Grenell Lashes Out Against 'Politicized Press Leaks' Over Schiff DNI Letter

Congressional Democrats have been accused of using their media proxies again in their ongoing war on the Trump administration.

On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) fired off four-page letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, accusing President Trump's top intelligence official of undermining "critical intelligence functions" by failing to notify Congress about organizational changes under his watch.

Except, Schiff's letter reportedly made its way to the press before Grenell received it.

An aide for the House Intelligence Committee disputed Grenell's claim - saying it was shared with the press 14 minutes after it was sent to his office.

"This effort appears to be proceeding despite the Coronavirus pandemic and amid indications ... of political interference in the production and dissemination of intelligence," reads the letter, according to Politico.

Schiff noted that every single Senate-appointed official in the DNI's heirarchy had been removed (drained, if you will) - and Congress has not been consulted regarding the implications of the reorganizations.

"President Trump did not nominate you for confirmation as permanent DNI," wrote Schiff, "and it would be inappropriate for you to pursue any additional leadership, organizational or staffing changes to ODNI during your temporary tenure."

Grenell, who Trump installed as acting DNI last month to replace the previous temporary head Joseph Maguire, was moved to the position after a stint as U.S. ambassador to Germany. Democrats raised concerns at the time that Grenell, who has limited national security experience, was being installed in the high-level intelligence post because of his loyalty to Trump. Schiff is demanding that Grenell produce by April 16 a detailed written explanation of all of his organizational changes.

In his letter, Schiff also sounds the alarm on Trump's abrupt removal of intelligence community watchdog Michael Atkinson, whose handling of a whistleblower report related to Trump's conduct toward Ukraine led the House to impeach him last fall. He is asking Grenell to indicate whether he every exercised his authority to prevent Atkinson from completing any of his unfinished work before Trump placed him on administrative leave and initiated his firing. -Politico

In addition to removing Atkinson, Trump recently removed the acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Russell Travers.