September 21, 2019

Feinstein to AG Barr: Transmit Whistleblower Report, DOJ Guidance ASAP

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Friday called on Attorney General Barr to transmit the whistleblower report and any guidance provided to the Director of National Intelligence to Congress as soon as possible.

Senator Feinstein released the following statement today:

“If media reports are correct that President Trump delayed military aid appropriated by Congress in order to get Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, it’s difficult not to see that as an abuse of presidential authority, plain and simple.

“Withholding the whistleblower report that led to these allegations is also unacceptable. The president is essentially saying that Congress has no right to investigate the executive branch, which is a direct attack on the separation of powers. Oversight is a constitutional function of Congress.

“I sent a letter on Friday to Attorney General Barr demanding that the whistleblower report be transmitted to Congress, which is required by law. I also requested any advice or guidance provided by the Justice Department to the Director of National Intelligence that led him to take this action.

“Covering this up will only make matters worse for this administration. I encourage them to clear this up as soon as possible.”

Full text of the letter sent to Attorney General Barr follows:

September 20, 2019

The Honorable William P. Barr
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Barr:

This letter requests that you ensure that the whistleblower report provided to Director of National Intelligence Maguire by Inspector General Atkinson is transmitted to the relevant Committees of Congress.

The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act provides that the Director of National Intelligence “shall transmit” to relevant committees any whistleblower report from the Inspector General involving “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity.” (50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(G)).

It has now been reported that the Department of Justice advised the Director of National Intelligence on whether to transmit the whistleblower report to Congress. Accordingly, please also provide any advice or guidance that was offered by the Justice Department to the DNI regarding the transmittal of this report.

Thank you for your prompt attention to my request.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

cc: The Honorable Lindsey O. Graham
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary

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