The US whistleblower has been pressured to magnify the left's position in city protests, the lawyer says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia

From Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former acting chief of intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security told Congress that DHS leaders urged him to overestimate illegal border crossings from Mexico and the role of far-right groups in violence during protests against the government last year To outplay summer, said his lawyer.

In a testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Intelligence, former Intelligence chief Brian Murphy accused department leaders of telling him "extreme left groups to blame for violence during the summer protests in Portland, Oregon," said attorney Mark Zaid.

In closed committee hearings last Friday and Monday, Murphy admitted that far-left protesters were responsible for some of the violence, Zaid said.

In a September 8 whistleblower complaint, Murphy accused President Donald Trump's incumbent DHS chief Chad Wolf of telling him to hold back circulating ratings of the threat of Russian interference in the upcoming November 3 election, too because this “the president looks bad. Wolf also urged Murphy to downplay the activities of white supremacists in the US, the complaint said.

Zaid said the committee questioned Murphy about allegations in his complaint that DHS officials pressured him to support grossly exaggerated claims about the number of people entering from Mexico who are suspected of plotting attacks on the United States to have.

Homeland Security Minister Kirstjen Nielsen gave testimony in Congress that amounted to "intentionally providing false material information," according to an initially anonymous whistleblower complaint Murphy made to the Inspector General of DHS.

A spokeswoman for the Intelligence Committee said the panel welcomed Murphy's testimony and the panel would share the results of its investigation with the public.

The spokeswoman added, "We expect the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional witnesses and to fully comply with its legal obligation to provide documents in response to the subpoena."

The DHS had no immediate comment.

Zaid said he understood that the committee had already heard about Murphy's allegations from 12 other witnesses.

DHS performance review documents viewed by Reuters show that Murphy received a high performance rating of 485 out of a possible 500 from a DHS supervisor for the period October 2019 to September 2020.

(Correction from 2010 to 2020 in the last paragraph)

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