Joseph Maguire, acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is set to testify on Thursday about the whistleblower complaint related to President Donald Trump’s conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. News outlets reported that Maguire was apparently so concerned that he won’t be allowed to speak openly during his testimony before Congress that he threatened to resign if he was forced to withhold information by the White House.
According to The Washington Post, Maguire was appointed as head of the agency last month to replace Dan Coats, who stepped down from the position at the end of July. While Maguire wasn’t in his position throughout the entire events related to the Ukraine phone call, he now plays a key role in helping Congress determine what went on between Trump and Zelensky. On Wednesday, he disputed reports that he threatened to resign for fears of being forced to stonewall Congress.
Current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter say that tensions between the White House and the intelligence department have reached a point where Maguire feels compelled to take extreme steps if he is pressured by the Trump administration to refuse to cooperate with Congress, as he apparently fears.
Maguire’s stance signals that he plans to cooperate fully with Congress after being accused by Democrats that he had blocked the whistleblower’s complaint from reaching Congress.
“In light of recent reporting on the whistleblower complaint, I want to make clear that I have upheld my responsibility to follow the law every step of the way. I am committed to protecting whistleblowers and ensuring every complaint is handled appropriately,” Maguire said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to find a resolution regarding this important matter.”
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said that the details about Maguire’s stance are “not true.” Maguire stated the same.
Maguire hasn’t weighed in on whether or not his threat forced the Trump administration to allow him to defend his actions in front of Congress, but he still sought out the opportunity to speak before the body.
.@WashingtonPost got it wrong again.
From the statement by Acting DNI Joseph Maguire:
“At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019. I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now." https://t.co/hq8Irsv1Dr
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 25, 2019
As The Inquistr previously reported, Maguire reportedly refused to hand over a copy of the whistleblower’s complaint to the House Intelligence Committee, forcing its chair, California Democrat Adam Schiff, to issue a subpoena to obtain a copy of the report. Since then, the White House has said that it will release a copy of the complaint, though it is unclear why it is in possession of the complaint. Typically, a complaint of this nature isn’t sent to the White House.
Schiff weighed in on the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine after it was released on Wednesday.
.@RepAdamSchiff: "The notes of the call reflect a conversation far more damning than I or many others had imagined…What those notes reflect is a classic mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader.” pic.twitter.com/7YAz1mB1Xb
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 25, 2019