Once in a while, important news breaks late on a Friday night. Take this report from the Wall Street Journal, for example, which reached the public at 11:03 pm (ET).
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issued a subpoena to the nation's top intelligence official Friday night, seeking to force him to turn over a whistleblower complaint that the intelligence community's inspector general has allegedly deemed a matter of "urgent concern."
The identity of the whistleblower and the nature of the complaint weren't revealed. But in a news release Friday night, Mr. Schiff (D., Calif.) said the inspector general had determined the complaint to be credible and notified his House committee of the matter on Monday.
Not surprisingly given the circumstances, many of the relevant details aren't yet available to the public, but we have a rough sketch to go on. We know the Intelligence Community Inspector General's office is aware of a whistleblower complaint that it determined to be credible and a matter of "urgent concern." We know that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asked Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to provide the committee with the information.
And we know that Maguire declined to cooperate with the congressional request.
I think it's fair to say Schiff wasn't pleased with the response. The California Democrat subpoenaed the materials, demanding the full and unredacted record, and directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to provide information on possible communications with other offices within the executive branch (cough, West Wing, cough) about the controversy.
The House Intelligence Committee chairman also reminded Maguire in writing, "As Acting Director of National Intelligence, you have neither the legal authority nor the discretion to overrule a determination by the IC IG. Moreover, you do not possess the authority to withhold from the Committee a whistleblower disclosure from within the Intelligence Community that is intended for Congress."
Schiff added, "Your office, moreover, has refused to affirm or deny that officials or lawyers at the White House have been involved in your decision to withhold the complaint from the Committee.... The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials."