HELP HIM INVESTIGATE A POLITICAL OPPONENT AND THAT POLITICAL OPPONENT’S SON IN FACT. THAT THAT PRESIDENT ASKED THE FOREIGN LEADER TO WORK WITH PRIVATE CITIZEN MR. GIULIANI AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES ON THAT SCHEME. THE PRESIDENT AT THAT TIME NOT IN DISPUTE WAS WITH HOLDING $391 MILLION OF ASSISTANCE HOLDING THAT OVER THAT UKRANIAN PRESIDENT’S HEAD. THAT UKRANIAN PRESIDENT RAISES IN THE CONVERSATION U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE, JAVELINS, DEFENSIVE WEAPONS. HE HAS RUSSIAN TROOPS IN HIS COUNTRY. THE WOLF IS AT THE DOOR. THE PRESIDENT ASKED FOR A FAVOR, COMPLAINS ABOUT UKRANIAN RECIPROCITY, NOT GETTING ENOUGH FROM YOU, THAT IS WHAT RECIPROCITY IS, RIGHT? WE HAVE TO GET SOMETHING FROM YOU IF WE ARE GIVING SOMETHING TO YOU. HE NAMES THE POLITICAL OPPONENTS BY NAME. THE BIDENS. UKRAINEIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE’LL DO THE INVESTIGATION. THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE HIT WITH. AND YOU ARE LOOKING AT THAT COMPLAINT AND THAT IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH ALLEGES SERIOUS WRONGDOING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE FIRST THING YOU DO IS GO TO THE PRESIDENT’S MEN AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND WOMEN AND SAY SHOULD I GIVE IT TO CONGRESS. AND IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THAT COMPLAINT, SIR, IT ALSO SUGGESTS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO BE INVOLVED AND SECOND THING YOU DO IS GO TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S PEOPLE AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND ASK THEM IF YOU SHOULD GIVE IT TO CONGRESS. SIR, I HAVE NO QUESTION ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER. I’VE READ YOUR BIO. I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DECISIONS. AND THE JUDGMENT IN THOSE DECISIONS. DID YOU SEE ANY CONFLICTS HERE?>>CONGRESSMAN MALONEY, I HAVE A LOT OF LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE. I DO. AND AS YOU SAID, IT CAME TO ME VERY EARLY ON IN THIS. THE FACT THAT I WAS JUST-I’M THE ACTING DNI AND STILL USING GARMIN TO GET TO WORK, THAT THIS CAME TO MY ATTENTION INVOLVING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE IMPORTANT MATTER OF THIS, IN THE PAST AS I’VE SAID, I’VE ALWAYS WORKED WITH LEGAL GNITUDE AND IMPORTANCE — SIR, AS A NAVAL OFFICER FOR YEARS, I THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO — SIR, IF I MAY, MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN A HECK OF A LOT SIMPLER WITHOUT BECOMING THENESS FAMOUS — >>DON’T DOUBT THAT AT ALL. WHEN YOU WERE CONSIDERING PRUDENCE, DID YOU THINK IT WAS PRE-DENT TO GIVE VETO POWER OVER WHETHER CONGRESS SAW THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS TO THE TWO PEOPLE IMPLICATED BY IT? IS THAT PRUDENT?>>I HAVE TO WORK WITH THE SITUATION AS IT IS, CONGRESSMAN. ONLY THE WHITE HOUSE CAN DETERMINE OR WAIVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. THERE IS NO ONE ELSE TO GO TO. AND AS FAR AS A SECOND OPINION, MY ONLY AVENUE OF THAT WAS TO GO TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL.>>AND YOU UNDERSTAND, SIR, IF UNCHALLENGED BY YOUR OWN INSPECTOR GENERAL YOUR DECISION, THAT PRUDENCE, WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THESE SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS FROM EVER GETTING THE CONGRESS. QUICK QUESTION, IN RESPONSE TO MR. HIMES, I THINK YOU LEFT THE DOOR OPEN THAT YOU SPOKE TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ABOUT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. SIR, DID YOU SPEAK PERSONALLY TO THE PRESIDENT AT ANY TIME ABOUT THIS COMPLAINT?>>CONGRESSMAN, ONCE AGAIN, I AM THE PRESIDENT’S INTELLIGENCE OFFICER. I SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT — I CANNOT SAY ONE WAY OR — >>I KNOW YOU SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT A LOT. IT IS A SIMPLE QUESTION, SIR. DID YOU SPEAK TO HIM ABOUT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT, HE YES OR NO?>>CONGRESSMAN, MY CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS PRIVILEGED.>>SO YOU ARE NOT DENYING THAT YOU SPOKE TO THE — I’M NOT ASKING FOR CONTENT. DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT?>>I SPEAK TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS AND ANYTHING THAT I SAY TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN ANY FORM IS PRIVILEGED.>>I’M NOT ASKING FOR THE CONTENTS.>>ANYTHING I SAY TO THE PRESIDENT IS CONFIDENTIAL. THAT IS THE WAY IT IS.>>I UNDERSTAND. THANK YOU.>>DIRECTOR, YOU UNDERSTAND WE’RE NOT ASKING ABOUT THE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY, ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY, ABOUT THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER. WE JUST WANT TO KNOW DID YOU DISCUSS THIS SUBJECT WITH THE PRESIDENT. YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT A PROFOUND CONFLICT OF INTEREST THAT WOULD BE. DID YOU DISCUSS THIS SUBJECT, THIS WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIM WITH THE PRESIDENT? YOU CAN SAY I DID NOT DISCUSS IT WITH HIM, IF THAT IS THE ANSWER. THAT DOESN’T BE TREY PRIVILEGE AND YOU CAN SAY I DID DISCUSS IT BUT I’M NOT GOING FORGET INTO THE CONTENTS OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS. THAT QUESTION YOU CAN ANSWER.>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, ONCE AGAIN, MY CONVERSATION NO MATTER WHAT THE SUBJECT IS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS PRIVILEGED CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE PRESIDENT.>>MS. DEMMINGS.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, MR. CHAIRMAN. DIRECTOR MAGUIRE, THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US HERE TODAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. I KNOW THAT YOU SAID THAT YOU TOOK YOUR FIRST OATH IN 1974.>>YES, MA’AM.>>A LONG TIME TO BE PROUD OF THE SERVICE. I MY FIRST OATH IN 1984 WHEN I WAS SWORN IN AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND I THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SAYING PUBLIC SERVICE IS A SACRED TRUST BECAUSE REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR WHO IS INVOLVED, PUBLIC SERVICE IS A SACRED TRUST. I’VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, I’M A MEFB CONGRESS NOW, BUT TO VERY GATE INTERNAL CASES AND INVOLVING OTHER PERSONNEL. I’VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVESTIGATE NUMEROUS OTHER CASES. CRIMINAL CASES. AND NEVER ONCE JUST FOR THE RECORD DIRECTOR MAGUIRE DID I EVER GO TO THE SUSPECT OR THE DEFENDANT OR THE PRINCIPAL IN THOSE CASES TO ASK THEM WHAT I SHOULD DO IN THE CASE THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF TALK THIS MORNING, THE WHOLE REASON WHY WE’RE HERE, CENTERS AROUND THE U.S. RELATIONSHIP WITH UKRAINE. I THINK THAT YOU WOULD AGREE UKRAINE IS VERY DEPENDENT ON THE UNITED STATES IN TERMS OF ASSISTING THEM AND DEFENDING THEMSELVES. COULD YOU BASED ON YOUR MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE MILITARY AND NOW IN YOUR NEW POSITION TALK ABOUT THAT RELATIONSHIP AND HOW IMPORTANT ITS FOR THE UNITED STATES TO ASSIST UKRAINE IF THEY ARE EVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES?