After a turbulent tenure, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats looks to be resigning as early as the beginning of this week.
This report via Fox News.
Dan Coats is expected to step down in the coming days as the director of national intelligence (DNI), according to multiple reports, following months of speculation and public spats between President Trump and the intelligence community.
Coats was typical of the earlier appointments of Donald Trump’s administration, coming on board in March of 2017. The President simply did not have the contacts nor the preparation in place to weed out many of the people being shoved in front of him as the “best” nominees for certain positions. Trump certainly bares the blame that, as the buck stops with him, but what it meant in a practical sense is that a lot of people who ultimately did not support the President or his policy goals ended up in positions of power.
Coats always seemed more interested in the status quo and remaining part of the club than bringing any real reform to an intelligence apparatus that’s had a checkered history at best. While he couldn’t be counted on to cooperate with various investigations into misconduct, he was always available to yuck it up with MSNBC’s Andrew Mitchell or to publicly undermine the administration’s policy on North Korea.
Just this past January, Coats chose to testify that Iran was not resuming it’s nuclear activities. We now know that wasn’t true and that Iran is in fact moving forward to break stockpile limits. Either the intel agencies and Coats were too incompetent to see that coming or they felt contradicting the President so The New York Times could squee was more important.
As I noted just yesterday, Coats was behind efforts to stonewall the DOJ from reviewing a recording between George Papadopoulos and what most speculate is Steven Halper. There is of course no logical reason to protect Halper at this point, but Coats has always seemingly seen it as his duty to shield the intel agencies from themselves, transparency and justice need not apply.
Now, the person likely being nominated to replace Coats has the right people sweating.
President Trump is expected to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, according to three sources familiar with the president’s deliberations.
Behind the scenes: Trump was thrilled by Ratcliffe’s admonishment of former special counsel Robert Mueller in last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing. “The special counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the special counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him,” Ratcliffe, a former prosecutor, said to Mueller.
Trump should be thrilled with Ratcliffe’s performance last week. It showed a man who wasn’t going to be bullied by the demands of the entrenched bureaucratic establishment. Robert Mueller did violate DOJ policy and basic American decency by publishing a report full of slander and suppositions without actually backing it up with recommendations for charges. Donald Trump may be the President but he’s still a citizen who deserved the presumption of innocence from prosecutors. He didn’t get that.
Ratcliffe is also on record fulling supporting AG Bill Barr and his investigation into how all this Russia mess got started in the first place.
And while Ratcliffe said he does not want to prematurely accuse any specific person of a crime — as Democrats have done with President Trump — he stressed that it is clear crimes were committed by people during the Obama administration, including government officials.
“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done,” the Texas Republican told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation. So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration.”
That means it’s time for the press to unleash the snark.
Ken Dilanian, the Fusion GPS-connected NBC reporter who is highly implicated in the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, is tweeting his concern about John Ratcliffe's nomination. pic.twitter.com/bBt80BwjSx
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) July 28, 2019
by comparison, James Clapper seems to have been involved in an attempt to force an elected president from office. John Ratcliffe hasn't.
— streiff (@streiffredstate) July 28, 2019
Graff’s description is of course nonsense. Ratcliffe’s resume includes far more than that, including being on the House intel committee, being a federal attorney, and serving in several roles interacting with the intel agencies. But this will be the line now because it’s always the line when an outsider looks to shake up the status quo of an organization.
The only problem with Dan Coats’ resignation is that Trump didn’t demand it well over a year ago. This was long overdue.
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