“The circumstances and the time – immediately after the president [Donald] Trump’s defeat in the election – of Mr. Ellis’ selection, and this eleventh-hour effort to push that placement into the last three days of this administration are highly suspect, ”Pelosi wrote on Monday.
“Moreover, the efforts to install or ‘dig’ him into a highly sensitive intelligence post 72 hours before the start of a new administration demonstrates a worrying contempt for our national security,” she added. “Therefore, this placement must not advance.”
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment that Ellis’ appointment had taken effect.
Given that the role – one of the highest in the NSA – is a public office, not a political one, it might prove difficult for the new Biden administration to immediately remove Ellis. However, the new administration could reassign him to serve elsewhere.
Biden’s transition team declined to comment.
Ellis worked for Rep. Devin Nunes, one of the president’s strongest supporters, when the California Republican chaired the House Intelligence Committee. He was a lawyer at the National Security Council and most recently as Senior Director of Intelligence.
The Pentagon attorney general picked Ellis for the NSA job in November, bypassing others who were more qualified. NSA Army Chief Gen. Paul Nakasone then slowed down the date, until Miller ordered him over the weekend to install Ellis.
On Sunday, the agency said in a statement that Ellis had accepted the job and “is moving forward with her job”.
The senses. Mark Warner (D-Va.) And Jack Reed (DR.I.) – the new chairmen of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees – asked the Pentagon Inspector General last year to investigate the circumstances surrounding the selection of Ellis.
“It’s hard to imagine a clearer sign of contempt for professionals [intelligence community] than having a directive from the Acting Secretary of Defense to violate public service rules and politicize an apolitical role, ” Warner tweeted on Monday.