>>YES, CONGRESSWOMAN, I THINK THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE OF UKRAINE. I WOULD SAY THAT THEY ARE RELYING ON US AS THEY RELY ON OTHER PEOPLE IN EUROPE. AND I WOULD ALSO SAY THAT THE UNITED STATES IS PROBABLY PAYING MORE OF THEIR FAIR SHARE FOR THE SUPPORT OF UKRAINE THAN THE OTHERS. THE THREATS ARE REAL FOR THE UKRANIAN PEOPLE. AND THE STAKE OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IS ALSO EVEN THOUGH IT IS IN THE UKRAINE IS ALSO VERY MUCH A CONCERN.>>BASED ON THAT, YOU WOULD SAY UKRAINE PROBABLY COULD NEVER GET THERE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED STATES OR FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?>>I WOULD SAY THAT IF OTHERS WERE WILLING TO STEP UP AND SUPPORT, THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET THERE.>>BUT THEY ARE NOT AND WE ARE — WE’RE THERE. AND SO I THINK THAT YOU HAVE SAID THAT IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR UKRAINE TO MEET THAT GOAL OF DEFENDING THEMSELVES WITHOUT YOU OUR SUPPORT. CORRECT?>>I WOULD SAY IT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE, YES.>>THIS COMPLAINT OUTLINES A SCHEME BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND I’M NOT REALLY SURE WHAT TO CALL RUDY GIULIANI THESE DAYS, WHAT HIS ROLE IS, MAYBE HE IS THE NEW FIXER, I’M NOT SURE. BUT EITHER WAY, IT INVOLVES A SCHEME TO COERCE UKRAINE, THE COUNTRY THAT YOU SAY IS SO VERY DEPENDENT ON THE UNITED STATES TO DEFEND THEMSELVES, TO COERCE UKRAINE INTO ASSISTING THE PRESIDENT’S RE-ELECTION EFFORTS IN 2020. IN THE REPORT FROM YOUR INSPECTOR GENERAL, THE MEMO THAT WAS SENT TO YOU, IT SAYS ON JULY 18th, THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET OFFICIAL INFORMED THE DEPARTMENT AND AGENCIES THAT THE PRESIDENT EARLIER THAT MONTH HAD ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO SUSPEND ALL U.S. SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE NEITHER OMB NOR THE NFC STAFF KNEW WHY THIS INSTRUCTION HAD BEEN ISSUED. DURING INTERAGENCY MEETINGS ON THE 23rd OF JULY AND 26th OF JULY, OMB OFFICIALS AGAIN STATED EXPLICITLY THAT THE INSTRUCTION TO SUSPEND THIS ASSISTANCE HAD COME DIRECTLY FROM THE PRESIDENT BUT THEY WERE NOT — THEY WERE STILL UNAWARE OF A POLICY RATIONALE. SO THE 18th, THIS ISSUE FIRST CAME UP WHERE THE PRESIDENT SUSPENDING THAT ASSISTANCE THAT YOU SAID UKRAINE SO DESPERATELY DEPENDS ON. WE DEAL WHY WHAT IS REASONABLE HERE. AND I BELIEVE YOUR INSPECTOR GENERAL INCLUDED THAT IN THE REPORT BECAUSE THIS WHOLE ISSUE IS ABOUT UKRAINE’S POSITION, RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES, THEIR DEPENDENCY ON THE UNITED STATES AND THE PRESIDENT’S EFFORTS TO COERCE UKRAINE INTO ENGAGING IN AN ILLEGAL AND IMPROPER INVESTIGATION. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IS WHY YOUR INSPECTOR GENERAL ADDED THAT ABOUT SUSPENDING THE SUPPORT TO UKRAINE?>>I THINK THAT MICHAEL ATKINSON FOUND TO BE CREDIBLE AND HE VIEWED THAT IT WAS A MATTER OF URGENT CONCERN TO FORWARD TO THIS COMMITTEE. WHICH DO YOU THINK IT IS REASONABLE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THIS COMMITTEE ON BOTH SIDES TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A CORRELATION OR A NEXUS BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT SUSPENDING THE AID AND THE CONVERSATION THAT TOOK PLACE ON THE — THE FOLLOWUP CONVERSATION?>>YES, THAT IS THE ALLEGATION THAT IS MADE. AND I DID NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE TRANSCRIPTS. MY ONLY INFORMATION WAS THE ICIG’S COVER LETTER AND THE ALLEGATION, WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGATION. THE OTHER INFORMATION COMING TO LIGHT YESTERDAY AS RELEASED BY THE PRESIDENT CHANGES THINGS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT.>>MR. CHAIRMAN, MAY I ASK ONE MORE QUICKLY? MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS A CAREER INTELLIGENCE PERSON, HE’S WORKED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HE HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE. DID YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO DENY OR NOT BELIEVE HIS CONCLUSIONS IN EVERY AREA OF THIS REPORT THAT HE WAS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN?>>CONGRESSWOMAN, MICHAEL AT KIN ON IS A VALUED AND TRUSTED. >>Caller: LEAGUE. I RESPECT HIM TREMENDOUSLY. THE QUESTION CAME DOWN TO AS WE JUST OVER AND OVER AGAIN URGENT CONCERN AND WHETHER OR NOT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT AS WRITTEN ALLOWS ME TO FORWARD TO THIS COMMITTEE. THAT IS WHERE I GOT STUCK, MA’AM, AND I’M SORRY.>>THANK YOU.>>MR. MURPHY.>>MR. MAGUIRE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRIOTISM. I WANT TO ASK YOU A COUPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TIME SURROUNDING JULY 25th TO THE TIME THAT YOU CAME INTO OFFICE AS DNI. AS YOU KNOW, THE PHONE CALL BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT HAPPENED ON JULY 25th OF THIS YEAR. CORRECT?>>I BELIEVE JULY 25th, SIR.>>AT LEAST ONE OF THEM HAPPENED ON JULY 25th. AT THAT TIME THE DNI WAS DAN COATS AND HIS DEPUTY WAS SUE GORDON. THE WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIM WAS FILED ON AUGUST 12 AND THIN YOU TOOK OFFICE ON AUGUST 16 FOUR DAYS LATER.>>YES, SIR.>>PRIOR TO TAKING YOUR NEW JOB, OR SINCE, DID YOU DISCUSS THE JULY 25th CALL OR THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT WITH DNI COATS?>>I WOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN THE JOB IF I DID. NO, SIR.>>AND HOW ABOUT WITH SUE GORDON?>>NOT AT ALL. TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, I DO NOT THINK THAT EITHER DIRECTOR COATS OR PRINCIPAL DEPUTY SUE GORDON HAVE ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER ABOUT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT OR THAT MICHAEL AT KIN SON HAD IT.>>BEFORE YOUR CURRENT ROLE, DID YOU DISCUSS UKRAINE WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP?>>BEFORE YOUR D YOU DISCUSS UKRAINE WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP?>>NO, CONGRESSMAN, I HAVEN’T DISCUSSED UKRAINE WITH ANYBODY, LET ME PUT TO YOU THAT WAY.>>YOU HAVEN’T DISCUSSED UKRAINE WITH ANYBODY IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS THE ACTING DNI?