Nearly as quickly as the CIA whistleblower attracted national attention, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes was hoisted into the media spotlight.
Himes was the second congressman to question Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, Sept. 26.
Himes’ questions were part of a broader Democratic Party effort to uncover how Maguire may have collaborated with the White House and Department of Justice to stall or prevent scrutiny of President Trump’s telephone conversations with the president of Ukraine.
Maguire was called to testify about the whistleblower's complaint that led six House Committees to launch an official impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and the initial refusal by the Trump Administration to share the complaint with Congress.
Himes questioned Maguire about whether he coordinated with the White House and the president on withholding the complaint, which describes in part these discussions, from Congress. Himes pushed Maguire to answer why he did not comply with a Congressional subpoena for the document.
According to statute and precedent, the whistleblower complaint should have been transmitted to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees by the Director of National Intelligence after being elevated by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. Instead, the complaint was brought only to the White House and Justice Department and held since mid-August -- defying law and a subsequent congressional subpoena. The complaint was turned over to congressional intelligence committees on Thursday.
The whistleblower complaint, which was released to the public on Friday morning, Sept. 27 alleges the President sought to solicit interference by the Ukrainian government in advance of the 2020 presidential election by smearing a potential political rival, Vice President Joe Biden, and withholding key defense aid to the country until they complied. It also implicated Attorney General William Barr.