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Senate confirms Rep. Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence

Portrait of US Rep. John Ratcliffe. (United States House Office of Photography/Released)
May 21, 2020

The U.S. Senate voted narrowly to confirm Rep. John Ratcliffe as the next Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Thursday.

In a 49-44 vote, the Senate approved the Republican congressman from Texas, days after another narrow 8-7 vote moved his nomination out of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President Donald Trump nominated Ratcliffe three months ago, announcing the move in a Feb. 28 tweet that said, “Would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished. John is an outstanding man of great talent!”

Ratcliffe is a former federal prosecutor, having served as Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas.

He currently represents Texas’ 4th District, which he was elected to in 2015. He also serves on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the committees on Judiciary and Ethics.

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Ratcliffe will serve as the first confirmed DNI since August 2019 when Dan Coats stepped down after two-and-a-half years.

The role has since been filled in an acting capacity, first by Joseph McGuire from Aug 16, 2019, until his firing on Feb. 20, 2020, then by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell onward.

Grenell tweeted a message to Ratcliff shortly after the Senate’s confirmation, saying, “Congratulations, @RepRatcliffe! You will be the best DNI ever! #USA

At a Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, Ratcliffe said, “The best job I ever had was to be the United States attorney and what I loved…was it was an apolitical position. … I stood up always to represent the United States of America. Never one party or another. And I very much view that as this role for the DNI.”