The intelligence community was set to release its classified report on foreign threats to the 2020 election on Dec. 18, but the release will now be postponed due to an ongoing dispute among senior intelligence analysts over China's efforts to interfere in the election.
"This afternoon the DNI was notified by career intelligence officials that the Intelligence Community will not meet the December 18 deadline, set by Executive Order and Congress, to submit the IC’s classified assessment on foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. elections," wrote Assistant DNI for Strategic Communications Amanda Schoch in a statement.
Amanda Schoch, ODNI Director of Strategic Communications: "This afternoon the DNI was notified by career intelligence officials that the Intelligence Community will not meet the December 18 deadline, set by Executive Order and Congress..." (1/3)— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) December 16, 2020
"The DNI is committed to providing this report to our customers expeditiously.” (3/3)— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) December 16, 2020
According to Fox News, sources familiar with the report say there is an ongoing dispute over what intelligence should be included in the report, specifically as it relates to China. The sources told Fox News that a number of senior analysts are "adamant" that China sought to influence the 2020 presidential election but others disagree, dismissing China's actions as "minimal" and arguing the country never followed through with plans to interfere.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell says the DNI is standing up to career analysts and attempting to prevent a politicization of the intelligence.
A push by members within the intelligence community to downplay threats posed by China seems like odd timing following revelations of a Chinese spy scandal that involved a Democratic member on the House Intelligence Committee.