Trump Intel Pick Ratcliffe Faces Allegations Of No Intel Experience

on June 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on June 28, 2018. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s pick for director of national intelligence may be lacking a little-noticed but crucial qualification for the job: intelligence experience.

Reports suggest that Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) may have overstated elements of his work as a national security prosecutor in Texas’ Eastern District.

The congressman’s bio states that he worked as head of the Eastern District of Texas’s anti-terrorism and national security unit from 2004 to 2007, before being named acting U.S. attorney for the same district until 2008.

But NBC was unable to find any public record of Ratcliffe prosecuting any terrorism cases, despite a claim on his website that he “put terrorists in prison.”

One national security case in which Ratcliffe has claimed involvement was a terrorism financing case called U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation. The Texas congressman has boasted of his involvement in the case, saying in a 2015 press release that he “convicted individuals who were funneling money to Hamas behind the front of a charitable organization.”

But ABC was unable to find court records supporting Ratcliffe’s involvement in the case as a prosecutor. The news organization cited former officials who worked on the case as saying they had no recollection of Ratcliffe working on the matter.

The director of national intelligence oversees the intelligence community and curates information to the president by assembling his daily briefing.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ratcliffe may also play a role in Attorney General Bill Barr’s ongoing review of classified information related to the start of the Mueller investigation. President Trump delegated declassification authority to Barr in May.

Ratcliffe has led the rhetorical charge to “investigate the investigators,” a key Republican strategy to portray the special counsel probe as politically compromised.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Muckraker
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: