Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy ( Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Sep. 26, 2019 1 min read

Eric Swalwell just made an amazing point: if the credible, urgent allegation by the whistleblower was that the White House was *systematically*, *secretly*, and *improperly* moving documents to a classified archive, that *absolutely* triggers the mandatory language in the statute

So the DNI had *no* basis for *any* confusion, after reading the whistleblower complaint, as to whether the complaint involved an "intelligence activity" falling under his jurisdiction; moreover, the complaint being an "allegation" was *legally irrelevant* for assessing its topic

And I'd go further and say that, on its face, the whistleblower complaint alleged the President of the United States was circumventing the U.S. intelligence community, using private parties, not only to negotiate U.S. foreign policy but to gather intelligence via foreign powers

So the idea that there was even a colorable argument that this complaint didn't fall squarely under both the conventional jurisdiction of the DNI and his statutory obligation to turn it over to Congress is a farce that should be openly called out at some point during this hearing

There can be *no doubt whatsoever* that individuals under the supervision of the DNI had *access to and some responsibility for* the archive of classified intelligence the White House was fraudulently stuffing with politically damaging information that had no business being there

I think that while this witness is honorable, there should be a concerted effort to pressure his facile determination that because the president was mentioned in this complaint it automatically put the whole thing outside his jurisdiction (and also the federal reporting statute)

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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