DHS Whistleblower Not Ready to Testify 09/19 08:14
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A whistleblower from the Department of Homeland Security
who says he was pressured to suppress facts in intelligence reports says he
won't be able to testify before a House panel until the department gives him
more access to "relevant information," according to his lawyer.
Attorney Mark Zaid said Brian Murphy, a former top intelligence official at
the department, won't participate in a closed-door deposition with the House
Intelligence Committee "until the clearance issues have been resolved favorably
in order to properly protect Mr. Murphy's legal rights." He says he and Murphy
"look forward to and desire the opportunity" to participate.
"Mr. Murphy wishes to provide protected, classified whistleblower
disclosures to the relevant oversight authorities in the Executive and
Legislative Branches," Zaid said in a statement. "That requires his access, as
well as his legal counsel, to all relevant information."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff made Murphy's complaint
public last week and said he had been invited to provide a deposition on Sept.
21. He has not been subpoenaed and was asked to participate voluntarily.
An intelligence committee official said the panel hasn't rescheduled the
deposition at this time, but said DHS had delayed the processing of his
lawyers' clearances. The official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the
closed-door meeting, said the clearances were needed so Murphy could be
properly represented during any classified portions of the deposition.
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
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.