WASHINGTON — Even by the standards of President Trump’s administration, Rep. John Ratcliffe’s troubled nomination to run America’s intelligence services died quickly.
Trump announced Ratcliffe’s withdrawal by presidential tweet on Friday, less than a week after the Texas congressman was put forward to become the new Director of National Intelligence. From the jump, Ratcliffe was dogged by accusations that he'd padded his resume with boasts of terrorist prosecutions that never happened.
Trump said he was withdrawing Ratcliffe's nomination to save him from being “miserable” in the face of “months of slander and libel.”
Trump said he plans to announce a new pick for Director of National Intelligence “shortly.”
Ratcliffe came under heavy criticism for exaggerating his background as an anti-terrorism prosecutor in the Eastern District of Texas under former President George W. Bush.
His congressional office backed away from his earlier claims to have “put terrorists in prison,” after evidence could not be presented that he ever actually prosecuted a terrorist.
His website stated he “served by special appointment as the prosecutor in U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation, one of the nation’s largest terrorism-financing cases.” The site quoted Ratcliffe as saying: “There are individuals that currently sit in prison because I prosecuted them for funneling money to terrorist groups.”
A prosecutor directly involved in the Holy Land case told VICE News that Ratcliffe wasn’t part of the team.
“I think it’s inaccurate to say that he was ‘the’ prosecutor” in the Holy Land case, said Jim Jacks, who is named in the DOJ statement announcing the verdict. “I think he would readily admit he was not the prosecutor on that case. But he did work on matters related to the case.”
In fact, Ratcliffe was actually tasked with investigating issues that led to the case’s mistrial, his office said this week — without bringing any charges.
Cover: Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., pauses as he speaks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who triggered the Russia investigation, will speak behind closed doors to two GOP-led House committees that are investigating partisan bias at the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)