>>AS WE GET INTELLIGENCE REPORTS, WE’VE GOT ABOUT 190 COUNTRIES OUT THERE, SO WHATEVER THE PRESIDENT’S DAILY BRIEF IS AND MATTERS THAT PERTAIN TO THAT. BUT AS FAR AS I KNOW TELL AGAINST EQUITIES IN THAT REGION RIGHT NOW, THIS HAS NOT BEEN SOMETHING THAT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION IN THE SIX WEEKS THAT I’VE BEEN ACTING DNI.>>TURNING TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL, YOU DON’T KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER, RIGHT?>>I DO NOT AND I’VE MADE IT MY BUSINESS TO MAKE SURE THAT I DO NOT.>>AND YOU DON’T KNOW HIS POLITICAL AFFILIATION OR HER.>>I DO NOT.>>AND OF COURSE YOU BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER WAS OPERATING IN GOOD FAITH.>>I DO.>>AND WITHOUT BIAS.>>I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT. I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THAT. I DO BELIEVE THAT — >>YOU HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HE OR SHE WAS ABLGTING WITH BIAS 1234. >>YOU I JUST BELIEVE THE WHISTLEBLOWER WAS ACTING IN GOOD FAIR. I WOULD NOT KNOW BIAS OR NOT BIAS. I DON’T KNOW.>>AND OF COURSE YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN TO PROTECT THE WHISTLEBLOWER FROM ANY ATTEMPTS TO RETALIATE AGAINST HIM OR HER, CORRECT?>>I WILL NOT PERMIT THE WHISTLEBLOWER TO BE SUBJECT TO ANY RETALIATION.>>AND UNLIKE THE WHISTLEBLOWER, YOU DO KNOW THE INSPECTOR GENERAL P.>>YES, I HOLD HIM IN HIGHEST DEAL.>>AND HE ALSO OPERATED IN THE HIGHEST FAITH, RIGHT?>>I BELIEVE THAT MICHAEL ATKINSON — YES.>>AND INTERESTINGLY, MR. ATKINSON WAS ACTUALLY APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, RIGHT?>>YES, HE WAS. HE IS A PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE.>>AND WHAT LENDS REAL CREDIBILITY TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S COMPLAINT IS THE FACT THAT MR. ATKINSON, AN APPOINTEE OF THE PRESIDENT, WOULD ACTUALLY BRING FORWARD A COMPLAINT AGAINST HIS BOSS. AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS ESPECIALLY COURAGEOUS. WHAT I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU THAT YOU WILL ALSO DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO PROTECT MR. ATKINSON FROM POTENTIAL RETALIATION.>>CONGRESSMAN, ABSOLUTELY.>>VERY GOOD. THE WHITE HOUSE RELEASED A MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION FROM THE JULY 25th CALL, RIGHT?>>I BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT WAS TRANSMITTED YESTERDAY MORNING, SIR.>>AND THEY CALL THAT TEL CON.>>I’M UNFAMILIAR, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I’VE SEEN THE TRANSCRIPT OF A PRESIDENTIAL CONVERSATION WITH A FOREIGN LEADER.>>HAVE YOU BEEN — >>TEL CON WOULD BE JOINTLY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION.>>AND HAVE YOU BEEN A PARTY TO A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND A FOREIGN LEADER ON A PHONE CALL?>>WHEN I AM IN THE OFFICE TO PROVIDE THE INTELLIGENCE BRIEF TO THE PRESIDENT, SOME FOREIGN HEAD OF STATE MIGHT CALL IN. THE PRESIDENT MAY EITHER ASK US TO LEAVE OR JUST STAY THERE FOR A BRIEF CALL FROM TIME TO TIME, YES, SIR.>>AND THERE ARE NOTE TAKERS WHO ACTUALLY SCRIBBLE DOWN FURIOUSLY WHAT IS BEING SAID ON THOSE CALLS?>>IF THEY ARE NOTE TAKER, THEY WOULD NOT BE IN THE OVAL OFFICE WITH US. THEY MIGHT BE LISTENING SOMEWHERE ELSE.>>LIKE FROM THE SITUATION ROOM.>>OR I DON’T KNOW, BUT SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE.>>AND IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION, MAYBE MORE THAN A DOZEN PEOPLE WERE ON THE PHONE CALL?>>THAT IS THE ALLEGATION.>>AND THEY WERE ALL TAKING NOTES PRESUMABLY.>>IF THEY ARE GOOD PUBLIC SERVANTS, YES.>>AND WERE YOU EVER A PARTY TO A CALL WHERE THE NOTES THAT YOU TOOK WERE THEN GIVEN TO SOMEONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE FOR KEEPING?>>I HAVE NEVER BEEN PARTY TO ANY CALL OTHER THAN MY OWN. I WOULD TAKE NOTES FOR MY OWN. AT MY LEVEL. BUT I’VE NEVER BEEN PRIVY TO A CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT WHERE I WOULD BE INVOLVED IN TAKING NOTES. IT WOULD JUST BE HAPPEN STANCE, I HAPPENED TO BE THERE AND HE FELT COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO LEAVE ME FOR A BRIEF CONVERSATION. BUT IT IS NOT ANYTHING THAT I WOULD BE IN THAT OFFICE PARTICULARLY FOR THAT MATTER.>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.>>THANK YOU, CONGRESSMAN.>>I’D LIKE TO RECOGNIZE RANKING MEMBER FOR ANY FINAL QUESTIONS THAT HE WOULD HAVE.>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. MR. MAGUIRE, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE. CONGRATULATIONS FOR SURVIVING LEGAL WORD CHALLENGE CHARADE. HOPEFULLY WE’LL SEE YOU BEHIND CLOSED DOORS LIKE THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE AND I WOULD JUST URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT, THEY NEED TO GO TO THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE AND ACTUALLY CALL FOR A ROTE. THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IS NOT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE TO TRY ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. SO THERE IS A PROCESS IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT I WOULD ADVISE YOU ALL FOLLOW. IN THE MEANTIME, DIRECTOR MAGUIRE, I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO YOU FOR BEING ACCUSED OF CRIMES THAT YOU HAVE NOT COMMITTED. IT IS TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR FOR ANYONE TO ACCUSE SOMEONE THAT SERVED FOUR DECADES LIKE YOU AND I HOPE YOU DON’T HAVE ON GO THROUGH ANY ANY LONGER.>>THANK YOU, RANKING MEMBER.>>DIRECTOR, I HAVE A FEW MORE QUESTIONS. JUST TO FOLLOW UP BECAUSE I THOUGHT I HEARD YOU SAY A MOMENT AGO THAT YOU HAD NO COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT ON THE SUBJECT OF UKRAINE. DID I UNDERSTAND YOU TO SAY THAT?>>I HAVE NOT PARTICULARLY HAD ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH ANYONE ON THE SUBJECT OF UKRAINE THAT DIDN’T DEAL WITH THE MATTER THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IN REGARD TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. SO NOT PARTICULARLY WITH THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL OR AS FAR AS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. ALL I DID WAS SEND THE DOCUMENTS FORWARD, THE ALLEGATIONS ARE IN THERE AND I’VE JUST LET THE DOCUMENTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.>>SO YOU’RE SAYING THAT YOU DID NOT HAVE ANY CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT OF UKRAINE THAT DID NOT INVOLVE THIS COMPLAINT?>>THAT’S CORRECT, SIR. I MEAN, I’VE BEEN ACTING DNI FOR SIX WEEKS. I HAVE — >>I’M JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THAT IS SUGGESTING THAT YOU DID HAVE A CONVERSATION INVOLVING THE COMPLAINT WITH THE PRESIDENT.>>NO, NO. THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID, SIR.