News that an unnamed member of the US intelligence community filed an official whistleblower complaint against Donald Trump has ricocheted through Washington like a radioactive pinball.
And with good reason. According to reports, Trump repeatedly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the phone to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, in an extraordinary attempt to damage the Biden brand ahead of the 2020 elections — even as he withheld $250 million in promised foreign aid for the country.
Though little is shocking at this stage of the Trump presidency, given the damning revelations of foreign collusion and criminality revealed by the Mueller investigation, this is a brazen escalation of presidential impropriety on a new level even for Trump.
The very act of refusing to disclose the complaint is a crime itself. Withholding Congressionally appropriated funds flies in the face of the Constitution. And using the powers of the presidency in an effort to force foreign interference in an election is an abuse of power so lawless the Founders could not have even fathomed.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has thus far refused to share any details of the complaint with Congress – as required by law. At the behest of Trump administration officials and the Justice Department, Maguire overruled Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson's determination that the complaint was of "urgent concern" — a clear violation of the law.
Congress must be allowed to perform its constitutional duties. Demand the DNI turn over all relevant information regarding the whistleblower complaint immediately as required by law.