President Trump’s nominee to be the director of national intelligence, GOP Rep John Ratcliffe, just shut down Dianne Feinstein in a contentious back and forth during his confirmation hearing.
The Senate is back in session – where’s Nancy? – and Ratcliffe’s nomination promises to be a big fight with even some on the GOP offering lukewarm support.
That said, he seems to have the votes, or Mitch wouldn’t have bothered with the hearings so it looks like Feinstein is again on the losing end.
“Do you believe that your past remarks concerning the Ukraine whistleblower will discourage intelligence community whistleblowers from exercising their rights, consistent with the law, to make protected disclosures?” Feinstein asked Ratcliffe today.
“I want to make it very clear, if confirmed as DNI, every whistleblower, past, present, and future will enjoy every protection under the law,” he responded.
“I don’t want to relitigate old issues of what happened during the impeachment inquiry. My issue was not with the whistleblower.”
“My issue was with what I perceived as a lack of due process in the House process,” Ratcliffe added.
“Every whistleblower can expect full protection under the law. Whistleblowers are so important,” he said.
“I will tell you that my dealings with Inspector General Atkinson, I had no issues.”
“I think he did what he thought was right. I think he did think that he was following the law.”
“The flip side to that is that the legal opinion within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from the general counsel and from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, my reading of it is that their determination was that he may have exceeded his authority because the investigation involved issues that were not intelligence activities or intelligence community employees,” Ratcliffe said.
“That’s a legal question that I don’t know the answer to.”
.@SenFeinstein asks John Ratcliffe about his attacks on the whistleblower during impeachment (part of the campaign to defend Trump). Ratcliffe says he does not want to "re-litigate" the issue and claims he is in favor of defending whistleblowers. pic.twitter.com/hvzMmRISrE— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) May 5, 2020