Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) stepped down from his nomination by President Donald Trump to take helm as Director of National Intelligence, shortly after The Washington Post published an investigation into an immigration workplace raid publicized on the congressman’s website.
The negative story on Ratcliffe is how Washington D.C. operates when it targets someone they don’t want and it was to be expected.
The story, which in effect really is a non-story revealed Ratcliffe claims on his website that he led the arrest of more than 300 undocumented immigrants. The investigation by The Post Thursday raised scrutiny of his claims that he led the raid on the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in 2008 and noted that he really didn’t lead it but was part of a team. The arrests took place when he was a federal prosecutor in the eastern district of Texas.
“As a U.S. Attorney, I arrested over 300 illegal immigrants on a single day,” Ratcliffe’s website states. on his congressional website.
The Post article revealed that Ratcliffe’s statements conflict with the court record of how many he was directly involved in prosecuting. It wasn’t just Ratcliffe. The report explained that although Ratcliffe assisted in the raid – he did so along with U.S. attorney’s offices from five states. It was led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a DOJ press release.
Ratcliffe basically over exaggerated his role in the raid but it wasn’t a crime and his involvement wasn’t a lie. Trump told reporters at the White House Friday afternoon that “John was treated very harshly and very unfairly.” The President said he would have a decision by next week or earlier.
Ratcliffe made a statement on Twitter Friday afternoon. He graciously stepped down before the firestorm he knew was headed his way.
“I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue,” Ratcliffe stated. The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue.”
Accordingly, I have asked the President to nominate someone other than me for this position.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) August 2, 2019
I was waiting for a story on Ratcliffe to come out and I wasn’t disappointed. I just didn’t what it would be. Since Trump nominated Ratcliffe he came under fire. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was one of the first to raise objections to Ratcliffe saying on Thursday “he strikes me as extremely unqualified in every way.”
Schumer had no problem with loyalists in President Obama’s administration and they still want those same loyalists in those senior positions, particularly in the intelligence world.
was criticized by some senior Washington bureaucrats who said Ratcliffe wasn’t qualified for the job of leading all America’s intelligence agencies. Of course, former DNI Dan Coats, who openly criticized Trump, and wasn’t on board with many of the Trump administrations policies was respected by those who targeted Ratcliffe.
The intelligence community, to include the National Security Administration, CIA, have been under scrutiny and many Congressional officials have raised concerns that there is little oversight over these mammoth bureaucracies that wield enormous power in the United States. Ratcliffe was Trump’s pick because he trusted him and who he chooses to nominate now must have that same trust and ability to weed out any misconduct within the agencies.
Don’t worry the former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who appointed former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump – chimed in early on who he thinks should replace Coats. Deputy DNI Sue Gordon may be the replacement but it looks like the old guard just wants to ensure that none of the branches are shaken. Who knows what would fall out? Who knows what would be discovered?
Washington bureaucrats protect their own.
Deputy DNI Sue Gordon is a proven patriot who understands foreign threats, respects the nonpartisan truth, and protects America 24/7. Daughter of a Navy Vice Admiral, mother of 2 Marine captains. Gordon is a great @realDonaldTrump appointee! @SenatorBurr @LindseyGrahamSC https://t.co/1jCryBHm1A
— Rod Rosenstein (@RodRosenstein) August 2, 2019
This is what happens in Washington D.C. folks. If top level government officials, political opponents or some from your own party want to disrupt a nomination or target a nominated official all they have to do is find one over exaggeration made by their target or past mishap. It doesn’t have to be big groundbreaking story, just one that embarrasses the candidate or nominee. That’s it.
And it has to be juicy enough that a prominent news outlet will have no problem running it immediately.
The nominee either fights back or decides the fight isn’t worth it and immediately gives up.
Ratcliffe decided it wasn’t worth the fight. He was up against a huge backlash, accusations that he wasn’t qualified and believe me, the Washington sharks were hungry.
Trump immediately tweeted out after the decision to withdraw his nomination saying “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…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.”
….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
Let’s see who Trump selects and hopefully it is someone with integrity who can weed out the bad apples and find out what’s actually been going on with our intelligence apparatus.