Acting DNI Joseph Maguire undermined the GOP's entire argument against the whistleblower in one sentence
- The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, on Thursday said that the whistleblower complaint on President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president is "in alignment" with a memo the White House released on the conversation the day before.
- "The whistleblower's complaint is in alignment with what was released yesterday by the president," Maguire said.
- This undermines the central argument of Republicans who've sought to discredit the complaint by pointing to the fact it was based on secondhand information.
- Republicans spent much of Thursday's hearing accusing Democrats of maligning Maguire's reputation.
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The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, confirmed on Thursday that a whistleblower's complaint about President Donald Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is "in alignment" with the White House's memo of the conversation.This undermines the central argument from Republican lawmakers who've sought to downplay the significance of the complaint. Advertisement
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas asked Maguire, "Would you say that the whistleblower complaint is remarkably consistent with the transcript that was released?"
"The whistleblower's complaint is in alignment with what was released yesterday by the president," Maguire said as he testified before the House Intelligence Committee in the hours that followed the public release of the complaint.
Republicans are largely discounting the whistleblower complaint because it relies on secondhand information. GOP Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio during Thursday's hearing, for example, characterized the complaint as "hearsay."But the key points in the complaint have been corroborated by the White House's memo on the July 25 phone call, which Maguire confirmed in his testimony. In the July 25 phone call, Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Advertisement
"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that," Trump said to Zelensky on the call, according to the memo. "If you can look into it … it sounds horrible to me."
Though Biden did urge Ukraine to oust a prosecutor who allegedly did a poor job rooting out corruption, there's no evidence he did so on behalf of Hunter, and there's no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Biden.Read more: Read the full declassified whistleblower complaint linked to a phone call between President Donald Trump and UkraineAdvertisement
The whistleblower complaint focuses heavily Trump's push for an investigation on the call, stating, "Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President's 2020 reelection bid."
The complaint says Trump, among other things, asked Zelensky to "initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden."The whistleblower said that over half a dozen US officials over the course of about four months informed him of an effort from Trump to use "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."Advertisement
The still-unnamed whistleblower added that while they did not directly witness the described events, they found their colleagues' accounts of the events to be credible because "multiple officials recounted fact patters that were consistent with one another" and a "variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly."
Maguire on Thursday said he believed the whistleblower acted in "good faith."
GOP Rep. Mike Turner says President Trump's conversation with Ukraine's president was "not okay" and "disappointing to the American public," but doesn't match what's in the whistleblower complaint https://t.co/yvuNtBBxW8 pic.twitter.com/PKTdeSEr57- CBS News (@CBSNews) September 26, 2019
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