John Ratcliffe Will Assume the Role from Richard Grenell Amid Declassifying Bonanza
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Senate voted 49 to 44 on Thursday to confirm John Ratcliffe the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
Rep. Ratcliffe has had a long road to the confirmation vote on Thursday. In August, he withdrew his name from consideration after the scandal-embattled Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., then-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, worked to sink his nomination before it got started.
President Trump nominated Rep. Ratcliffe again in late February. Now, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has taken over as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
On May 14, Senator Burr stepped down amid an insider trading investigation. He came under fire for stock sales shortly before markets crashed earlier this year and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seized his cell phone while serving a warrant at the his D.C.-area residence.
Mr. Ratcliffe, a Republican congressman from Texas, served as the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. He will now assume the role of the leader of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies from acting Director Richard Grenell.
Mr. Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, has been serving as acting DNI since Dan Coats left the post last summer on July 28 under a cloud of criticism. Mr. Coats, himself a former senator and member of the intelligence committee, was stonewalling efforts to uncover wrongdoing.
That stands in stark contrast to Mr. Grenell, who recently ordered the 17 intelligence agencies under the post to review whether they are complying with strict guidelines on unmasking U.S. citizens. He has declassified numerous documents uncovering wrongdoing by the previous administration.