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house Bill H. Res. 576

Should the House Call for the Release of the Intel Community Whistleblower Complaint?

Argument in favor

Based on available information, the August 12, 2019, whistleblower complaint contains serious allegations against President Donald Trump. Congress should receive the complaint as both part of its oversight function and as part of the impeachment hearings.

Kathi13's Opinion
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09/25/2019
Too much of this presidency’s activity has been kept from people who have a right to know what they are doing.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/25/2019
Yes, of course. Since the acknowledgement that the whistle blower existed, was credible and found to be warranted to be forwarded to Congress - of course the full unredacted and unedited report has to go to Congress,
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UrbanMimi's Opinion
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09/25/2019
Of course!! Why is this even being debated? Congress MUST see the whistleblower complaint in its entirety.
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Argument opposed

According to the Acting DNI, the August 12, 2019 whistleblower complaint contains sensitive information that shouldn’t be shared with Congress. Lawmakers should take him at his word and allow the administration to release it on its own time.

Scott's Opinion
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09/25/2019
We the people no longer trust “the sense” of this House.
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Gregory's Opinion
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09/25/2019
The democrats in the house are nothing but trouble makers that lie so much they can not keep up with there statements of deception it is a joke. Vote them out in 2020 WIN Win winning 2020
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Jonathan's Opinion
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09/25/2019
All these people care about is getting rid of Trump to push their own nonsensical agenda
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed September 25th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 421 Yea / 0 Nay
    IntroducedSeptember 24th, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Res. 576?

This resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) should immediately remedy the executive branch’s continuing violation of rules that require complaints detailing credible urgent concerns to Congress. It would also express the House’s sense that the Acting DNI Director should, through the Inspector General, give the whistleblower in the August 12, 2019, complaint any necessary direction on how to contact Congressional intelligence committees directly and in accordance with appropriate security practices. 

Additionally, this resolution would express the sense of the House that the Acting DNI Director must immediately comply in full with the subpoena issued on September 13, 2019 compelling them to product the complaint and accompanying materials, the IG’s credibility determination, and other relevant records to the relevant Congressional committees. 

To protect the whistleblower and other people who might have knowledge about the complaint’s allegations, this resolution would also express the House’s sense that the Acting DNI Director should immediately take public action to ensure these people’s safety and protect them from threats of reprisal. 

This resolution would also express the House’s sense that the Acting DNI Director, Dept. of Justice (DOJ), and the White House must immediately preserve all records, documents, communications, and other information that might relate to the complaint. This would include information on the decision to withhold the complaint from the Congressional intelligence committees. 

Finally, this resolution would express the sense of the House that President Donald Trump, his associates, and senior administration officials must immediately stop their public efforts to discredit the whistleblower and others who may have knowledge about the complaint’s allegations.

Impact

House of Representatives; Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI); and the August 12, 2019 whistleblower complaint.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 576

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced this resolution to express the sense of the House of Representatives that the whistleblower complaint made on August 12, 2019 should be forwarded to Congress for appropriate investigation.

Writing in the National Review, Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, warns that it would be easy to politicize the whistleblower complaint, but that doing so would be unwise: 

“The president has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The Congress has the power to subject that exercise to thorough examination. The clash of these powers is a constant in our form of government. It is politics. For once, let’s find out what happened before we leap to DEFCON 1.”

On Tuesday, September 24, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a Senate resolution calling for the whistleblower complaint to go to the Senate and House intelligence panels. The resolution unanimously passed the Senate despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s criticism of it as a “made-for-TV moment.”


Of NoteIn mid-September 2019, it was revealed that an internal Trump administration whistleblower had filed a complaint about “multiple acts” by President Trump on August 12, 2019. According to the Washington Post’s Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Shane Harris, the complaint was partly about a troubling “promise” made during a conversation between Trump and a foreign leader. However, in a followup, the New York Times reported that the complaint was broader than a single call or promise. 

Ultimately, it was revealed that the whistleblower repeatedly expressed concerns that President Trump repeatedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in a July phone call. Other concerns are also covered in the complaint. Reportedly, on July 25, 2019, Trump spoke to Zelensky to pressure him to investigate a story that, as vice president, Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had investigated Hunter.

The Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) determined the complaint to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern.” Usually, this legal standard requires the notification of Congressional oversight committees. 

In fact, per a letter to Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, the ICIG determined that the complaint “relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.”

However, despite the ICIG’s concerns, Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire intervened to block Congress from receiving the complaint’s contents. According to  Schiff, Maguire diverted the complaint to the DOJ and told the committee he’d refuse to share it because it involved someone outside the intelligence community and could involve matters of confidentiality and privilege. 

