Working in the intelligence community in the age of Trump

Memorandum of President Trump's phone call
The first page of the memorandum on President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from July 25, 2019 is shown on Sept. 27, 2019 in Washington.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

A whistleblower’s complaint has put the intelligence community in an uncomfortable position — the spotlight.

Revelations from the whistleblower led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

According to the New York Times, the complaint was written by a CIA officer who had worked at the White House. It revealed that President Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival and that potentially damaging information had been stored in a separate system.

Trump has said that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, but he has referred to him or her as partisan.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee last week, the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, said the whistleblower “did the right thing” by filing the report.

Throughout the hearing, Maguire made sure to distance himself from the political tension in the room. He stated, “I am not partisan, and I am not political. I believe in a life of public service, and I am honored to be a public servant.”

How can the intelligence community maintain a political firewall in a process that is dominated by partisan forces?

Wednesday at 9 a.m., two intelligence experts joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation about how the intelligence community views the impeachment inquiry.


  • John Radsan is a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and former assistant general counsel at CIA.

  • Katrina Mulligan is the managing director of the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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