For much of the past week, Democrats and the media have been in uproar over an anonymous “whistleblower” in the intelligence community who allegedly filed a complaint about a phone call President Donald Trump had with a foreign leader — a complaint that was alleged to have been covered up by the new director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire.
In response to the outrage, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr demanding that he force Maguire to turn over the whistleblower’s complaint to the appropriate committees in Congress.
Dianne demands the docs
The Hill reported that Trump was alleged to have threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless it re-opened a previously closed investigation into a corrupt Ukrainian energy company that had employed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, an allegation Trump has dismissed as “partisan” and “fake news.”
But in a statement released by the senator’s office on Saturday, Feinstein said: “If media reports are correct that President Trump delayed military aid appropriated by Congress in order to get Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, it’s difficult not to see that as an abuse of presidential authority, plain and simple.”
She went on: “Withholding the whistleblower report that led to these allegations is also unacceptable. The president is essentially saying that Congress has no right to investigate the executive branch, which is a direct attack on the separation of powers. Oversight is a constitutional function of Congress.”
Feinstein noted that she sent a letter Friday to Barr “demanding that the whistleblower report be transmitted to Congress, which is required by law. I also requested any advice or guidance provided by the Justice Department to the Director of National Intelligence that led him to take this action,” she said.
“Covering this up will only make matters worse for this administration,” she added. “I encourage them to clear this up as soon as possible.”
Congress claims cover-up
In Feinstein’s letter to Barr, the senator wrote that per the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, the DNI is required to turn over to all relevant committees in Congress any whistleblower reports from the inspector general that involved “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity.”
She also noted in the letter that media reports indicated Barr had issued “advice or guidance” to the DNI related to the whistleblower complaint, and she demanded to know exactly what that “advice or guidance” consisted of.
Of course, nobody seems to know for sure who the whistleblower is, what that individual’s actual position in the federal bureaucracy is, what they specifically complained about with regard to Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president, or how they even became aware of what Trump had allegedly said in the first place.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that Feinstein has long been friends with Biden — they’ve served together in the Senate for decades — and her demand for the whistleblower’s complaint comes as the focus of the Ukraine story has shifted from what Trump may have said to potentially corrupt dealings in that nation involving the 2020 hopeful and his son.
Sen. Feinstein may have a legitimate concern about the supposed whistleblower and their complaint, but the oh-so-coincidental timing of her request as scrutiny increases on Biden simply can’t be dismissed.