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Adam Schiff threatens to withhold funds from intelligence community over whistleblower report


'A blunt remedy'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Intelligence Community Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday threatened to withhold funds from the intelligence community unless the government discloses the whistleblower complaint recently lodged against President Donald Trump.

Trump faced new scrutiny last week over an phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in July during which the president allegedly pressured Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden. A whistleblower complaint was later filed, but not turned over to congressional investigators.

On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Schiff threatened to withhold funds from the intelligence community to obtain the whistleblower report.

"Wouldn't withholding funds from the intelligence community put the nation's safety at risk?" host Jake Tapper asked.

"It depends on what funds we withhold. In this case, you have the office of the director of national intelligence that is withholding this complaint in violation of the clear letter of the law," Schiff replied. "And there are funding requests that that office makes that don't go directly to national security that we can withhold."

"Look, it is a blunt remedy and one that I'm very reluctant to use," Schiff continued. "At the same time, the inspector general has said this is not only serious, this is not only credible, but it's urgent. We cannot afford to play rope-a-dope in the court for weeks or months on end. We need an answer."

"If there is a fire burning, it needs to be put out," Schiff said.

Rep. Schiff on CNN: Trump Should Release the Phone Call Transcript and the Whistleblower Complaint youtu.be

Although Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael determined the whistleblower complaint to be of "urgent concern," acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has declined to give Congress full access to the file.

CNN revealed Friday that the report is based on nothing more than hearsay, and the alleged whistleblower has no "direct knowledge" of Trump's communications with Zelenskiy.

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