Pelosi: New Intel Policy on Elections Is 'a Betrayal'

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe sends a letter to lawmakers
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2020 3:00 PM CDT
Pelosi: New Intel Policy Is 'a Betrayal'
In this May 5, 2020, photo, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee during his nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Looks like America's top intelligence officer won't be sending anyone to brief Congress about election security anymore—and Nancy Pelosi is less than pleased, CNN reports. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe notified lawmakers Friday that his office will no longer brief congressional intelligence committees on the hot-button topic. His office, known as ODNI, will supply written reports instead. The move is designed "to ensure clarity and consistency," he wrote in a letter, and "better protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse." In other words, Ratcliffe is echoing earlier concerns from intelligence officials about leaks.

The move also follows an all-House classified briefing last month in which Pelosi grilled top counterintelligence official Bill Evanina—an exchange that upset ODNI officials, Politico reports. Pelosi accused him being vague about ongoing Russian interference in the 2020 election until Evanina acknowledged that Russia is trying to help President Trump get reelected and disparage Joe Biden. An ODNI official later said Evanina was "disappointed in the inability of some to protect classified information." As for Pelosi, she described the ODNI's new policy as "a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public's right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy." (More Director of National Intelligence stories.)

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