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Pelosi demands halt to installing Trump appointee as NSA General Counsel

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On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller demanding an immediate halt to the installment of President Donald Trump‘s appointee for National Security Agency (NSA) General Counsel mere days before the Biden administration takes over.

“The attempt to install an unqualified Trump loyalist as NSA General Counsel just 72 hours prior to the start of a new Administration is highly irregular and highly suspect,” Pelosi tweeted Monday, sharing her letter. “This placement should not move forward.”

Ellis accepted the job offer Saturday afternoon and “NSA is moving forward with his employment,” an NSA spokesperson told The Hill on Sunday.

“I ask that you immediately cease plans to improperly install Michael Ellis as the new NSA General Counsel. Additionally, with a copy of this letter to the Acting Inspector General, I am also requesting an investigation into the circumstances of the NSA General Counsel selection process. I have serious concerns about your statement that this process was free from political interference,” the letter reads.

“Public reporting indicates that Mr. Ellis, a relatively recent law school graduate with a limited resume, was selected due to interference by the White House, and was chosen over much more qualified candidates. Moreover, Mr. Ellis has been reportedly involved in highly questionable activities that are disqualifying – including the infamous 2017 ‘midnight run’ to launder intelligence information through Rep. Devin Nunes and with efforts to shield information about President Trump’s July 2019 call with the President of Ukraine,” Pelosi continued.

“The NSA General Counsel, which involves supervising many intelligence community attorneys and interacting with intelligence agencies, is a highly sensitive career position for which candidates are selected, based on merit and free from political influence. If Mr. Ellis did go through the traditional civil service hiring process, I request a detailed account of that process, to understand how someone with his credentials was chosen over other qualified candidates,” Pelosi wrote.

“The circumstances and timing – immediately after President Trump’s defeat in the election – of the selection of Mr. Ellis, and this eleventh-hour effort to push this placement in the last three days of this Administration are highly suspect. Further, the efforts to install him or “burrow” him into a highly sensitive intelligence position 72 hours prior to the beginning of a new Administration manifest a disturbing disregard for our national security,” Pelosi added. “Therefore, this placement should not move forward.”

A spokesperson from the Office of the Secretary of Defense told this reporter in a statement that the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (DoD) is “the sole selection authority for” NSA General Counsel and other “senior career DoD General Counsel positions” and that the Director of the NSA doesn’t “select or approve of candidates” for NSA General Counsel.

“A candidate for a career position is not automatically excluded from consideration due to ‘administration ties’ – as the two prior NSA Generals Counsel were not excluded from consideration and eventual selection due to their ‘administration ties,'” the statement continues. “Once a candidate is selected through the merit system, given an offer and meets the requirements to be entered into the position, if that entry does not happen it exposes the Department, Agency and senior leadership to claims for a violation of the merit system principles and processes that are designed to protect the participants in such selections.”

“To be clear, congressional or media interest in a particular hiring action are not justification under the merit system principles and process to delay placing a selected qualified individual in a position,” the spokesperson concluded.

The NSA did not reply to this reporter’s request for comment.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Stacy Abrams: ‘No such thing as heartbeat at 6 weeks’, ‘manufactured’ for men to ‘take control of a woman’s body’

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“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” Abrams claimed during an event at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Atlanta last week. “It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”

As National Review reports, even her own man-hating rhetoric is antithetical to the website of Planned Parenthood which said a “very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop” during the fifth to sixth week of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood later amended its website to more closely reflect pro-abortion messaging against heartbeat laws, which ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Now the site says a “part of the embryo starts to show cardiac activity” during that time.

Abrams is running for governor in Georgia in a rematch against incumbent Governor Brian Kemp. Abrams lost to Kemp in 2018 by more than 54,000 votes. Additionally, Abrams has never concededto Kemp and has claimed the 2018 election was “stolen from Georgians.”

Abrams words were to suggest that Georgia’s heartbeat law shouldn’t be referred to as the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill.” Her reasoning? Because “that’s medically false, biologically a lie.”

When The View co-host Alyssa Farah asked Abrams “Do you think there should be any legal limits on abortion, such as the third trimester or viability?” Abrams responded: “I believe that abortion is a medical decision, not a political decision…Arbitrary politically-defined timelines are deeply problematic because they ignore the reality of medical and physiological issues.”

“Abortion is a medical decision, not a political decision … The limit should not be made by politicians who don’t understand basic biology or apparently basic morality,” she added.

Kemp is up 6.6 percentage points in RCP polling average over Abrams.

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