Intelligence community inspector general meets with Congress today about whistleblower complaint

President Donald Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto shake hands during a news conference at the White House in Washington Wednesday Oct. 2 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed he listened in on Mr Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reiterated his complaint that Democrats' demands for interviews with State Department officials amounted to an act of intimidation.

Weeks before the whistleblower's complaint became public, the CIA's top lawyer made what she considered to be a criminal referral to the Justice Department about the whistleblower's allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office in pressuring the Ukrainian president, us officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

The New York Times noted that the anti-Trump complainant only notified the committee's Democrats of his allegations.

Schiff's staff has maintained that it is normal for whistleblowers to contact the committee for guidance before submitting a formal complaint.

The President's most ardent supporters quickly jumped on Twitter to peddle the unfounded theory that the whistleblower complaint had been orchestrated by House Democrats aiming to oust President Trump. Mr Trump froze hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine days before the call.

Thousands across Asia Pacific march in solidarity with Hong Kong
Meanwhile, police said that they expect protests on Tuesday to be " very, very dangerous ", according to Channel NewsAsia . Taiwan's incorporation into China is "an inevitable trend" and "no one and no force can ever stop it", Xi said.

The second official is one of the people interviewed by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson in his efforts to confirm the initial complaint, one of the people told the Times. Later, during two television appearances alongside the president of Finland, Mr Trump laid into Mr Schiff, calling him a "lowlife" and a "shifty, dishonest guy" as the Finnish leader looked on uncomfortably. And the officer took their concerns to the committee only after they had a colleague relay them to the CIA's top lawyer, which resulted in the Central Intelligence Agency alerting the White House.

Congressional Democrats, however, have largely stood behind Schiff. "Consider Mr. Schiff's stunt in opening the Intelligence Committee's hearing on Mr. Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine". A spokesman declined to comment on the particulars of that interaction, but he denied that Schiff had any contact with the whistleblower directly.

House Democrats declined to comment on the negotiations but voiced support for efforts to hide the whistleblower's identity from lawmakers. "We would like to, but I'm sure the whistleblower has concerns, that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national intelligence just as to how he is to communicate with Congress". But both the House Intelligence Committee and a lawyer representing the whistleblower told us the complaint was drafted independently of Schiff's input, and we could find no evidence to the contrary.

The whistleblower appears to have properly sought help on filing the complaint, confirmed Michael German a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and whistleblower who recently wrote about his experiences in a book called "Disrupt, Discredit and Divide".

On Thursday, Trump offered yet another explanation for what he's described as the "hoax" whistleblower complaint, again without offering any evidence. Additionally, such a move could end up encouraging others with even more relevant knowledge to come forward. "We would like to", Schiff said.

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