In response to Maguire’s actions, Schiff criticized him for breaching a law and requires him to share any whistleblower complaint deemed urgent by the ICIG with Congress. Rep. Schiff added that he believes the confluence of factors leads him to believe the complaint involves Trump or other senior executive branch officials. In a letter to Maguire, Schiff wote, “You have neither the legal authority nor the discretion to overrule a determination by the IC IG. Your office has attempted to justify doing so based on a radical distortion of the statute that completely subverts the letter and spirit of the law.” Therefore, Rep. Schiff subpoenaed Maguire for testimony.

In a September 17, 2019 letter to Rep. Schiff, DNI general counsel Jason Klitenic argued that Magure followed the letter of the law in blocking the complaint’s transmission to Congress. In his letter, Klitenic argued that the whistleblower statute governing DNI is only applicable when a complaint involves a member of the intelligence community. Because the complaint in question is aimed at a person outside the intelligence community, Klitenic argued that the whistleblower statute doesn’t apply.

Historically, the executive branch has maintained that it doesn’t consider the statutory language with regard to whistleblower complaints mandatory. When he signed the original Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998, President Clinton stated that it “does not constrain my constitutional authority to review and, if appropriate, control disclosure of certain classified information to Congress.” In 2010, President Obama reiterated the limitation.

Acting DNI Maguire has said he’ll testify before the House Intelligence Committee in an open session on September 26. Additionally, the Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to receive a closed-door briefing from the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, about the complaint on the same day. It’s unclear whether Atkinson will be bringing the complaint with him.

President Trump has said he’ll share the transcript of the call between himself and Zelensky on Wednesday, September 25. With regard to the complaint itself, the administration has reversed its original position and has begun preparing to release the whistleblower complaint and the ICIG report to Congress by the end of the week. According to an administration official, the president has agreed to this move.

On September 24, Trump tweeted in his defense that the transcripts will exonerate him: 

“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / MHJ)

AKA

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to the whistleblower complaint of August 12, 2019, made to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

Official Title

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to the whistleblower complaint of August 12, 2019, made to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

    Too much of this presidency’s activity has been kept from people who have a right to know what they are doing.
    Like (98)
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    We the people no longer trust “the sense” of this House.
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, of course. Since the acknowledgement that the whistle blower existed, was credible and found to be warranted to be forwarded to Congress - of course the full unredacted and unedited report has to go to Congress,
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course!! Why is this even being debated? Congress MUST see the whistleblower complaint in its entirety.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    More information is needed to determine the heinous nature of Trump’s corruption.
    Like (29)
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    Total Transparency is necessary with treasonous, corrupt White House!
    Like (27)
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    The democrats in the house are nothing but trouble makers that lie so much they can not keep up with there statements of deception it is a joke. Vote them out in 2020 WIN Win winning 2020
    Like (24)
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    Regardless of your opinion of Trump, this is necessary. It is the duty of our government to hold people accountable when they have done wrong. Thus, it is necessary for you to receive this intel. If you reject this, you have disgraced your duty as a member of the government.
    Like (24)
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    Absolutely! Release it! Everything that Donald is involved in must be made available to the House. Donald is a stone cold liar and cannot be trusted!
    Like (21)
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    Based on available information, the August 12, 2019, whistleblower complaint contains serious allegations against President Donald Trump. Congress should receive the complaint as both part of its oversight function and as part of the impeachment hearings.
    Like (19)
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    All these people care about is getting rid of Trump to push their own nonsensical agenda
    Like (17)
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    The full report
    Like (14)
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    Thank you Whistleblower. You got that son of a bitch!
    Like (13)
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    The law requires its production. The DNI has no authority to overrule the IG. We shouldn’t need a resolution for Congress to get it. But, sadly, with this White House, we do. Support it, as did the Senate with a unanimous vote.
    Like (12)
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    Transparency!
    Like (12)
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    The only way we will know for sure. They want to speak, let them.
    Like (12)
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    The house needs to get all the information about the infamous Trump to Ukraine’s leader call. They can’t have a fair or complete investigation without all the information. And, who doesn’t want them to have all the information? Those people and politicians would be criminals also.
    Like (11)
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    Yes. Absolutely. The entire unredacted whistleblower complaint in detail MUST be released!
    Like (9)
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    Our representatives cannot make correct decisions without all of the information. I am for transparency and against a secret state. We should never simply take anyone’s word for it. That is a ridiculous request.
    Like (8)
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    Transcript has been released, mind as well release the complaint. But so far this whole impeachment thing has not worked well in favor for the Dems. Im curious what’s in that complaint.
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