Late in the day Sunday, Nancy Pelosi penned another letter, but this one slams the gavel down.
Pelosi wrote an unequivocal ultimatum to the Trump Administration to turn over an explosive whistleblower complaint about presidential misconduct or face a “whole new stage of investigation” in a “Dear Colleague” open letter. A source familiar with the matter says that over the course of her forty years in Congress, today’s letter was “unprecedented.”
Dear Colleague to All Members on Whistleblower Complaint
On Thursday, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will appear before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing. At that time, we expect him to obey the law and turn over the whistleblower’s full complaint to the Committee. We also expect that he will establish a path for the whistleblower to speak directly to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as required by law.
The Intelligence Community Inspector General, who was appointed by President Trump, has determined that the complaint is both of “urgent concern and credible,” and its disclosure “relates to one of the most significant and important of the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibilities to the American people.”
The Administration’s blocking of Acting DNI Maguire from providing Congress with the whistleblower complaint calls upon him to violate the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI “shall” provide Congress this information. The Administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing.
we must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest.
I am calling on Republicans to join us in insisting that the Acting DNI obey the law as we seek the truth to protect the American people and our Constitution.
This violation is about our national security. The Inspector-General determined that the matter is “urgent” and therefore we face an emergency that must be addressed.
If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.
Thank you for your patriotism.
I do not believe it is an accident that this letter comes out this afternoon, after Adam Schiff noted this morning that the privilege claim over the whistleblower report would require a new level of investigation. Pelosi is following through. This is a shot across the bow, it truly is unprecedented, and it is that much more powerful given how intransigent Pelosi has been regarding impeachment.
According to Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) ,today’s letter also indicates that House Democrats are going to use the congressional power of inherent contempt as a means of immediately punishing future witnesses who defy the committee after this week’s incomplete and hostile testimony from Corey Lewandowski, whom even the Speaker herself later said deserved to be held in contempt. I will have much more to say on this aspect later in the week, as I am highly weary of using “Inherent Contempt” as a means to enforce legislative authority, but that can be settled out later in the week.
We know of one prominent Republican who is “troubled” by the allegations and may join in Pelosi’s call to turn the whistleblower complaint over:
News: @MittRomney is the first prominent Republican to push for disclosure of what Trump told the Ukrainians.
It’s “critical for the facts to come out,” he says, adding: “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s President to investigate his political rival…
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) September 22, 2019
I have said for a long time that Trump’s intransigence is near invulnerable, right up until it is not. The end, when it comes, may come blindingly fast. Republicans may begin to realize that this time Trump went too far, even for them. Republicans may be eyeing each other, making the calculations in their head, who they might support in the power-vacuum, and how it might impact their own support, remembering the old stock traders’ adage: “Don’t panic. But if you do panic, panic first.”
I will have much more on this in the morning, but it appears we are in a new world now.
Thank you, Speaker Pelosi