>>DIRECTOR, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER ON WHEN WE WERE ON THIS SUBJECT OF WHAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL WAS ABLE TO INVESTIGATE OR NOT INVESTIGATE, WHETHER THE PRESIDENT IS WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OR SUBJECT TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND BY THE WAY THE STATUTE DOESN’T REQUIRE THAT THE SUBJECT OF THE CAN’T BE WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, IT REQUIRES THE WHISTLEBLOWER TO BE AN EMPLOYEE OR DETAILEE, DIDN’T REQUIRE THAT THE SUBJECT OR PERSON COMPLAINED OF BE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. BUT YOU HAVE ADOPTED AN INTERPRETATION BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT THAT ESSENTIALLY SAYS THE PRESIDENT IS ABOVE THE DIRECTOR, THEREFORE THE PRESIDENT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE DIRECTOR, THEREFORE IT DOESN’T MEET THE DEFINITION OF URGENT CONCERN, THEREFORE IS DONE. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL CAN’T INVESTIGATE ANY MORE. THAT’S THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S READING OF THE OPINION THAT HE IS NO LONGER ALLOWED TO INVESTIGATE THIS. IS THAT YOUR READING, AS WELL.>>NOT NECESSARILY THE PRESIDENT, BUT THE ALLEGATION HAS TO RELATE TO THE FUNDING, ADMINISTRATION AND INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITY WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE.>>WELL, I’M JUST TRYING TO GET TO WHETHER THE PRESIDENT IS SOMEHOW BEYOND THE REACH OF THE LAW.>>NO, SIR. NO PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY IS BEYOND THE REACH OF THE LAW.>>WELL, THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE, BUT I’M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER THAT’S THE WAY IT IS AS A PRACTICAL FACT. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL BELIEVES BASED ON THE OPINION THAT YOU REQUESTED HE IS NO LONGER ALLOWED TO LOOK INTO THIS BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MEET THE DEFINITION OF AN URGENT CONCERN BECAUSE IT INVOLVES THE PRESIDENT. IS THAT YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEPARTMENT’S OPINION, AS WELL, THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL NO LONGER HAS JURISDICTION TO LOOK INTO THIS?>>IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING — >>AS WE LOOK INTO ACTING DNI JOSEPH McCHOIR, WE WANT TO SHOW YOU THE PICTURE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR SCREEN. THAT’S PRESIDENT TRUMP DEPARTING MARINE ONE ABOUT TO BOARD AIR FORCE ONE FOR THE TRIP BACK TO WASHINGTON AT THE JFK. HE’S BEEN IN NEW YORK FOR THE OPENING SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS. OBVIOUSLY NOT GOING TO BE TAKING ANY QUESTIONS HERE AS HE BOARDS THE AIRCRAFT, BUT LIKELY WELL AWARE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN WASHINGTON, THIS HEARING WITH THE ACTING HEAD OF THE DNI WHO IS DEFENDING HIS HANDLING OF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT THAT WAS MADE PUBLIC TODAY, THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS USING THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE TO SOLICIT INTERFERENCE FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY. ANDREA MITCHELL IS HERE WITH US, AS WELL.>>MOST OF THIS WAS NOT ABOUT THE COMPLAINT WHICH WAS RELEASED ALONG WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S COVER LETTER WHICH IS QUITE LONG. THIS IS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT HE SHOULD HAVE JUST TURNED IT OVER AS THE LAW REQUIRES ACCORDING TO THE DEMOCRATS ON THE COMMITTEE WITHIN SEVEN DAYS AUTOMATICALLY ONCE THE INSPECTOR GENERAL HAD SAID THAT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER’S COMPLAINT WAS OF URGENT CONCERN AND WAS CREDIBLE. INSTEAD, WHAT HE ACKNOWLEDGES NOW HE DID, AND THIS IS NEW TODAY, HE CONSULTED THE WHITE HOUSE. HE TURNED TO THE WHITE HOUSE FIRST, BEING THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL AND ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OF THE WHITE HOUSE AS WELL AS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. WE DID KNOW THAT AND THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RULED THAT THERE IS A MATTER OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE HERE, THAT IT IS THEREFORE NOT AN URGENT CONCERN AND IT DOES NOT HAVE — THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO TURN IT OVER.>>AND WHAT WE ALSO LEARNED IN THIS WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT IS THAT IT POTENTIALLY IMPLICATES NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT, BUT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR. SO THE QUESTION IS IF YOU GIVE THAT MATERIAL TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT.>>THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT CHAIRMAN ADAM SCHIFF AND ALL THE OTHER DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING, IT IS WHAT THEY SAY AS AN ASSUMPTION FOR A COVER UP AND THAT COULD POTENTIALLY LEAD TO AN ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. THERE ARE A LOT OF DETAILS NOW IN THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT INVOLVING THE ALLEGATIONS THAT THERE WAS CONCERN THAT MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF, THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL STAFF HAVE TAKEN THE TRANSCRIPT OR NOTES THEREOF OF THAT PHONE CALL AND PLACED IT IN A CODE WORD HIGHLY SECRET CLASSIFIED COMPUTER FROM WHICH IT COULD NOT BE OBTAINED AND INAPPROPRIATELY PUT IT IN A PLACE RESERVED FOR COVERT ACTION, THE HIGHEST CLASSIFIED SECRETS AS A MATTER OF COVERING UP POLITICALLY SENSITIVE CONVERSATIONS RATHER THAN SOMETHING INVOLVING A TOP COVERT OPERATION.>>AND WE SHOULD NOTE THIS IS THE LAST QUESTIONING HERE. I BELIEVE — YEAH, I BELIEVE WE’RE HEARING THE LAST QUESTIONS OF THIS HEARING. LET ME GO TO CHUCK TODD RIGHT NOW, MODERATOR OF “MEET THE PRESS.” I THINK WE KNOW THIS IS SECOND AND THIRD HAND INFORMATION. DOES THAT MAKE IT ANY LESS OF A BOMBSHELL, HOWEVER?>>I DON’T THINK IT DOES. I THINK, YOU KNOW, IF SOME OF THE DEMOCRATIC QUESTIONING TODAY WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THEY WEREN’T — WE WEREN’T GOING TO YET HAVE THE WHISTLE-BLOWER’S ACTUAL REPORT IN OUR HANDS TO READ. SO I THINK I WAS SURPRISED AT TIMES AT THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. I THOUGHT A FEW TOOK OPPORTUNITIES TO GET SOME OF THE DETAILS SURFACED UP INTO THIS HEARING. AGAIN, IT WAS AT TIMES THERE WAS A BIG FOCUS AND UNDERSTANDABLY SO IT SEEMS AS IF ADAM SCHIFF AND THE DEMOCRATS BELIEVE THERE WAS A COVER UP GOING ON AND THAT IS WHERE THEY FOCUSED WHAT TOOK SO LONG, WHY DID HE GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE? BUT YOU CAN ARGUE THAT THE DECISION TO PUT THIS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION CERTAINLY WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET THE ACTUAL — MORE OF THE ACTUAL COMPLAINT FRONT AND CENTER. AND I JUST WAS SURPRISED AT HOW MUCH OF THE DETAILS THE CAMPAIGNANT WE DIDN’T HEAR ABOUT — ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS WHO AT TIME READ FROM THE CALL ITSELF AND READ FROM THERE. SO ON THAT SCORE, IT SEEMS AS IF IT’S ALMOST AS IF THEIR GAME PLAN FOR HOW THEY WERE GOING TO QUESTION MR. McGUIRE WAS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT WE WOULDN’T HAVE HAD THE WHISTLE BLOWER COMPLAINT — >>CHUCK, WE’RE GOING TO GET BACK INTO THE HEARING FOR A MOMENT.