Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire says he upheld his "responsibility to follow the law every step of the way" as he reviewed an intelligence community whistleblower's complaint detailing President Donald Trump's interactions with the president of Ukraine.
House Democrats have criticized Maguire for withholding the complaint for weeks. The complaint was released to Congress on Wednesday and to the public on Thursday just before the hearing.
Maguire says he could not legally release the complaint because of executive privilege, which he says is a privilege he "did not have the authority to waive."
Maguire says a whistleblower "did the right thing" by coming forward to report concerns over the White House's handling of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's leader.
Maguire told the House intelligence committee at a hearing on Thursday the whistleblower followed the law "every step of the way." Maguire says he believes the matter is "unprecedented."
Maguire is facing questions over his handling of the complaint. A declassified version of the complaint was released Thursday before the hearing.
The complaint details a call between Trump and Ukraine's president in which Trump pressures the leader to investigate political rival Joe Biden and efforts the whistleblower says by the White House to suppress the transcript.
Trump has denied doing anything wrong.