Democrats view 'deeply disturbing' whistleblower complaint about Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 25, 2019. Copyright Brendan Smialowski AFP - Getty Images
By Dareh Gregorian and Haley Talbot and Frank Thorp V with NBC News Politics
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"I think it's a travesty that this complaint was withheld as long as it was because it was an urgent matter and it is an urgent matter," Schiff said.


The whistleblower complaint at the heart of a weeks-long standoff between the White House and Congress that culminated with a formal impeachment inquiry was finally made available to lawmakers on Wednesday.

The document by the still-unidentified whistleblower obtained allegations that were "very credible" and "deeply disturbing," said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D.-Calif. The complaint is believed to be related to a July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"The complaint is very well written, and certainly provides information for the committee to follow up with other witnesses and documents," Schiff, who was among the lawmakers permitted to view the classified complaint, said.

The complaint was filed last month the acting inspector general for Director of National Intelligence, who found it to be "credible" and "urgent." It was supposed to be turned over to Congress within a week, but the Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguirerefused to do so at the advice of the Justice Department.

"I think it's a travesty that this complaint was withheld as long as it was because it was an urgent matter and it is an urgent matter, and there was simply no basis to keep this from the committee," Schiff said.

"The idea that the Department of Justice would have intervened to prevent it from getting to Congress throws the leadership of the department into further ill repute," Schiff said.

He and other top lawmakers were allowed to review the document in a secure location in the Capitol.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said "having read the documents in there I'm even more worried about what happened than I was when I read the memorandum of the conversation. There are so many facts have to be examined."

The document was made available hours after text of the July phone call was released. Maguire is scheduled to testify about the dispute in appearances before the House and Senate on Thursday.

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