>>AND YOU TOLD US THAT YOU HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE OTHERWISE. AM I RIGHT?>>I HAD NO REASON TO DOUBT A CAREER INSPECTOR GENERAL LAWYER IN HIS DETERMINATION ON WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS CREDIBLE. THAT IS SOMETHING FOR MICHAEL TO DETERMINE.>>AND LET ME ASK YOU THIS. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER SAYS OVER THE PAST FOUR MONTHS, MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN U.S. OFFICIALS INFORMED ME OF VARIOUS FACTS RELATED THOUGH EFFORT TO SEEK FOREIGN INTERFERENCE. YOU WOULD AGREE THAT WE SHOULD SPEAK TO THOSE HALF A DOZEN U.S. OFFICIALS. WOULD YOU NOT?>>I THINK YOU HAVE ALL THE MATERIAL THE COMMITTEE NEEDS AND I THINK IT’S UP TO THE COMMITTEE HOW THEY THINK THEY NEED TO PROCEED.>>I’M ASKING YOUR OPINION AS THE HEAD OF OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. DO YOU THINK THAT WE SHOULD TALK TO THOSE OTHER PEOPLE AND FIND OUT WHETHER THE WHISTLE-BLOWER IS RIGHT?>>MY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO GET YOU THE WHISTLE-BLOWER LETTER, THE COMPLAINT OF THE INFORMATION RELEASED. I HAVE DONE MY RESPONSIBILITY. THAT IS ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH AND THIS COMMITTEE.>>LET ME ASK YOU THIS, DIRECTOR. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER SAYS I AM CONCERNED THAT THESE ACTIONS POSE RISKS TO U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY AND UNDERMINE THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO DETER AND COUNTER FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN U.S. ELECTIONS. YOU WOULD AGREE IF THERE’S A CREDIBLE ALLEGATION ALONG THOSE LINES THAT WE SHOULD INVESTIGATE IT?>>I AGREE IF THERE’S ELECTION INTERFERENCE — THE COMPLAINT IS NOT ABOUT ELECTION INTERFERENCE. IT WAS ABOUT A CLASSIFIED CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC CONVERSATION — >>INVOLVING ELECTION INTERFERENCE BY THE PRESIDENT, SOUGHT BY THE PRESIDENT. THAT DOESN’T TAKE IT OUT OF THE REALM OF SEEKING FOREIGN ASSISTANCE. IT MAKES IT ALL THE MORE PERNICIOUS. WOULDN’T YOU AGREE.>>I DON’T DISAGREE WITH THE IGIC’S ASSESSMENT THAT IT WAS A CREDIBLE MATTER.>>THE WHISTLE-BLOWER NEXT SAYS NAME LE HE, THE PRESIDENT, SOUGHT TO PRESSURE THE UKRAINIAN LEADER TO TAKE ACTIONS TO HELP THE PRESIDENT’S 2020 RE-ELECTION BID. YOU WOULD AGREE THAT THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED?>>NOT NECESSARILY, SIR. IT WAS INVESTIGATED BY THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.>>NO, IT WASN’T. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CONCLUDED THAT THIS WOULDN’T VIOLATE THE ELECTION LAWS. NOW, NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THEY COULD REACH THAT CONCLUSION AFTER THE TWO YEARS WE’VE BEEN THROUGH, BUT NONETHELESS, THEY DIDN’T AUTHORIZE THE FBI TO INVESTIGATE IT. YOU WOULD AGREE SOMEONE SHOULD INVESTIGATE THIS, WOULDN’T YOU?>>I REFERRED IT. IF I DIDN’T, I WOULD NOT HAVE REFERRED IT TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND TO THE FBI.>>WELL, THEN I’M GLAD THAT WE’RE IN AGREEMENT. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER SAYS THEY TOLD ME THAT THERE WAS ALREADY A DISCUSSION ONGOING WITH WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS ABOUT HOW TO TREAT THE CALL BECAUSE OF THE LIKELIHOOD AND THE OFFICIALS RETELLING THEY HAD WITNESSED THE PRESIDENT ABUSE HIS OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN. YOU WOULD AGREE THAT THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED, WOULDN’T YOU?>>ALL I KNOW IS THAT THAT IS THE ALLEGATION.>>AND IT’S CREDIBLE AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED, RIGHT?>>WELL, AGAIN, IT IS HEARSAY SECOND HAND INFORMATION. IT SHOULD COME TO THIS COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.>>THANK YOU.>>AND YOU HAVE IT. YOU HAVE THE DOCUMENTS.>>I JUST WANTED TO CONFIRM THAT WE’RE IN AGREEMENT THAT YOU THINK THE COMMITTEE SHOULD INVESTIGATE IT. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER SAYS DONALD TRUMP EXPRESSED HIS CONVICTION THAT THE NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT WILL BE ABLE TO QUICKLY IMPROVE UKRAINE’S IMAGE AND COMPLETE THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES THAT HAVE HELD THAT COOPERATION BETWEEN UKRAINE AND THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS THE WHISTLE-BLOWER CITING UKRAINIAN READ OUT. YOU WOULD AGREE IF THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT INVESTIGATING BIDEN AND HIS SON AND THAT THAT IS HELD BACK — THE FAILURE TO DO THAT HAS HELD BACK COOPERATION BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES, THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED, RIGHT?>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, I DON’T AGREE WITH ANY OF THAT. I DID NOT AGREE THAT IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED. WHAT I SAID WAS I COMPLIED WITH MY REQUIREMENT TO SEND YOU THE DOCUMENTS.>>I UNDERSTAND — >>THIS COMMITTEE AND THEN IT IS UP TO THE CHAIR, THE RANKING MEMBER AND THESE COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THAT INFORMATION. I’M IN NO POSITION TO TELL THE CHAIR OR THE COMMITTEE TO DO AN INVESTIGATION OR NOT DO AN INVESTIGATION.>>OKAY. I FIND IT REMARKABLE THAT THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DOESN’T THINK CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF SOMEONE SEEKING FOREIGN ASSISTANCE IN A U.S. ELECTION SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED. LET ME ASK YOU THIS. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER FURTHER SAYS IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING THE PHONE CALL I LEARNED FROM MULTIPLE U.S. OFFICIALS THAT SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS HAD INTERVENED TO LOCKDOWN ALL THE RECORDS OF THE PHONE CALL. DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE WHISTLE-BLOWER’S ALLEGATION THERE IS INCORRECT?>>I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER IT IS CORRECT OR INCORRECT.>>SOMEONE SHOULD FIND OUT, THOUGH, RIGHT?>>EXCUSE ME?>>SOMEONE SHOULD FIND OUT IF IT’S CORRECT, THOUGH, SHOULDN’T THEY?