FBI seeks to interview the whistleblower at center of impeachment inquiry

FBI seeks to interview the whistleblower at center of impeachment inquiry

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The FBI recently sought to interview the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the Ukraine impeachment investigation.

The outreach to the whistleblower was approved by the FBI’s Washington field office. Neither Attorney General William Barr nor those in his orbit at the Justice Department were aware until media reports surfaced on Wednesday. The whistleblower has not yet agreed to an interview, a source directly familiar with the matter said.

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The FBI request was first reported by Yahoo News, which said that some FBI officials were disturbed that the Justice Department declined to investigate the whistleblower's complaint after a criminal referral was sent from the inspector general of the Intelligence Community.

Justice Department officials said they examined the referral based on the whistleblower's complaint and decided that there should be no investigation. They said they only examine whether a campaign finance crime occurred, and they have never explained why they did not consider questions of bribery, extortion or other possible crimes, NBC News reports.

The whistleblower was not on the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and is not considered a first-hand witness. Because of that, congressional Democrats have decided they do not need the person's testimony in the impeachment hearings. Republicans, however, have urged that the whistleblower be brought in to testify.

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