U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell on Tuesday indicated that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) engaged in political grandstanding by leaking a copy of a letter of concern about staffing changes within the intelligence community to the press before sending it to him.
Shiff addressed the April 7 correspondence to Grenell, but the press got a copy of it first.
“His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me,” Grenell asserted via Twitter on Tuesday. “These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop.”
His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me. These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop. https://t.co/hdWIzGWvZr
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 7, 2020
In the April 7 letter addressed to Grenell, Schiff raised concerns about the intelligence community chief’s ongoing efforts to overhaul the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). ODNI is in charge of the U.S. intelligence community.
Specifically, Schiff complained that Grenell is reorganizing the ODNI without receiving congressional authorization.
The House chairman demanded that Grenell produce information to his panel by April 16 about personnel changes, the firing of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson, and alleged interference in the production of intelligence on election security.
Echoing the position of people on the left, Schiff accused Grenell of politicizing the intelligence community with the staffing changes, claiming in the letter.
This effort [to reorganize ODNI] appears to be proceeding despite the Coronavirus Pandemic and amid indications, exemplified by a March 10 briefing to Members fo Congress, of political interference in the production and dissemination of intelligence.
These developments call into question both your commitment to ensuring that the Intelligence Community’s (IC) work on behalf of our nation is not inappropriately influenced by political considerations, as required by law and that the IC will continue to speak truth to power.
On February 19, President Donald Trump deemed then-U.S. Ambassador to Germany Grenell the acting DNI.
Among the intelligence community’s personnel changes during Grenell’s short tenure is the termination of ICIG Atkinson on April 3, a move heavily criticized by Schiff in the letter and beyond. Atkinson is expected to leave his post within the next month.
The ICIG was the official responsible for sharing the whistleblower complaint with Congress that triggered the Democrats’ impeachment probe that failed in its quest to remove Trump from office.
Schiff served as the chief inquisitor during the impeachment proceedings. The Democrats’ efforts to remove Trump took place as the novel coronavirus was spreading across the world and entering the United States.
Intelligence community officers have welcomed Grenell’s move to make ODNI more effective, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief Daniel Hoffman told Breitbart News Saturday host Matt Boyle over the weekend.
Grenell’s actions are “going to bring much-needed efficiency” to the “bloated” intelligence community, Hoffman proclaimed.
Hoffman, who has a combined 30 years of distinguished government service in the CIA and other federal entities, refuted allegations from the left that Grenell is politicizing ODNI with the staffing changes.