A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch, The Washington Post reports.
The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.
Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political newcomer who was elected in a landslide in May.
That call is already under investigation by House Democrats who are examining whether Trump and his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s reelection campaign. Lawmakers have demanded a full transcript and a list of participants on the call.The representative of the White House declined to comment.
Democrats initiated an investigation in early September before it became known that an intelligence officer had filed a complaint with the inspector general.
On Thursday, Inspector General Michael Atkinson, behind closed doors, testified on the applicant’s complaint to members of the Congress Chamber Intelligence Committee.
At the office of the Inspector General of the U.S. intelligence community, the complaint is regarded as serious and urgent.
Inspector General Atkinson wrote two letters to the intelligence committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Lawfare official blog.
The first message notes that Atkinson acknowledged the complaint as "credible," and then redirected related materials to Joseph Maguire, head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of the United States, which coordinates the work of all US intelligence services.
In the second letter, Michael Atkinson notes that he did not agree with Maguire’s opinion that the essence of the incident should not be brought to the attention of the US Congress, and that the relevant Senate and House Intelligence committees should only be provided with general information about what happened.