This post has been updated.
The acting director of national intelligence on Wedensday denied that he threatened to resign over concerns about the White House forcing him to stonewall Congress in upcoming testimony.
The denial from Joseph Maguire came within minutes of a report from the Washington Post that he had threatened to resign if the White House tried to force him to keep lawmakers in the dark. The report cited unnamed current and former officials familiar with the matter.
“At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019,” Maguire said in his statement. “I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now. ”
That added to a White House denial of the Post’s reporting.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) September 25, 2019
Maguire is set to testify in public and behind closed doors on Thursday about a still-veiled whistleblower’s complaint that reportedly involves President Donald Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Contrary to standard procedure, Maguire has not shared the complaint with Congress — lawmakers only learned of the complaint when the inspector general of the intelligence community notified them of its existence earlier this month.
Per the Post’s sources, Maguire “warned the White House that he was not willing to withhold information from Congress,” in the paper’s words. The Post reported Maguire’s threat of resignation was meant to force the White House’s hand on the decision of whether or not to invoke executive privilege.
Many Trump administration officials and allies of the President have refused to answer questions before congressional committees. Though the White House has not invoked executive privilege in some of these cases, the witnesses insisted they were reserving the White House’s right to invoke it.
While unnamed officials told the Post that Maguire has pursued the opportunity to speak to members of Congress, the report specified that it was unclear whether the White House would ultimately constrain his testimony on Thursday.
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