The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday that they will continue looking into allegations made by an intelligence community whistleblower, who has accused President Trump of abusing his office and the White House of covering it up.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) describe a closed door briefing the committee had with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, as the “first step” of the “process.”
“The committee is committed to make sure that we get to the bottom of what questions we need answers,” Burr said.
He warned that the committee would not be moving at “light speed” like its counterpart in the House, but said the committee staff will be “extremely busy for the next couple weeks” while the Senate is on recess.
Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) noted the bipartisan nature with which the committee was moving.
“One of the important things that came out of today is maintaining the integrity of the whistleblower process,” Warner said, while suggesting there may be legislative fixes that the committee will look at.
Burr said that Maguire and Atkinson were “extremely forthcoming” and “extremely helpful in trying to fill in some of the things we haven’t be able to pick up just from the published documents.”
The briefing lasted all afternoon, after Maguire finished his public testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee.
The committee’s leaders declined to answer questions after their remarks, though Burr, when asked by reporters, refused to call the committee’s next steps an investigation
Earlier in the afternoon, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told reporters as he was leaving the briefing that he was “confident” the the committee will hear from the whistleblower himself.
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