White House Working on Deal to Let Whistle-Blower Speak to Congress

The New York Times Politics 1 month ago

White House and intelligence officials are working on a deal to allow the whistle blower who filed an explosive complaint about President Trump to meet with Congressional investigators, as part of a broader effort by the administration to quell calls for Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

The meeting could give Democrats a stream of evidence as they consider whether to impeach the president. Such a meeting would allow the whistle-blower to share at least some details of the complaint he filed — which relates to Mr. Trump’s efforts to get the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son — even if the actual document is not handed over to Congress.

The administration had originally barred the whistle-blower’s complaint from being shared with Congress, arguing that it did not meet the legal definitions of a matter under the purview of office of the director of national intelligence.

But on Monday, amid building political pressure from both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, the administration began the process of reversing that decision.

Intelligence community lawyers sent a letter to the whistle-blower on Monday, indicating that the office was trying to work out the issues that would allow the whistle-blower to speak with Congress, according to a person briefed on the matter. Andrew P. Bakaj, a lawyer for the whistle-blower, had sent a letter to the director of national intelligence on Monday, saying that his client wanted to meet with members of Congress but needed the office’s approval.

Intelligence community lawyers have had discussions with the White House and the Justice Department officials about how the whistle-blower can share his complaint without infringing on issues like executive privilege.


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