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Senate Committee Launches Investigation Into DHS Whistleblower Complaint



The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee is launching an investigation into the complaint made by a whistleblower who alleges he was ordered by top officials with the Department of Homeland Security to manipulate intelligence briefings to align with President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and interests.

The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee has already begun looking into the allegations as well.

Senate Intelligence Chair Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Vice Chair Mark Warner, D-Va., sent a letter Thursday to Joseph Maher, deputy general counsel at DHS, asking for documents related to the complaint, Reuters first reported Friday.

Brian Murphy, the former head of the the department’s intelligence branch, says he was directed by acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to stop producing assessments on Russian election interference. Wolf told Murphy one bulletin in July “made the president look bad,” according to the complaint.

Murphy also alleges acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Ken Cuccinelli instructed him to alter bulletins on violent white supremacists to “appear less severe” and include information on “left-wing” groups such as antifa, and that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her aides pressed him to grossly exaggerate the number of migrants with links to terrorism who had been detained at the Mexican border.

Murphy says he was demoted in retaliation for refusing to modify intelligence findings, voicing his concerns to his superiors and cooperating with the department’s inspector general.

In their letter, Rubio and Warner write, “As the Committee investigates this matter, we respectfully request that you provide the Committee with all intelligence assessments produced by I&A related to Mr. Murphy’s complaint including but not limited to products related to migration and asylum, foreign interference in U.S. elections, and domestic threats related to white supremacism, antifa and ‘anarchist groups.”

A spokesman for Rubio told Reuters that Murphy’s complaint “will be treated as seriously as any other complaint.”

DHS spokesman Alexei Woltornist said in a statement earlier this week: “We flatly deny that there is any truth to the merits of Mr. Murphy’s claim. DHS looks forward to the results of any resulting investigation and we expect it will conclude that no retaliatory action was taken against Mr. Murphy.”