The CIA’s top lawyer made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice after hearing the whistleblower’s allegations that President Donald Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to look into possible wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, NBC News reported Friday.
The referral was made weeks before the allegations became public, but were no investigation was opened. CIA general counsel Courtney Simmons Elwood, a Trump appointee, and senior officials would have determined a crime had been committed if such a referral was made, NBC reported.
According to NBC, Justice Department officials were not clear whether Elwood was making a criminal referral, and when they followed up with her, she was vague.
Elwood was part of a conference call when she heard about the complaint, and followed department procedures in reporting the matter.
The decision not investigate was made by Brian Benczkowski, who consulted with career lawyers at the public integrity section, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told NBC News.
“Relying on established procedures set forth in the Justice Manual, the Department’s Criminal Division reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted,” Kupec said.