On Tuesday the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will be the first Committee to employee social distancing measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic during the confirmation hearing of Rep. John Ratcliffee (R-TX).
In February 2020 President Trump via Twitter announced his intent to nominate, again, Ratcliffe to the post of The Direct of National Intelligence.
I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished. John is an outstanding man of great talent!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2020
President Trump first nominated Ratcliffe for the DNI post back in July of 2019.
I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence. A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves. Dan Coats, the current Director, will….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
….be leaving office on August 15th. I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our Country. The Acting Director will be named shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
In early August following push-back from both Republicans and Democratic members of Congress as well as the public the nomination was withdrawn.
Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media. Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
….John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
The “treated unfairly,” by the media, was the media publishing reports that Republican and Democratic members questioned Ratcliffe’s experience with the Intelligence Community, Ratcliffe’s close ties to the President, and Ratcliffe’s own controversial words and passed statements.
The New York Times explains the new rules for today’s hearing; the senators’ chairs in the hearing room do not fill. Senators have been given time slots to come to the hearing room, and no more than six lawmakers are supposed to be in the room at once, a dynamic that could affect the rhythm of the questioning.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that “Ratcliffe’s official, verified campaign Twitter account follows several accounts on the political fringe, including a 9/11 truther account with just one follower besides himself and four promoting the outlandish QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that the world is run by a cabal of Democratic pedophile-cannibals—and has been ruled a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI.”
Lawfare Blog on Monday posed eleven in-depth questions they’d like to see asked of Ratcliffe including but not limited to, if he as a DNI overseeing 17 intelligence agencies believes like the President that they have “run amok,” or if he believes Deep State is real.
Just Security has a list of what they call false statements and disinformation regarding the Trump/Ukraine Impeachment. Along with an in-depth look at his disregard for abuse of executive power.
Other places to watch.
Courthouse News Reporter Brandi Buchman will be live tweeting the hearing.
And away we go. The confirmation hearing is now live.— Brandi Buchman (@BBuchman_CNS) May 5, 2020
Stream available here: https://t.co/aDi6EIxdrk
Members are coming in on a rotating basis to observe social distancing.