The committee chairman also appeared on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday, and host Margaret Brennan asked if he'd received a response. It led to an interesting exchange:Just another possible article of impeachment to add onto the accumulating pile. Knowing how Trump acts when cornered, it begs the question as to whether the abrupt "resignations" of both Dan Coats and his second, Sue Gordon were tied to this complaint that was going to ultimately be handled through the DNI office. It's fairly certain that neither Coats nor Gordon would deny the House Intelligence Committee what it has every right to have as a matter of its constitutionally defined role of oversight.
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: We've gotten a response and the director has said, essentially, that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint. This is deeply troubling. No director"
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just ignoring the subpoena?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, at this point, yes. Ignoring the subpoena, ignoring our request. No DNI" no director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint. And here, Margaret, the significance is the inspector general found this complaint to be urgent, found it to be credible, that is they did some preliminary investigation, found the whistleblower to be credible, that suggests corroboration. And that it involved serious or flagrant wrongdoing. And according to the director of National Intelligence, the reason he is not acting to provide it, even though the statute mandates that he do so, is because he is being instructed not to. That this involved a higher authority, someone above the DNI.
In case this isn't painfully obvious, the director of National Intelligence only reports to one person: the one who sits in the Oval Office. Again, we don't yet have a clear sense of the nature of the whistleblower complaint, so I won't speculate. That said, we know it comes from the intelligence community; there appears to be reason to consider the complaint credible; and the Trump administration appears to be hiding it from Congress as part of an unprecedented and legally dubious move.
And if Donald Trump or his team were involved in ordering the DNI to withhold the whistleblower complaint, it raises the potential of a very serious scandal.
Right now there is little more than an irate Chairman Schiff and a whole lot of smoke masking something that might lead to a fire connected to Trump and his governance. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.