BY MIMI NGUYEN LY December 16, 2020 Updated: December 16, 2020
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced late Wednesday that DNI John Ratcliffe has been notified by the intelligence community that they will not be meeting the Dec. 18 deadline set by a presidential executive order to report on foreign threats during the November 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,” Amanda Schoch, ODNI Director of Strategic Communications announced.
“The IC has received relevant reporting since the election and a number of agencies have not finished coordinating on the product. The DNI is committed to providing this report to our customers expeditiously.”
Richard Grenell, the former Acting Director of National Intelligence, wrote on Twitter just prior to the ODNI announcement, saying that Ratcliffe “is standing up for career analysts who want their views to be accurately reflected. In other words, fighting to keep intelligence from being politicized.”
Grenell shared a link to a Bloomberg article that cited an anonymous source saying that Ratcliffe was not signing off on the report unless it more fully reflected the national security threat posed by China’s attempts of interference. Grenell commented on the article, “John Ratcliffe has access to the most sensitive intel. This is important.”
The ODNI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.
Trump’s executive order in 2018 states that the Director of National Intelligence shall deliver an assessment “of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany previously said on Tuesday that she was not yet aware of any report issued by DNI John Ratcliffe’s office about such a matter.
The executive order signed on Sept. 12, 2018 directs the U.S. government to impose automatic sanctions on foreign nations, individuals, and entities who are found to be involved in trying to interfering in U.S. elections.
Dec. 18 marks 45 days after the Nov. 3 general election, where, according to the executive order, the DNI is expected to deliver a report regarding “to the maximum extent ascertainable” whether any interference attempts took place, and the nature of such interference, methods used, and who was involved and authorised such efforts.
The order stipulates that after the assessment is delivered, the attorney general and the secretary of homeland security would have another 45 days to evaluate the report and make a determination. If election interference is found by the two departments, automatic sanctions would be imposed to restrict the property of the persons involved.
The secretary of state and the secretary of the Treasury would thereafter be required to recommend whether additional sanctions are required.
Trump in the order declared a national emergency to deal with the threat of election interference, and stated that “the ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
“Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system,” Trump wrote. “In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference, as illustrated in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.