Christopher Miller said two days ago that he could not wait to resign and ordered the Director of the National Security Agency to appoint Michael Ellis as general counsel before 6 pm on Saturday, but the Director of the National Security Agency, Paul Nakazon (Paul Nakasone) General did not act. It is not clear what Miller or the White House will do within the stipulated period.
Ellis assumed the position for the first time in early November, just two days after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election, and was in the midst of political cleansing by different agencies including the Department of Defense .
The Pentagon declined to comment. This story was first reported by The Washington Post.
However, according to the “Washington Post” report, due to administrative procedures, including the need for polygraph testing, Ellis’s device came to a standstill, which made Miller work hard to promote the process during the decline of Trump’s four-year tenure.
Within days of being taken over by Ellis in November, shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that Democratic senators fired the then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Mark Warner And Jack Reid asked the acting Pentagon inspector to investigate. A letter said: “The timing, the relative inexperience of the candidates, the reported qualifications of other finalists, and the press coverage of the White House’s participation make people feel that political influence or considerations may play an improper role in the merits. , The selection process of civil servants.”
Prior to joining the Trump administration, Ellis served as chief legal counsel to Representative Devon Nunes of California, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters. Ellis then became a lawyer for the National Security Council and refused to testify in the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation in 2019. In March 2020, Ellis became the senior director of the intelligence department of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC), and joined other Trump loyalists in key intelligence positions.
However, the attempt to transfer Ellis to the National Security Agency (NSA) was different because the general counsel of the country’s largest intelligence agency was a civil servant, not a political appointee. The source said that once the Biden administration enters, it will make it more difficult for Ellis to fire, adding that the strategy is called “digging a hole.”
Ellis said, “Thank you, I don’t speak to the press.” When the Washington Post arrived, he hung up. CNN cannot reach Ellis.
Susan Hennessey, a former attorney for the National Security Agency and CNN legal and national security analyst, cancelled the decision to install Ellis when the Trump administration took power last weekend.
“At this point, no one will extend the selection process because of suspicion. From all indications, Trump executives are violating the civil service and politicizing political roles. If Ellis takes office tonight, Biden should Removed him on the first day, she wrote on Twitter.
Hennessy explained on her Lawfare blog in November that the General Counsel of the National Security Agency is not a position confirmed by the Senate, which eliminates congressional oversight steps for the CIA, the Pentagon or the General Counsel of the Office of the Secretary of State. National intelligence. The goal of this process is to eliminate any political bias in appointing candidates to one of the key positions of the National Security Agency.
Hennessy wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “This is a very difficult and very important job. We have a process to ensure that only qualified people can do it, because it is essential to the national security of the United States.”