“It is imperative that the leaders of the intelligence community appear periodically before the Committee and the American people and provide their candid assessments of the threats facing our nation,” House said. Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Said in a statement.
The hearing is “timely because these threats are evolving rapidly, with increasing competition between the great powers and China, an increased threat from domestic violent extremism, nuclear dangers originating from countries like Iran and North Korea, and the destabilizing effects of cross-border threats such as climate, change and pandemic, ”he added.
What’s on the agenda: Next week’s sessions will feature the heads of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Auditions will likely affect myriad threats to national security, including the sprawling SolarWinds hack that the intelligence community tentatively attributed to the Kremlin and the breach of thousands of Microsoft Exchange servers by suspected Chinese hackers; the looming May 1 deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan; foreign electoral interference; domestic extremism; and the Biden the administration’s efforts for a possible return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The House session will also be an indicator of the ability of the panel, which added six new members last month, to overcome the partisan grudge that gripped it under the Trump administration.
Why we haven’t had one in a while: The global threats hearing was an annual event until last year. POLITICO first reported that ODNI officials had pressured the hearing – which traditionally included public and classified portions – to take place entirely behind closed doors, fearing that responses could be turned into clips of cable news that anger Trump.
At the last such threat hearing in 2019, intelligence leaders presented findings that directly contradicted Trump’s statements about the longevity of the Islamic State terrorist group, as well as Iran’s and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. North Korea.
He blistered them on Twitter the next day, calling them “passive” and “naive” while writing that “Maybe intelligence should go back to school!” Trump later claimed his top intelligence chiefs, including DNI Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel, told him they had been misquoted in the press – even though their words had been broadcast and the video footage was available to the public.
Gather the gang: The hearing has been a major source of tension throughout the past year between Capitol Hill and the underground community.
The standoff continued as Trump burned down a series of spy bosses. The latter, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, offered to testify before the Senate in August but limited his remarks to an opening statement before moving the session behind closed doors.
Eventually time ran out, with senators on both sides agreeing that it would not be appropriate to hold the session too close to election day and risk the hearing becoming campaign fodder.
However, acrimony between the two sides persisted, and the roughly $ 2.3 trillion spending program approved by Congress late last year contained compromise language requiring the DNI to submit an annual assessment. threats in the world, then shows up, along with others, for a public session.
And after: Auditions will be a major test for President Joe Biden and his recently installed agency heads, especially DNI Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns – both of whom vowed in their confirmation hearings to provide unfailing intelligence to lawmakers and the President and to resist any efforts to politicize the work of the underground community of 18 members.
“To safeguard the integrity of our intelligence community, the DNI must insist that when it comes to intelligence, there is simply no room for politics, ever,” Haines said in January.