>>I DON’T KNOW IF THAT IS AN INCORRECT ALLEGATION. I DO NOT KNOW. AGAIN, THAT IS THE WORK, THAT IS THE BUSINESS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE –>>CORRUPTION IS NOT THE BUSINESS OR IT SHOULD NOT BE — >>NO, THE WHITE HOUSE DECIDES TO DO WITH THEIR PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, I BELIEVE, IS THE BUSINESS OF THE WHITE HOUSE.>>DO YOU BELIEVE THAT’S TRUE EVEN IF THAT COMMUNICATION INVOLVES CRIME OR FRAUD?>>ANY CRIME OR FRAUD — >>ANY CRIME OF FRAUD OR INSTANCES OF WRONGDOING SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOR INVESTIGATION. AS I DID.>>THE WHISTLE-BLOWER FURTHER ALLEGES THAT WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS TOLD THE WHISTLE-BLOWER THEY WERE DIRECTED BY WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS TO REMOVE THE ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT THAT IS OF THE CALL FROM THE COMPUTER SYSTEM IN WHICH SUCH TRANSCRIPTIONS ARE TYPICALLY STORED. AND INSTEAD IT WAS LOADED INTO A SEPARATE ELECTRONIC SYSTEM THAT IS USED — OTHERWISE USED TO STORE AND HANDLE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OF A SPECIALLY SENSITIVE NATURE. ONE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL DESCRIBED THIS ACT AS AN ABUSE OF THE ELECTRONIC SYSTEM. I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER SIMILAR MEASURES WERE TAKEN TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO OTHER RECORDS OF THE CALL SUCH AS CONTEMPORANEOUS HANDWRITTEN NOTES TAKEN BY THOSE WHO LISTENED AND WE SHOULD FIND OUT, SHOULDN’T WE?>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, WHEN I RECEIVED THE LETTER FROM MICHAEL ATKINSON ON THE 26th OF AUGUST, HE CONCURRENTLY SENT A LETTER TO THE OFFICE OF WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL ASKING THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO CONTROL AND KEEP ANY INFORMATION THAT PERTAINED TO THAT PHONE CALL ON THE 25th. IT WAS A LENGTHY LETTER. MICHAEL WOULD BE ABLE TO ADDRESS IT BETTER, BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THE ICIG — I KNOW THAT THE ICIG SENT A LETTER TO THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL REQUESTING THAT THEY KEEP ALL OF THAT INFORMATION.>>BUT YOU WOULD AGREE THAT IF THERE’S A CREDIBLE ALLEGATION FROM THIS CREDIBLE WHISTLE-BLOWER, THAT IF WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS WERE MOVING THESE RECORDS INTO A SYSTEM THAT WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR THAT PURPOSE IN AN EFFORT TO COVER UP ESSENTIALLY POTENTIAL MISCONDUCT, THAT OUGHT TO BE LOOKED INTO. YOU WOULD AGREE WITH THAT, WOULDN’T YOU?>>TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, WHEN THIS ALLEGATION CAME FORWARD, THIS WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINT ON THE 12th OF AUGUST, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE TIMELINE WAS AS FAR AS WHETHER OR NOT THE WHITE HOUSE, THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OR ANYBODY INVOLVED IN THAT CONVERSATION, WHAT THEY DID WITH THE TRANSCRIPTS, WHERE THEY PUT THEM. I JUST HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE NOR THE TIMELINE OF THAT, CHAIRMAN. IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE UNDER MY AUTHORITY OR RESPONSIBILITY.>>THE WHISTLE-BLOWER MAKES A SERIES OF ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING MR. GIULIANI, CITES THE REPORT IN THE “NEW YORK TIMES” ABOUT HIS PLANNED TRANSCRIPT TO UKRAINE TO PRESS THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TO PURSUE INVESTIGATIONS THAT WOULD HELP THE PRESIDENT IN HIS 2020 RE-ELECTION BID. YOU WOULD AGREE IF THE PRESIDENT WAS INSTRUCTING HIS PERSONAL LAWYER TO SEEK, AGAIN, FOREIGN HELP IN THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, THAT THAT WOULD BE IMPROPER, I BELIEVE MUELLER DESCRIBED SUCH EFFORTS TO SEEK FOREIGN ASSISTANCE AS UNETHICAL, UNPATRIOTIC, WOULD YOU AGREE THAT TO SEEK FOREIGN ASSISTANCE THAT WAY WOULD BE UNITHICCAL, UNPATRIOTIC AND POSSIBLY A VIOLATION OF LAW?>>I BELIEVE THAT MR. GIULIANI IS THE PRESIDENT’S PERSONAL LAWYER. AND WHATEVER CONVERSATION THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS WITH HIS PERSONAL LAWYER, I WOULD IMAGINE, WOULD BE BY CLIENT-ATTORNEY PRIVILEGE. I HAVE IN NO POSITION TO CRITICIZE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON HOW HE WANTS TO CONDUCT THAT AND I HAVE NO KNOWING OF WHAT MR. GIULIANI DOES OR DOES NOT DO.>>LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF ALLEGATIONS OF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER. I LEARNED FROM U.S. OFFICIALS THAT ON OR AROUND 14 MAY THE PRESIDENT STRENGTHED VICE PRESIDENT PENCE TO CANCEL HIS PLANNED TRAVEL TO UKRAINE TO ATTEND PRESIDENT ACCORDING TO THESE OFFICIALS IT WAS MADE CLEAR TO THEM THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO MEET WITH ZELENSKY UNTIL ZELENSKY CHOSE HOW TO ACT, QUOTE, UNQUOTE. UNCLASSIFIED LETTER OR MEETING WITH A PHONE CALL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER ZELENSKY SHOWED WILLINGNESS TO PLAY BALL. DO YOU KNOW WHETHER IT WAS PULLED TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT ZELENSKY WOULD, QUOTE, PLAY BALL?>>NO, I DO NOT. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SITUATION AWARENESS, NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY OF THOSE FACTS. >>WOULD YOU AGREE THAT IF THE VICE PRESIDENT’S TRIP WAS CANCELED IN ORDER TO PUT PRESSURE ON UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE MR. BIDEN THAT THAT WOULD BE UNETHICAL AND POTENTIALLY A CRIME?>>I DO NOT KNOW WHY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DID NOT DO THAT. I DO KNOW WHAT THE ALLEGATION WAS WITHIN THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT AND I DON’T KNOW WHETHER THAT INFORMATION IS ACCURATE OR NOT, MR. CHAIRMAN. >>FINALLY THE WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS ON JULY 18, INFORMED DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES THAT THE PRESIDENT EARLIER THAT MONTH HAD ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO SUSPEND ALL U.S. SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE. NEITHER OMB OR NOR NSC STAFF KNEW WHY THIS INSTRUCTION HAD BEEN ISSUED. SENATOR McCONNELL SAID THE OTHER DAY HE SPOKE WITH THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AND SECRETARY OF STATE AND HE DIDN’T KNOW WHY THE INSTRUCTION HAD BEEN GIVEN. DOESN’T THAT STRIKE YOU AS SUSPICIOUS, DIRECTer, THAT NO ONE ON THE NATIONAL SECURITY STAFF, NO ONE IN THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP, APPARENTLY, OF THE PARTY HERE IN CONGRESS THAT APPROVED THE AID UNDERSTOOD WHY THE PRESIDENT WAS SUSPENDING AID, DOESN’T THAT STRIKE YOU AS JUST A LITTLE SUSPICIOUS?