September 23, 2019
Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Five Things to Know About the Whistleblower Complaint," published by The Hill. The piece focuses on the escalating controversy surrounding a recent whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump's communications with Ukraine's leader.
As noted in the article, the whistleblower's report has not been shared with Congress, though it has been noted as credible and of urgent concern. The acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire, in consultation with the Department of Justice, has indicated that "no statute requires disclosure of the complaint to the intelligence committees" because "the disclosure in this case did not concern allegations of conduct by a member of the Intelligence Community or involve an intelligence activity under the DNI's supervision."
In response, Cash, a former Intelligence Officer and attorney with the Central Intelligence Agency, and Senate Select Committee Professional Staff and Counsel, told The Hill, "What he's saying is, 'It's not that I'm saying I'm not going to follow the statute, it's that the statute is not triggered because I don't agree that this is an urgent concern that falls within the statute." He also commented that Maguire has misinterpreted the statute in making his claim that the complaint falls outside the IC whistleblower process. "The statute says 'relating to an intelligence activity,'" said Cash. "I think [Maguire] is wrong."
The article also reports that Congress has several tools to compel the DNI to hand over the complaint, and House Democrats have already conveyed plans to use them, if Maguire refuses to do so. "If the allegations that appear to be out there are in any way true, this is perhaps the most significant issue that has faced the intelligence committees ever," said Cash. "This is as big as it gets."