tstormn.png
Sunday May 24th, 2020 9:35PM

Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to vote Thursday on the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence, potentially confirming him sooner than expected, as senators are eager to quickly fill the post.

Democrats have been opposed to Ratcliffe's nomination, and most are expected to vote against it. But they dropped their usual objections to holding a quick vote as members of both parties want a Senate-confirmed nominee in the job. Democrats usually force procedural votes that slow the nomination process, but are allowing a quick vote Thursday before the Senate leaves town for the next week.

The post is now filled by acting director Richard Grenell, a Trump loyalist who has overseen a shakeup in the intelligence community and has raised concerns on Capitol Hill. While Ratcliffe has been similarly loyal to President Donald Trump, he promised in his Senate confirmation hearing to be an independent head of the nation's intelligence agencies and said he would keep Congress informed of important developments.

Ratcliffe will replace former DNI Dan Coats, a former Indiana senator who had a good relationship with his former colleagues but frequently clashed with Trump. Since then, Trump, who has long been skeptical of the nation’s intelligence community, has installed acting heads and ousted and fired multiple intelligence officials.

The Texas Republican was first picked by Trump for the post last summer, shortly after Coats’ resignation, but then withdrew after some Senate Republicans questioned his experience. GOP senators warmed to Ratcliffe after Trump unexpectedly nominated him again in February, as concerns grew about Grenell and the turnover in the intelligence community.

Most Republicans have praised Ratcliffe since his second nomination. But Democrats have been skeptical that he will serve with the independence they say is crucial for the job.

At his hearing, Ratcliffe worked to separate himself from the president, including by saying he believed Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion Trump has often resisted. He said he would communicate to Trump the intelligence community’s findings even if he knew Trump disagreed with them and might fire him.

Democrats were not convinced. The top Democrat on the panel, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, told Ratcliffe at the hearing that “I don’t see what has changed since last summer,” when his nomination was withdrawn.

Ratcliffe’s nomination was approved 8-7 in a closed committee hearing Tuesday, with all Democrats voting against it, according to a committee aide.

Ratcliffe sits on the House intelligence, judiciary and ethics committees. He was a member of Trump’s impeachment advisory team last fall and aggressively questioned witnesses during the House impeachment hearings.

He also forcefully questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last summer when Mueller testified about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Michigan dam had repeated safety violations before flooding
A hydroelectric dam that failed to hold back floodwaters this week in Michigan was the target of lengthy investigations by federal regulators
7:50PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic
President Donald Trump has threatened to hold back federal funding from two election battleground states that are making it easier to vote by mail during the pandemic
7:41PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes
A federal watchdog agency says about 40% of nursing homes inspected in the past two years were cited for infection control problems
7:37PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump considering hosting G-7 summit in US after all
President Donald Trump says he's considering holding a meeting in the U.S. with leaders of the world's major economies after all
7:03PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director
The Senate is poised to vote Thursday on the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence, potentially confirming him sooner than expected, as senators are eager to quickly fill the post
6:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP source: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be released from prison
President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen will be released from federal prison Thursday and is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence at home, That's according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday
6:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Ukraine to investigate leaked tapes with ex-president, Biden
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into leaked tapes that allegedly feature the country’s former leader discussing conditions for a $1 billion loan with former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
2:59PM ( 5 hours ago )
Spain's parliament approves new 2-week lockdown extension
Spain’s left-wing minority government has cleared another hurdle to maintain the country’s lockdown in place, as the national parliament endorsed a fifth two-week extension of the nation’s state of emergency
2:38PM ( 5 hours ago )
Pompeo denies retaliation but won't explain watchdog ouster
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is adamantly denying that he recommended firing the State Department's independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as America's top diplomat
1:48PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Burundi holds crucial presidential election amid pandemic
A crucial election is underway in the East African nation of Burundi
9:10AM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump threatens funding after Michigan absentee ballot move
President Donald Trump says he wants to hold up coronavirus funding for Michigan, saying erroneously that the state had mailed absentee ballots to millions of voters
8:49AM ( 11 hours ago )
Croatian president sets parliamentary vote for July 5
Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic has scheduled a parliamentary election in the European Union country for July 5
7:12AM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Elections
2 Republican special election winners sworn into House
Two Republicans have been sworn into the House after winning special elections last week
1:01PM ( 1 day ago )
Appeals court OKs June 23 NY Democratic presidential primary
New York state's June 23 Democratic presidential primary will definitely take place now
12:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Biden hires Chávez granddaughter to help on Latino outreach
Joe Biden's presidential campaign is bringing on the granddaughter of civil rights leader César Chávez as a senior adviser to help with Latino outreach and building out its state operations
9:30AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Michigan dam had repeated safety violations before flooding
A hydroelectric dam that failed to hold back floodwaters this week in Michigan was the target of lengthy investigations by federal regulators
7:50PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic
President Donald Trump has threatened to hold back federal funding from two election battleground states that are making it easier to vote by mail during the pandemic
7:41PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes
A federal watchdog agency says about 40% of nursing homes inspected in the past two years were cited for infection control problems
7:37PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Daytime Emmys back on TV, but with socially distanced show
The Daytime Emmy Awards are skipping a theater ceremony because of the coronavirus, but the honors will be presented on a TV broadcast
7:34PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Michigan flood displaces thousands, threatens Superfund site
Floodwaters that overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in Central Michigan now threaten a Dow Superfund site and downstream communities
7:31PM ( 32 minutes ago )