Weary of Grenell, Senate Dems Allow Quick Vote to Approve Ratcliffe for DNI

Revelations from acting DNI are exposing deep-state Obama administration…

Ratcliffe Advances to Senate Confirmation for Top Intel Position

John Ratcliffe / PHOTO: Associated Press

(Liberty Headlines) A sharply divided Senate confirmed John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence on Thursday, with Democrats refusing to support the nomination over fears that he will expose the intelligence community deep-state’s shenanigans against President Donald Trump.

All Democrats opposed Ratcliffe, making him the first DNI to be installed on a partisan vote since the position was created in 2005. The tally was 49-44.

Ratcliffe will take over the agency at a tumultuous time. The nation faces threats from Iran and North Korea, and tensions with China over rising competition and the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, Trump has viewed the intelligence agencies with distrust and ousted or fired multiple officials.

The Texas Republican seemed unlikely to get the position when he was nominated in February, as he had already been nominated for the job last year and then withdrew after Republicans questioned his experience. But senators warmed to him as they grew concerned about the upheaval in the intelligence community and wanted a permanent, confirmed director.

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Ratcliffe will replace Richard Grenell, the current acting director who has overseen some of the personnel changes. Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director ordered a review of the DNI office that Trump’s critics feared was an attempt to clean house.

The last Senate-confirmed intelligence director, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, was popular with his former colleagues in Congress as a longtime member of the D.C. “swamp,” but left the post last summer after clashing with the president.

Democrats allowed a quick vote on Ratcliffe’s nomination, dropping their usual procedural delays in a signal that despite their skepticism, they prefer him in the job over Grenell.

Ratcliffe insisted during his confirmation hearing that he would be an independent leader, but faced skepticism. A member of the House intelligence and judiciary committees, he has been an ardent defender of the president through House impeachment and investigations into Russian interference.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats and a member of the Senate intelligence panel, said he has concerns that Ratcliffe has limited experience in the intelligence community yet extensive experience in politics.

“A dangerous combination,” he said.

“Now more than ever it is vital that the DNI respect the critical firewall that must exist between intelligence and political calculations — especially if the truth isn’t what the boss wants to hear,” King said, blatantly ignoring that politicization of the agencies under predecessor President Barack Obama.

Before being elected to Congress in 2014, Ratcliffe was mayor of Heath, Texas, and a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas.

Ratcliffe said he would communicate to Trump the intelligence community’s findings even if he knew Trump disagreed with them and might fire him.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.