Trump's New Intelligence Chief Spells Trouble - 2020-05-26
Amid the constant onslaught of troubling headlines that is daily life under the Trump administration, it's hard to know what's more dangerous: The confirmation of John Ratcliffe to be the director of national intelligence—or what comes after it?
Perhaps the clearest sign that three-term Texas congressman Ratcliffe is manifestly unqualified to serve as the nation's director of national intelligence isn't the fact that he embellished his résumé, nor that only a minority of the US Senate would vote to confirm him, nor that the first time he was floated for the post last summer he was so soundly rejected that he withdrew almost immediately.
Instead, it's that years before just 49 senators of the 116th Congress—all Republicans—voted to confirm him last week as the head of the nation's 17 intelligence agencies and the president's top intelligence adviser, the 108th Congress tried to stop a man like Ratcliffe from assuming that very role in the first place. They wrote into the law that created the job, 50 US Code § 3023, "Any individual nominated for appointment as Director of National Intelligence shall have extensive national security expertise."