President Trump said that "the offender must be protected if the offender is legitimate."

WASHINGTON – A coalition of government watchdogs have attacked the Justice Department for temporarily blocking a reporter's complaint against President Donald Trump from being passed to Congress, saying in a letter this week that his actions could be hindered people to report abuse to the government.

The six-page letter, signed by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice and about five dozen colleagues from other federal agencies, is a notable rebuke to the agency, alleging that the offender's allegations of foreign election interference are not "urgent" concerns. . "

The group, headed by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, issued an opinion from the Agency's Legal Advisory Service (OLC). The opinion overturned a decision by the own security community that the offender's allegations have since triggered an investigation

The Board of Inspectors-General for Honesty and Effectiveness stated the OLC's opinion that "if not withdrawn or amended, it could seriously undermine the critical role played by persons reporting fraud, fraud, abuse and misconduct within the federal government. "

Michael Horowitz, Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice, gives the Justice Department testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2012 (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

"Reporters play an essential public service when presenting such information and should never endure rap a letter, adding that inspectors general have historically relied on whistleblowers to exercise non-partisan control over federal agencies.

The Council also warned that the Justice Department's OLC note "undermined the independence of the Community Intelligence Inspector General" and misinterpreted the respective roles and responsibilities of the Inspector General. "

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the IG community, "the letter said," we believe that (fairness) opinion creates uncertainty for federal employees and counterparties throughout the government about the extent of the protection of whistleblowers, thereby freezing offenders' disclosures. "

The signalman, a member of the intelligence community, complains that White House officials have expressed fears that Trump tried to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to continue investigating his potential rival, President Joe Biden. In late August, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson filed a complaint with the acting Director of National Intelligence, concluding that such a request could be seen as attracting assistance from foreign forces, a violation of campaign finance laws.

But Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, has delayed the filing of a complaint to Congressional reporters, saying that the executive privilege protects the confidentiality of communications with Trump.

"This case was unique and unprecedented," Maguire told the House Intelligence Committee at the end of September, weeks after the Justice Department's OLC issued its opinion. "The White House did not direct me to dismiss the complaint."

Contrary to Atkinson's finding, the OLC's opinion concluded that the allegations of those responsible for the violations did not meet the legal definition of "urgent concern" because does not include 'financing, administration or intelligence operation. "

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The letter says such a narrow interpretation of the law raises questions as to whether persons. such concerns also apply to other public servants and contractors who may no longer believe that it is worth the risk to expose what they believe to be misconduct by the government.

" This would be a serious loss for the supervision of (the Inspector General) and

The signalman cited Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer and Attorney General William Bar, as one of those involved in the effort to push Ukraine to investigate Biden.

I'm asking Mr Giuliani to call you, and I'll also have to call the Attorney General Bar and we'll get to the end, "Trump said in a 30-minute telephone conversation last July with Ukraine's President Vladimir Zelensky.

The Justice Department claims that Bar knows nothing about Trump's efforts to enlist his help until weeks later and does not communicate with Ukrainian officials.

The letter comes amid a fast-paced impeachment investigation that now included damning testimonies from US diplomats.

William Taylor, America's top diplomat in Ukraine, testified this week that the White House is refusing critical military assistance as part of efforts to pressure the country to launch an investigation into Biden and the former company's vice president's energy company, [19659027] Contributed by: Bart Jansen and David Jackson

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