Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire threatened to resign if the Trump administration restricted what he could say in his upcoming congressional testimony, The Washington Post reported Wednesday citing current and former officials familiar with the matter.
Maguire is scheduled to appear before a House panel on Thursday to answer the House Intelligence Committee’s numerous questions about the bombshell whistleblower complaint that triggered an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.
Both the White House and Maguire himself, however, dispute the claim that the acting director threatened to quit if he were muzzled at the hearing.
“At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019,” Maguire said in a statement. “I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now.”
In a tweet responding to the Post’s scoop, press secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote, “This is actually not true. And we would have gone on the record to say that if the [Post] had given us more than 6 minutes (literally) to respond.”
A member of the intelligence community had submitted the complaint to warn officials that President Donald Trump may have violated campaign finance law in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A summary of the call produced by the White House on Wednesday confirmed the president had asked Zelensky to open an investigation into Joe Biden, the political foe Trump sees as his biggest threat in the 2020 election.
Maguire previously asserted in a statement that he was “committed to protecting whistleblowers and ensuring every complaint is handled appropriately.”