‘His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump recently tasked Rich Grenell, the acting-director of national intelligence, with rooting out leaks and corruption in the U.S. intelligence community
That has House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., sounding the alarm—and for good reason.
In a four-page letter, Schiff, a California Democrat, accused Grenell of undermining “critical intelligence functions” and “pursuing organizational and personnel changes … without consulting and seeking authorization from Congress.”
But in leveraging Democratic-friendly media, Schiff appears to have validated Grenell’s very mission.
“His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me,” Grenell tweeted on Tuesday.
“These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop,” he said.
His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me. These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop. https://t.co/hdWIzGWvZr
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 7, 2020
As the nation’s top intelligence official, Grenell currently oversees the government’s 17 intelligence agencies and answers directly to the president.
Atkinson’s arbitrary decision—possibly made in coordination with Schiff—led to the unprecedented, closed-door impeachment inquiry about a phone call Trump made to the president of Ukraine. The Democratic-controlled House then voted along party lines to impeach the president.
Grenell, a staunch Trump ally, was appointed in February as a temporary fix to the open DNI position. A permanent appointment requires congressional approval, and Democrats have successfully blocked prior Trump nominees.
In his letter, Schiff asserted that Grenell was acting improperly because he hasn’t been congressionally confirmed.
Schiff has also framed Atkinson’s firing as “another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the intelligence community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.”
But Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking member on the House Intel Committee, disagrees.
Not only did Nunes refuse to sign Schiff’s letter, he previously threatened to refer Atkinson to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. To date, Schiff has refused to release Atkinson’s impeachment testimony.