Former Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe was sworn in as Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Tuesday after a heated confirmation hearing last week. The upper chamber approved Ratcliffe by a vote of 49-44.
Ratcliffe will replace acting DNI Richard Grenell, who managed to take decisive action against corruption within the intelligence community during his short tenure as Acting DNI. It was Grenell’s leadership that allowed the names of 39 Obama administration officials, who played a role in Gen. Michael Flynn’s unmasking, to be declassified. Ratcliffe is expected to take on systemic corruption in the same way.
Though Democrats smeared Ratcliffe as a partisan during his confirmation, his new job will not be Ratcliffe's first non-partisan post; he served as a federal prosecutor before his tenure in Congress. Though he was once of the fiercest advocates for President Trump during the House's botched impeachment, Ratcliffe vowed to be apolitical during the early stages of his confirmation:
“The best job I ever had was to be the United States attorney and what I loved… it was an apolitical position,” Ratcliffe told the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month. “I stood up always to represent the United States of America. Never one party or another. And I very much view that as this role for the DNI.”
Before swearing in his successor, Grenell declassified documents related Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russia controversy, which leaves Ratcliffe to decide whether or not the declassified information will become public.