Top Democrats threaten legal action if whistleblower complaint is not brought before Congress

Photo by Susan Walsh/AP

Photo by Susan Walsh/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 1,106 news articles covering this topic. 72% (796) are left leaning, 23% (256) center, 5% (54) right leaning.

On Thursday, it was reported that a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence agent regarding President Trump’s conduct with a foreign leader is being held from Congress by intelligence officials. The complaint was first reported on Thursday night and now has top Democrats, most notably House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, now threatening legal action amidst speculation that the Trump administration may be interfering. MSN reports that Schiff said, “Someone is trying to manipulate the system.”


Democrats believe the issue lies with the Trump administration while Republicans are blaming the media and defending Trump by saying he “might be entitled to some constitutionally-mandated privacy.” However, the general counsel, Jason Klitenic, for the Director of National Intelligence, says the complaint does not involve someone “within the responsibility and authority” of the intelligence community and therefore cannot be deemed “urgent”, meaning the complaint is not required to be brought before Congress.


With the story having potentially huge consequences for the Trump administration, the majority of news coverage has originated from the left. Left-leaning sources like the Washington Post focused on the legal threats made by Adam Schiff if the intelligence chief does not share the whistleblower complaint with Congress. “We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress,” Schiff said, adding later that there are “certainly a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence.”


Centrist sources such as USA Today also highlighted comments made by Schiff as the complaint is currently being investigated behind closed doors and has not been released to Congress. Schiff gave a statement in which he said the Inspector General has “two weeks to investigate that complaint to determine if it’s urgent and credible” and then pass along the complaint to the Director of National Intelligence. Schiff also said that the Inspector General has determined that the complaint falls under the jurisdiction of the DNI and has met the “statutory requirements” for an investigation.


Right-leaning sources like the Daily Caller focused more on the ambiguous and mysterious conditions surrounding the complaint. The online source reported that Inspector General Michael Atkinson has “declined to confirm” the details of the complaint and has been “unable to provide additional information.” The Daily Caller also reported that DNI Joseph Maguire has refused to provide Congress with the complaint because it contains “privileged communications involving someone outside the intelligence community.”