Politico

Acting intelligence chief and top spy watchdog to appear before Senate Intel

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, along with the clandestine community’s top watchdog will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, according to Sen. Mark Warner (Va.).

“We intend to see these key folks in front of the whole committee,” Warner, the panel’s top Democrat, told reporters on Tuesday. “We’ll have an opportunity to question them.”

Warner indicated that Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, would appear before the committee that morning, followed by Maguire that afternoon.

Asked if both men would testify at the same time, Warner replied: “No.” The Intelligence Committee’s website shows the panel currently has two closed-door meetings scheduled for Thursday.

The meetings are slated for the same day Maguire is set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee to explain his role in withholding a whistleblower complaint filed last month regarding President Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader in which he reportedly pressured the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Additional allegations have surfaced that suggest Trump ordered the withholding of military aide to Ukraine about a week before the phone call in question.

Trump has offered differing explanations about what exactly was discussed during the call. Earlier Tuesday, the president changed his story about the conversation, saying he temporarily withheld the aide because other Western states had not contributed similar amounts to the Eastern European nation.

But Trump asserted Monday that he denied the nearly $400 million in assistance because he feared bureaucratic corruption within Ukraine’s government.

Warner said the committee is still uncertain if and when it will see the original whistleblower complaint. A spokesperson for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) declined to comment.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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