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Schiff Delays Whistleblower Deposition 09/21 06:00

   The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says the committee is 
scheduled to depose a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower on Friday, 
pushing the closed-door testimony back four days due to a dispute with the 
Trump administration over his appearance. A subpoena may be necessary, said 
Rep. Adam Schiff.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says the 
committee is scheduled to depose a Department of Homeland Security 
whistleblower on Friday, pushing the closed-door testimony back four days due 
to a dispute with the Trump administration over his appearance. A subpoena may 
be necessary, said Rep. Adam Schiff.

   Brian Murphy said in a whistleblower complaint this month that he was 
pressured by more senior officials to suppress facts in intelligence reports 
about Russian interference and other matters. He has indicated that he wants to 
tell his story to Congress, but his lawyer said last week that he cannot appear 
until he resolves issues with the department over access to information.

   In a statement Sunday, Schiff said that the department has refused to 
authorize security clearances for Murphy's lawyers and also is blocking Murphy 
from reviewing "relevant classified documents" before the deposition. Schiff, 
D-Calif., said the committee is prepared to "use all the tools available to us 
to secure relevant testimony," including a subpoena.

   "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the department is 
purposefully hindering our oversight by preventing a witness from receiving 
proper legal representation, and denying relevant documents to both the witness 
and Congress," Schiff said.

   Murphy's lawyer, Mark Zaid. said that his team has repeatedly requested the 
access from the department and is still waiting for a response.

   "We will not allow Mr. Murphy to be unprotected or lack effective legal 
representation," Zaid said.

   Murphy said in the complaint that he was pressured by senior officials to 
suppress facts in intelligence reports that President Donald Trump might find 
objectionable, including information about Russian interference in the election 
and the rising threat posed by white supremacists. The department has denied 
his allegations.

   Murphy, a former FBI agent and Marine Corps veteran, also alleged that 
senior DHS officials pressed him to alter reports so they would reflect 
administration policy goals and that he was demoted from his post as principal 
deputy under secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis for refusing 
to go along with the changes and for filing confidential internal complaints 
about the conduct. He remains with the department in a different capacity.

 
 
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