Last week we suggested that President Trump, ever the dealmaker, was willing to trade a short term “clean” FISA renewal in exchange for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteeing the confirmation of Rep. John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence, which explained why Trump renominated him after withdrawing his nomination on August 2nd.
At least that was the conclusion we came to after Ratcliffe’s renomination after reviewing the timeline:
- July 28, 2019 President Trump first nominates Rep. Ratcliffe for the position of DNI.
- Shortly after Ratcliffe’s nomination was submitted to Chairman Richard Burr and Vice-Chairman Mark Warner of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), through which all chief intelligence positions must pass, this happened …
- August 2, 2019 President Trump withdrew the nomination…
Developments since then have forced us to rethink that supposition.
Just got back from the White House. @realDonaldTrump made it abundantly clear that he will NOT accept a clean reauthorization of the Patriot Act without significant FISA reform! I agree with him!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 4, 2020
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) March 4, 2020
If Sen. Rand Paul, an ally of President Trump, is reporting correctly, the president has no intention of signing a reauthorization of the FISA process without substantive new protections written in to prevent the kind of abuse he was subjected to.
We had assumed, when President Trump renominated Ratcliffe for DNI, that he had made a deal with McConnell because we couldn’t see him… well, basically declaring war on the Republican establishment… in an election year.
Unless President Trump suddenly changed his mind, that does not appear to be what happened.
President Trump appears to be making a full-blown frontal assault on the politicians aligned with, and protecting, the Deep State that sought to overthrow his presidency.
That would mean the president is convinced he has the votes, along with his veto threat, to demand FISA reform in exchange for his signature, and…
He feels he has the political capital to get John Ratcliffe confirmed by Senate Republicans because not to give the president his choice to be head the ODNI would result in more kickback on the senators than on President Trump.
As one of only four House members to have reviewed all of the classified materials surrounding the investigations of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Ratcliffe is fully aware of how the intelligence was manipulated to inflict maximize political damage on the president and how it was ignored to exonerate Hillary Clinton.
If confirmed, Ratcliffe will have the authority to declassify any or all of the previously redacted and not released information in order to shine sunlight on the previous administration’s corruption…
With the recent appointments of Nunes’ lead investigator Kash Patel as assistant DNI to Trump loyalist and acting DNI Ric Grennel, and John McEntee as White House Personnel Office, President Trump is in the process of assembling a team of patriots who have his back.
If we are reading these actions correctly, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll look back on this time when the president’s promise to drain the swamp began in earnest.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 3, 2020