“From the coronavirus pandemic to the rise of right-wing extremism to ongoing election disruption, there are urgent threats that require our attention,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement Friday. “Mr. Wolf’s refusal to testify – and thereby escape the control of Congress at this critical time – is particularly worrying given the serious matters the Department and the nation are facing.”
CNN has asked the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
On the witness list for next week’s hearing are Wolf, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Christopher Miller of the National Counterterrorism Center.
Whistleblower Brian Murphy claims Wolf directed DHS officials “to stop providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference” earlier this year and instead focus on gathering information about activities by China and Iran.
“If the presence of SOPDDS Cuccinelli in front of the committee at the position of Acting Secretary Wolf does not meet your needs, we can work together to find a later date for the Acting Secretary to be available to the committee after its confirmatory vote in the Senate” it says in the letter added. The White House sent Wolf’s nomination for full Secretary for Homeland Security to the Senate Thursday.
Thompson’s committee isn’t the only one following statements from department officials lately. Following the whistleblower report, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff will expand his committee’s investigation into the DHS Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis, and will seek additional interviews with a list of DHS officials.
Separately, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to the same office stating he was investigating Murphy’s claims.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.