The Republican-controlled Senate confirmed Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe this week to serve as the director of national intelligence.
In a 49 to 44 vote that went along party lines, in a 49-44 party-line vote on Thursday.
Ratcliffe, a vocal ally of President Donald Trump, will now head an intelligence community and have the power to decide what documents are publicly released in expanding congressional investigations into Obama administration officials, especially Joe Biden.
He replaces acting DNI Richard Grenell, who is concurrently the U.S. ambassador to Germany and may go on to chair the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
RT to congratulate the new Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe! pic.twitter.com/ppF7cXfWnb
— GOP (@GOP) May 21, 2020
“In a time when the threats to our nation are many and varied, it is critical to have a Senate-confirmed DNI ensuring the wide array of intelligence agencies are sharing information across lines, coordinating capabilities, and working in the furtherance of our nation’s security using 21st century, cutting edge capabilities,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Director Ratcliffe understands this responsibility, and I am confident that he will fulfill all of the roles assigned to the DNI with integrity.”
Almost immediately after his confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer whined on Twitter about it:
Senate GOP just confirmed Rep. Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence
But Pres. Trump has tried to short-circuit accountability in the executive branch—baselessly firing inspectors general
And Rep. Ratcliffe’s hasn't shown the independence we need in the intel community
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 21, 2020
Why are Democrats so afraid of Ratcliffe?
Perhaps they are freaking out over the fact that Ratcliffe will have the power to declassify and hand over a number of critical documents pertaining to the Obama administration going after — and setting up — former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss its criminal case against Flynn following newly released documents about the FBI’s handling of the Flynn case.
“A review of the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information, indicates that Mr. Flynn’s statements were never ‘material’ to any FBI investigation,” read the motion filed seeking to dismiss the criminal prosecution.
Trump hailed the development and wasted no time saying officials corruptly went after Flynn.
“He was an innocent man,” Trump declared. “He is a great gentleman. He was targeted by the Obama administration and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president and what they’ve done is a disgrace and I hope a big price is going to be paid. A big price should be paid.”
In the newly released documents, we learned that the FBI had drawn up paperwork to close the case against Flynn, but fired agent Peter Strzok made a last-minute move to keep it open.
Handwritten notes from the FBI — which were withheld from Flynn’s defense team for years — show that a key goal of the agents investigating Flynn was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
House Intelligence Committee ranking Republican Rep. Devin Nunes also revealed over the weekend that the FBI’s original interview summary with Flynn is “missing.”
All of this seems pretty damning and sketchy, right?
Maybe Ratcliffe can release more documents explaining exactly what Obama holdovers did to Flynn and why they do so.