© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US Senate Committee on Government Affairs and Homeland Security Holds Hearing on Chad Wolf’s Nomination to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Capitol Hill
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A whistleblower and former US Department of Homeland Security official, who alleges he was pressured to stop providing assessments of Russian election interference, will likely not be deposed by Congress before the November 3 election. his attorney said on Friday.
Mark Zaid, an attorney for former DHS intelligence chief Brian Murphy, told Reuters the deposition before a panel of the United States House of Representatives is being held while DHS processes security clearances for Murphy’s legal team.
“Given the current state of electoral politics, I think it is highly unlikely that a deposition will take place before the elections,” Zaid said. “But we are committed to ensuring that Congress receives the relevant classified information no matter who wins on November 3.”
The delay, Zaid added, had effectively stopped further disclosures by the whistleblower.
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who originally scheduled a statement to Murphy for late September.
Murphy said in a Sept. 8 whistleblower complaint that President Donald Trump‘s acting DHS chief Chad Wolf told him to stop providing assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the Nov. 3 election, in part because ” it made the president look bad. “
Wolf also asked Murphy to downplay America’s white supremacist activity, according to the complaint. In both cases, Murphy said he refused to comply with Wolf’s instructions.
DHS denied Murphy’s claims.
Zaid said Murphy and his legal team were “willing to be patient, but at some point that will run out and we will have to act.” Litigation, he said, could be an avenue.
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