During his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday, acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire, contradicted President Donald Trump, telling Congress that he believes the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s interactions with Ukrainian officials did the “right thing” and followed the proper process.
“I think the whistleblower did the right thing,” Maguire said to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during public testimony, adding that they followed the whistleblower statute every step of the way.
Maguire also expressed his support of the whistleblower, deeming the complaint “credible” and “important” while stating that he does not know the identity of the individual.
Trump has claimed that the whistleblower was a “political hack job.”
Maguire on Thursday also defended his decision not to share the complaint with the committee, noting that after consulting the Justice Department, which determined that the conversation between Trump and another foreign leader was protected by executive privilege.
“I do not have the authority to wave that privilege,” he added.
Maguire’s high-stakes testimony came roughly 30 minutes after the intelligence panel released a minimally redacted version of the whistleblower complaint. In nine pages, it details concerns a whistleblower raised about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that Democrats are formally launching an impeachment inquiry after a new wave of House Democrats came out in favor of the process in the wake of the allegations.