Trump loyalist to be installed as NSA's top lawyer

Source: Politico | January 17, 2021 | Martin Matishak

Michael Ellis’ selection just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office drew an outcry from national security experts and congressional Democrats.

A former Republican operative and Trump loyalist will be installed as the NSA‘s top lawyer and will probably start work the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

The NSA announced earlier in the day that it was “moving forward” to install Michael Ellis as the agency’s general counsel. The announcement came one day after it was reported that acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller had ordered the NSA’s director, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, to install Michael Ellis in the position of the agency’s general counsel.

“Mr. Ellis accepted his final job offer yesterday afternoon,” the NSA said. The agency “is moving forward with his employment.”

Ellis, who worked as a lawyer for the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, was selected for the post in November by the Pentagon’s general counsel. He served as a National Security Council lawyer and most recently as its senior director for intelligence.

He was also one of two White House aides who in 2017 assisted Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), one of President Donald Trump’s fiercest Capitol Hill allies, in gaining access to highly classified intelligence reports.

His selection to be NSA’s general counsel drew an outcry from national security experts and congressional Democrats, who viewed it as an effort to “burrow,” or convert a political appointee into a career position, at the country’s largest spy agency. Biden will be sworn into office on Wednesday.

Shortly after the announcement, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) — who this week will become the chairs of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees, respectively — asked the Pentagon’s inspector general to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ellis’ selection.

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  •  Consistent #46574

     Consistent #46576

     EVERYDAY #46578

    Can President Biden ash can him and purge all the other Trump loyalists named in recent weeks?

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