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Whistleblower complaint reveals witnesses, concern over handling of Trump Ukraine call

Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly,on Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. Copyright Evan Vucci AP
Copyright Evan Vucci AP
By Ken Dilanian and Allan Smith and Geoff Bennett and Alex Moe and Leigh Ann Caldwell with NBC News Politics
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The director of National Intelligence is set to testify in an open hearing before Congress on Thursday.


A complaint from a whistleblower reveals there are witnesses who can back up their story and it indicates concern over the handling of the memo of President Donald Trump's phone call with the President of Ukraine, according to a congressional source.

The whistleblower, whose identity remains unknown, says the record of the conversation on July 25 between Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy was treated in an unusual way, including part of it being over-classified in the whistleblower's view, the congressional source said.

The whistleblower complaint details were first reported by The New York Times.

The complaint has been declassified with minimal redactions, sources familiar with the matter told NBC News on Wednesday night, adding it is expected to be released Thursday morning. The complaint is thought to be related to the July 25 conversation.

The complaint was supposed to have been turned over to Congress within a week, but acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguirerefused to do so on the advice of the Justice Department. Maguire is set to testify publicly before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told top Democrats in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday morning she wants to narrow the scope of the impeachment inquiry into Trump by focusing on his interaction with his Ukrainian counterpart, multiple sources wtold NBC News. Those sources cautioned that no firm decision has been made.

Two House leadership sources told NBC News Pelosi prefers to focus on the Ukraine controversy, as she views the alleged underlying bad act to be simple and straightforward. Pelosi believes the Ukraine issue provides the strongest case to quickly build public support for impeachment, which is one of her chief goals, the source said.

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