The House and Senate intelligence committees learn that a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson. The notification is sent by Atkinson to Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Devin Nunes, and the complaint is in regards to Donald Trump’s actions against Ukraine.
The whistleblower alleges that Donald Trump is withholding military aid for Ukraine, approved by Congress, until President Volodymyr Zelensky produces evidence of any corruption by the Biden family or by Democrats in the 2016 election. But Congress doesn’t know that and won’t know for at least another week.
The complaint was filed on August 12. After Atkinson determined the complaint to be credible, it was forwarded to the Acting Director of National Intelligence on August 26 along with his report. That person, Joseph Maguire, is required to send the complaint to Congress within seven days. He never did. (Maguire had only been Acting DNI for 10 days when he received the report.)
Atkinson sends a letter to Schiff and Nunes to let them know that there is a complaint and that Maguire is blocking them from receiving it.
After reviewing the letter, three House committees announce an investigation into Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s potential abuse of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus for political purposes. The investigation was already a possibility as members of Congress and administration officials grew increasingly concerned about aid to Ukraine that was postponed in July with almost no explanation.
Trump, Giuliani, and their allies insist that aid was not withheld as a “quid pro quo,” but the investigations later uncover a text message exchange between William Taylor Jr. (the top American diplomat in Ukraine), Kurt Volker (U.S. special envoy for Ukraine), and Gordon Sondland (U.S. ambassador to the European Union) that says otherwise.
Taylor, before Congress was informed of the complaint, told Volker and Sondland: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
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