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Iran Press TV

Trump installs loyalist at top post in US National Security Agency

Iran Press TV

Monday, 18 January 2021 8:02 PM

US President Donald Trump has installed a former GOP operative and loyalist as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency (NSA).

Michael Ellis has reportedly been "involved in highly questionable activities that are disqualifying – including the infamous 2017 'midnight run' to launder intelligence information through Rep. Devin Nunes and with efforts to shield information about President Trump's July 2019 call with the President of Ukraine," said the top Democrat in House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.

Trump's infamous call led to his impeachment in the lower chamber of Congress but the initiative was later blocked by the GOP-held Senate.

"I ask that you immediately cease plans to improperly install Michael Ellis as the new NSA General Counsel," wrote Pelosi in her letter, which was dated Sunday and released Monday. "Public reporting indicates that Mr. Ellis, a relatively recent law school graduate with a limited resume, was selected due to interference by the White House, and was chosen over much more qualified candidates."

The lame-duck's latest installment appears to be a part of attempts to maintain his grip on power after leaving office on Jan. 20.

"The NSA General Counsel, which involves supervising many intelligence community attorneys and interacting with intelligence agencies, is a highly sensitive career position for which candidates are selected, based on merit and free from political influence," wrote the California Democrat. "If Mr. Ellis did go through the traditional civil service hiring process, I request a detailed account of that process, to understand how someone with his credentials was chosen over other qualified candidates."

Trump has been impeached for a second time, this time over his role in the protest at the Capitol, which left five people dead on Jan. 6.

Meanwhile, power play continues in Washington as President-elect Joe Biden prepares for inauguration amid plans for armed protests across the country.

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