CIA's Top Lawyer Made Criminal Referral on Whistleblower's Complaint About Trump Conduct - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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CIA's Top Lawyer Made Criminal Referral on Whistleblower's Complaint About Trump Conduct

While the CIA general counsel's contact with the DOJ has been previously disclosed, it has not been reported that the CIA's top lawyer intended the call to be to make a criminal referral about the president's conduct

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    CIA's Top Lawyer Made Criminal Referral on Whistleblower's Complaint About Trump Conduct
    Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
    Government employees inside the CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia.

    Weeks before the whistleblower's complaint became public, the CIA's top lawyer made what she considered a criminal referral to the Justice Department about the whistleblower's allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office in pressuring the Ukrainian president, U.S. officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

    The move by the CIA's general counsel, Trump appointee Courtney Simmons Elwood, meant she and other senior officials had concluded a potential crime had been committed, raising more questions about why the Justice Department later closed the case without conducting an investigation, NBC News reports.

    In the days since an anonymous whistleblower complaint was made public accusing him of wrongdoing, President Trump has lashed out at his accuser and other insiders who provided the accuser with information, suggesting they were improperly spying on what was a "perfect" call between him and the Ukrainian president. But a timeline provided by U.S. officials familiar with the matter shows that multiple senior government officials appointed by Trump found the whistleblower's complaints credible, troubling, and worthy of further inquiry starting soon after the president's July phone call.