>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, I’M JUST UNAWARE, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, HOW THOSE DECISIONS ARE MADE. AND ONCE AGAIN, NO SITUATION AWARENESS OF WHAT HAPPENED, WITHHOLDING FUNDING OF MILITARY AID. >>AS A MILITARY MAN, IF THIS MILITARY AID WAS HELD FROM AN ALLY THAT IS FIGHTING OFF PUTIN’S RUSSIA AND WAS DONE SO TO BE USED AS LEVERAGE TO GET DIRT IN A U.S. POLITICAL CAMPAIGN, DON’T YOU THINK THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED?>>I HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE — I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I HAVE NO SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. IF THAT WAS WHEN WOULD OR WHY IT WAS WHEN WOULD, MR. CHAIRMAN. >>I CAN TELL YOU, WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT. DIRECTOR, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE TODAY AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SERVICE AS MY COLLEAGUE UNDERSCORED, MR. WELCH, AND I COMPLETELY SHARE HIS SENTIMENT. NO ONE HAS ANY QUESTION ABOUT YOUR DEVOTION TO THE COUNTRY. NO ONE HAS ANY QUESTION ABOUT YOUR ACTING IN GOOD FAITH. I WANT TO MAKE THAT VERY CLEAR. I THINK YOU’RE A GOOD AND HONORABLE MAN. LIKE MY COLLEAGUES, I DON’T AGREE WITH THE DECISIONS YOU MAY. I AGREE WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S VIEW OF THE LAW. AND I’M DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE MESSAGE THIS HAS SENT TO OTHER WHISTLE BLOWERS ABOUT WHETHER THE SYSTEM REALLY WORKS. IF SOMEONE CAN STOP THE COMPLAINT FROM GETTING TO CONGRESS THEN THE MOST SERIOUS COMPLAINTS MIGHT NEVER GET HERE. I WANT TO THANK THE WHISTLEBLOWER FOR THEIR COURAGE. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO STEP FORWARD. INDEED, WE KNOW FROM THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHERS THAT HAVE NONL OF MANY OF THE SAME EVENTS. AND I WOULD JUST SAY TO THOSE SEVERAL OTHERS THAT HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THOSE EVENTS, I HOPE THAT THEY, TOO, WOULD SHOW THE SAME KIND OF COURAGE AND PATRIOTISM THAT THIS WHISTLEBLOWER HAS SHOWN. WE ARE DEPENDENT ON PEOPLE OF GOOD FAITH TO STEP FORWARD WHEN THEY SEE EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING. THE SYSTEM WON’T WORK OTHERWISE. AND I HAVE TO SAY TO OUR FRIENDS IN UKRAINE WHO MAY BE WATCHING JUST HOW DISTRESSING IT IS, THAT AS THEIR COUNTRY FIGHTS TO LIBERATE ITSELF FROM RUSSIAN OPPRESSION, AS IT FIGHTS TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY THAT WHAT THEY WOULD BE TREATED TO BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE THE HIGHEST FORM OF CORRUPTION IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE, INSTEAD OF A CHAMPION OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW, WOULD INSTEAD BE REINFORCING A MESSAGE WITH THE NEW UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WHO WAS ELECTED TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION. THAT INSTEAD THE MESSAGE WOULD BE YOU CAN USE YOUR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, CALL BILL BARR. YOU CAN USE OUR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO MANUFACTURE DIRT ON AN OPPONENT. THAT THAT’S WHAT DEMOCRACY IS. YOU CAN USE FOREIGN MILITARY ASSISTANCE, VITAL MILITARY ASSISTANCE AS A LEVER TO GET ANOTHER COUNTRY TO DO SOMETHING UNETHICAL. THE IDEA THAT A FELLOW STRUGGLING DEMOCRACY WOULD HEAR THOSE MESSAGES FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I JUST WANT TO SAY TO THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE, WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR FIGHT WITH RUSSIA. WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY. WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR EFFORTS TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION. AND WHAT YOU ARE WITNESSING AND WHAT YOU ARE SEEING IN THE ACTIONS OF THIS PRESIDENT IS NOT DEMOCRACY. IT IS THE VERY NEGATION. WHAT YOU SAW ON THIS COMMITTEE IS DEMOCRACY, AS UGLY AS IT CAN BE, AS PERM AS IT CAN BE, AS INFURIATING AS IT CAN BE. THIS IS DEMOCRACY. THIS IS DEMOCRACY. THIS IS DEMOCRACY. THANK YOU, DIRECTOR. WE’RE ADJOURNED.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. CHAIRMAN.>>CHAIRMAN SCHIFF, CONCLUDING THAT SESSION ABOUT 2 1/2 HOURS LONG, MAYBE A LITTLE MORE. QUESTIONS FOR JOSEPH MAGUIRE, THE ACTING DNI. THERE IS A LOT TO DIGEST HERE. IT BEGAN A FEW HOURS AGO WITH THE RELEASE OF THAT WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. WE DON’T KNOW WHO THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS, EVEN THE GENDER, BUT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE REPORT IS COMPELLING AND HAS LED TO A LOT OF QUESTIONS, AMONG THE CONCLUSIONS OR AMONG THE COMPLAINTS THAT THE PRESIDENT USED THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE TO SOLICIT INTERFERENCE FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY, THAT THERE’S AN EFFORT BY A WHITE HOUSE TO LOCK DOWN THE CONVERSATION WITH THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, TO LOCK DOWN THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE JULY PHONE CALL. THE COMPLAINER SAID TRUMP’S ALCOHOS POSED A RISK TO NATIONAL SECURITY. KNOWING MUCH OF THIS CAME FROM THIRD HAND, THE COMPLAINANT HEARING FROM OTHER STAFFERS WHO HAD THIS INFORMATION. SO, LET’S WALK THROUGH IT HERE A LITTLE BIT. I’VE GOT ANDREA MITCHELL HERE. CHUCK TODD, LET ME GO TO YOU FIRST. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE MUELLER CASE IN THAT THE INFORMATION HAS COME VERY QUICKLY. ARE DEMOCRATS SITTING IN A PLACE RIGHT NOW WHERE THEY’RE SAYING WE’VE GOT IT, WE’VE GOT THE CASE?>>I THINK THEY THINK THEY HAVE — I THINK THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE SOME BREAD CRUMBS TO BUILD A CASE. I WANT TO FOLLOW UP, THOUGH, ON SOMETHING WE SAID WHEN WE CUT IN JUST BEFORE THE END OF THE HEARING AND I MADE AN OBSERVATION, THAT THEY SPENT MORE TIME ABOUT HOW THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT WAS HANDLED VERSUS WHAT WAS IN THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT. CONGRESSMAN SCHIFF WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT HEARING US AT THE TIME BUT IT MIGHT HAVE FELT THAT WAY TO SOME. IT WAS FASCINATING THE LAST 20 MINUTES THAT HE USED HIS CHAIRMAN’S PREROGATIVE THERE AND SURFACED UP SOME OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT, KNOWING THAT MR. MAGUIRE COULDN’T SAY ANYTHING BEYOND WHAT HE SAID BUT GETTING THAT OUT THERE, SORT OF, FRANKLY, EXPLAINING WHY THEY’RE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, IF YOU WILL, THE CHIEF ALLEGATION. NOW HERE IS WHAT I TALK ABOUT, THE BREAD CRUMBS. I MEAN, LOOK, THE PERSON IN THE HOTTEST OF ALL WATER TODAY BESIDES A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IS CONCERNED IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THAT IS WHERE I THINK THE MOST SKEPTICISM IS THERE. OKAY, THEY WENT TO — SOMEHOW WENT TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. IT WAS REFERRED TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOR A POSSIBLE CRIMINAL VIOLATION. THAT JUST DEPARTMENT THEN DETERMINED THAT THERE WAS NO CRIME COMMITTED. AND THEN WE FIND OUT, WAIT A MINUTE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS NAME DROPPED QUITE A BIT BY THE PRESIDENT IN THE PHONE CALL ITSELF. SO I DO THINK THAT THIS IS GOING TO INVITE A LOT MORE SCRUTINY FROM CONGRESS ON THE ROLE BILL BARR PLAYED AND I THINK THEY’LL SEE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAY NO INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN DONE, TWO WEEKS BY AN IG IS NOT AN INVESTIGATION. ALL THAT SIMPLY IS, IS AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE NOT MAKING IT UP. OVER TWO WEEKS, HE WAS ABLE TO SEE THAT THE ACCUSATION WAS CREDIBLE AND WORTHY OF MORE INVESTIGATION HERE, BUT I’LL TELL YOU THIS. I THINK THE ODDITIES OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE IN ALL OF THIS AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S ROLE IN ALL OF THIS, I THINK, PROVIDES THIS — PROVIDES THE TRAIL THE DEMOCRATS, I THINK, ARE GOING TO GO DOWN AND FRANKLY MIGHT FIND THE MOST FRUITFUL. >>LET ME GO TO HALLIE JACKSON RIGHT NOW, WHO HAS RETURNED TO THE WHITE HOUSE. THE PRESIDENT EN ROUTE TO THE WHITE HOUSE AS WELL. >>Reporter: YEAH. >>HALLIE, WHAT’S THE BUZZ AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE?>>Reporter: COUPLE OF THINGS, LESTER. LET’S SET THE STAGE HERE. THE PRESIDENT, IT’S A QUICK FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO WASHINGTON. WE’LL BE HEARING FROM HIM DIRECTLY FOR-TO-WHAT MAYBE IS HIS FIRST REACTION TO WHAT WE’VE SEEN THE PAST FEW HOURS OR SO, IF THE PRESIDENT DOES DECIDE TO STOP HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND TAKE QUESTIONS FROM REPORTER, AS HE OFTEN DOES. THE BUZZ, I CAN TELL YOU, JIVES SO FAR WITH WHAT WE’VE HEARD IN THE LINE OF QUESTIONS FROM SOME OF THOSE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS ON THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, TRYING TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR PORTRAY THIS AS ESSENTIALLY A WITCH HUNT IN THE WORDS OF THE PRESIDENT, AN UNFAIR ATTACK, ESSENTIALLY, ON PRESIDENT TRUMP. I CAN TELL YOU WHAT WE’VE HEARD NOW, OFFICIALLY, FROM FOLKS HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE. THAT IS THAT THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE IN THIS WHISTLE BLOWER COMPLAINT, ESSENTIALLY CALLING IT A COBBLED TOGETHER NARRATIVE OF THIRD-HAND ACCOUNTS AND OTHER NEWS SOURCING. LET ME SAY THIS, THOUGH, LESTER, THERE ARE PIECES THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED AND YOU HEARD CONGRESSMAN SCHIFF GET TO SOME OF THEM IN THAT LAST PIECE, THAT HAVE NOT BEEN REPORTED. OTHER PHONE CALLS, BESIDES THIS ONE BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY HAS BEEN SHIFTED INTO THIS OTHER ELECTRONIC SYSTEM MEANT FOR STROEMLY SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY CALLS. THAT’S AT THE CRUX AT WHAT DEMOCRATS ARE CALLING A OFFER-UP BY THE WHITE HOUSE AND PRESIDENT TRUMP. ACCORDING TO THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THE ALLEGATION IS THAT IT IS NOT JUST THIS CALL. THERE ARE OTHERS INVOLVED IN AS WELL. THAT, I THINK, WILL BE ONE OF THE DISCUSSION POINTS AND ONE OF THE KEY QUESTIONS THAT FOLKS WILL BE DRIVING AT HERE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THAT’S NOT GOING AWAY ANY TIME SOON, LESTER. >>DO YOU GET ANY SENSE OF WEARINESS AT WHITE HOUSE FROM STAFFERS IN GENERAL THAT HERE WE ARE AGAIN ON THE DEFENSE?>>Reporter: IT’S INTERESTING, LESTER. THEY HAVE SPENT TWO YEARS ON THE DEFENSE AS IT RELATED TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S INVESTIGATION. THE PRESIDENT IS ACKNOWLEDGING, WE NOW HAVE A SUMMARY OF THE PHONE CALL WITH PRESIDENT ZELENSKY, THE PRESIDENT ACKNOWLEDGING THIS CAME UP IN A CONVERSATION. IN SOME WAYS THE UNDERLYING FACTS OF WHAT HAPPENED ARE NOT IN DISPUTE. ON THAT, PRESIDENT TRUMP, DEMOCRATS CAN AGREE. THEY’RE LOOKING AT BLACK AND WHITE, THE SAME THING. IT’S A FUNCTION OF HOW THEY INTERPRET IT. WHEN YOU TALK TO SOME FOLKS BEHIND THE SCENES PRIVATELY, ALLIES OF THE PRESIDENT, PEOPLE IN THE PRESIDENT’S ORBIT, THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF TREPIDATION HERE. THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT WANT TO BE IMPEACHED. THERE’S BLUSTER YOU’LL SEE PUBLICLY FROM THE PRESIDENT AND HIS TEAM. HE DOESN’T WANT THIS. THERE IS CONCERN THAT’S BUILDING PRIVATELY, NOT PUBLICLY, ABOUT WHAT THIS COULD MEAN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS POLITICAL PROSPECTS. >>HALLIE, IF HE STEPS IN AND OUT FRONT OF THE ACCURACY, WE’LL CERTAINLY SWITCH BACK YOUR WAY. LET ME BRING UP ANDREA MITCHELL NOW. LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT WAS MENTIONED THERE. ARE TENTACLES ALREADY GROWING FROM THIS SINCE YESTERDAY?>>YES, ABSOLUTELY. CHUCK MENTIONED WILLIAM BARR, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CLEARLY AND BARR’S LEADERSHIP OF IT AND DECISIONS IN THIS CASE AS WELL AS HIM BEING MENTIONED. EVEN IF HE SAYS HE DID NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S PROMISES TO ZELENSKY OR INSTRUCTIONS OF ZELENSKY THAT HE, BARR, AND GIULIANI, COULD BOTH BE IN TOUCH ABOUT THIS CONSPIRACY. EVEN IF BARR DID NOT DO ANYTHING, HE’S MENTIONED IN THAT CALL AND SHOULD NOT, ARGUABLY, ACCORDING TO THE DEMOCRATS ON THIS COMMITTEE HAVE BEEN AT ALL IN MAKING A DECISION ABOUT WHETHER THIS COMPLAINT WENT FORWARD. HE’S INVOLVED. POMPEO IS INVOLVED, SECRETARY OF STATE. HE’S APPARENTLY ADDRESSING THIS NOW IN A NEWS CONFERENCE. THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE WAS FORCED OUT OF OFFICE IN APRIL AND MAY OF LAST YEAR, RECALLED AND THEN BASICALLY REMOVED FROM OFFICE AFTER OBJECTING, APPARENTLY, TO RUDY GIULIANI BEING INVOLVED IN ALL OF THIS. >>RUDY GIULIANI’S NAME IS PROMINENT IN THIS. >>HE IS INVOLVED IN THIS. MIKE PENCE DIDN’T GO TO THE INAUGURAL OF ZELENSKY WHEN ALL OF THIS WAS TAKING PLACE. HE WAS YANKED FROM THE OFFICIAL INAUGURAL DELEGATION AND RICK PERRY WAS SENT IN HIS PLACE. MIKE PENCE WAS CLEARLY INVOLVED IN DECISIONS THAT WERE MADE IN THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT PULLING HIM BACK. A LOT OF TOP OFFICIALS ARE IMPLICATED. >>ANDREA THERE, AS WE SAID, A LOT TO DIGEST. THAT CONCLUDES OUR COVERAGE FOR NOW. WATCH FOR CONTINUING DEVELOPMENTS ON MSNBC AND NBC NEWS.COM AND, OF COURSE, I’LL BE BACK WITH A COMPLETE WRAP-UP TONIGHT ON “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS” OR, AS EVENTS WARRANT, WE’LL JUMP ON THE AIR. I’M LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS, NEW YORK. GOOD DAY, EVERYONE.

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